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Forum staff reports, Published August 18 2012

Valley News Live host under fire for Hitler-politician connection comments

FARGO – A Valley News Live talk- show host and soon-to-be sideline reporter for NDSU football TV broadcasts is under fire for comments he made Thursday that drew a connection between Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and a North Dakota U.S. House candidate.

Chris Berg on Friday night apologized for a lack of clarity in his earlier statement during a two-minute video placed on the ValleyNewsLive.com website.

“I would never, never make a comparison to Pam Gulleson and that despicable person,” Berg says in the video, acknowledging he’s aware of a petition by Change.org that calls for the Fargo TV station to publicly apologize for his Thursday comments.

Berg is a host of the “Point of View” program that airs at 6:30 p.m. daily on Valley News Live, but his comments about Gulleson were made during the Web-only “The Chris Berg Show” he does at 9:30 a.m. daily on the station’s web site.

Berg started Thursday’s show by holding up a book titled “How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think.”

“I want to read an excerpt out of this book to you today and share with you how it translates to somebody who is running for office here in the great state of North Dakota,” Berg says to begin the segment, titled “Is Pam Gulleson telling the truth?”

Berg then reads a line from book author Andy Andrews in reference to Adolph Hitler’s Big Lie theory:

“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think. Make the lie big. Make it simple. Just keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

Berg compared those statements to a recent press release sent out by Gulleson touting the longterm viability of the Social Security program, which some analysts insist will be bankrupt in 20 years.

Berg is a self-described conservative who, before coming to Valley News Live earlier this year, hosted the “We the People” radio talk show on AM 1100 The Flag. He said Friday he could have made his point without referencing Hitler’s Big Lie theory.

A written news report below his Friday video says he called Democrat Gulleson to personally apologize and invited her onto his show.

Valley News Live also placed an editor’s note at the end of the written news report, stating: “The Chris Berg show does not appear on KVLY or KXJB television. It is an online-only daily broadcast produced by valleynewslive.com, the web channel of Valley News Live television.”

Gulleson on Saturday issued a response statement:

“It’s unfortunate to see such inappropriate rhetoric surrounding this debate, but I remain just as committed as ever to fighting to preserve Social Security and Medicare,” she stated.

Berg, a Fargo native and former Stanford University quarterback, is slated to be a sideline reporter for this fall’s Valley News Live TV broadcasts of NDSU football games.