A quick comparison of the ABC’s coverage : Gillard compared to Gaddafi vs. Howard compared to Hitler
note that neither Howard/Hitler headline calls it a comparison although the article does. It is a “Hitler attack” and a mere “Hitler jibe”
Word count (excluding headlines) :
Gillard/Gaddafi : 508 words
Howard/Hitler : 144 + 174 = 318 words
Gillard/Gaddafi contains the exact controversial quote : “If Ms Gillard believes Australians want to pay higher electricity and higher petrol prices, she is as deluded as Colonel ‘my people love me’ Gaddafi”
Howard/Hitler in both articles the controversy is largely paraphrased : “Mr Keating said both the Nazi leader and Mr Howard were nationalists rather than patriots, saying they both stressed populism and suspicion of other cultures.”
It does contain this passage :
However the former Labor leader said it would be “unreasonable and absurd” to align the Prime Minister in any way with Hitler
but it doesn’t note if this was said at the time of the controversial statements or after it became a controversy. Update : It was part of his speech. But Keating does compare Hitler and Howard and their supposed shared nationalism and says “John Howard is a nationalist and not a patriot for all the reasons I have also referred to. This is not to say John Howard does not have, what we might call, patriotic instincts; of course he does, but they all come from his larger carpetbag of nationalism”, “nationalism is arguably more exclusionary than racism” and “Nationalism is, I believe, a dangerous and divisive tendency”. None of these other quotes appear in the ABC articles.
Gillard/Gaddafi : Comparing Gillard’s assumption of support on a carbon tax to Gaddafi’s assumption of popular support calls for more than half the article to be a discussion of civility because “radio hosts and politicians are feeding anger in the community that could lead to a tragedy similar to the recent shooting of a US congresswoman” (which the article doesn’t mention was committed by an apolitical crazy guy).
Howard/Hitler : Way back then comparing someone to Hitler was merely a jibe.