Sunday, April 24, 2005

Joe McCarthy

In a recent post, I used Joe McCarthy as an example of the DNC/MSM using smear tactics as part of its news coverage:
7. The smear/personal attack/outrage. This one is not as recent as it seems. In the 1950's, that overrated hack Edward R. Murrow smeared Joe McCarthy by careful editing of film, a tactic that caused Bobby Kennedy to walk out on a dinner in honor of Murrow because of what he did to "my friend Joe."

This example has been challenged by those, including one commenter, who agree with the rest of that post.

I respond with a separate post because I think the attacks on McCarthy are historically significant and defending McCarthy is easy once one has all of the facts. [See Victor Lasky, J.F.K.: The Man and the Myth for the Robert Kennedy/ Edward Murrow story.]

First of all, let's explode some typical anti-McCarthy myths:

1) McCarthy was not involved with the Hollywood blacklists. He did not investigate Hollywood or actors. The official DNC/MSM line is to associate McCarthy with every anti-communist activity from any Congressional committee. PBS engaged in this very same tactic in defending Alfred Kinsey [lie #8].

2) McCarthy was not affiliated with the House Committee on Unamerican Activities. The official DNC/MSM line is to jumble McCarthy references and "HUAC" references together so that the smear goes down easier. The House Committee on Unamerican Activities existed only in the House of Representatives. McCarthy was not a member of the House and did not sit on any House Committee. The House committee was created years before McCarthy was elected to the Senate and remained in existence years after McCarthy died. There was no "Senate Unamerican Activities Committee". McCarthy chaired the Government Operations Committee.

3) McCarthy's committee investigated only government activities and government employees. It was the opinion of McCarthy (and many others) that those who owed their loyalty to foreign powers and foreign ideologies should not work for the U.S. government or help develop U.S. foreign policy. See William Buckley, McCarthy and his Enemies for more on this position.

4) Of those McCarthy accused of disloyalty or activity requiring termination from government service, I defy anyone to find an example where McCarthy actually engaged in false accusation.

The incident in which the MSM/DNC engaged in the greatest amount of lie/memory hole/smear/buzzword activity was the Irving Peress incident, in which an Army dentist was promoted and then given an honorable discharge despite his known communist affiliations. No one denied that Peress was a communist. But when an Army General (Zwicker) responded to McCarthy's hypothetical question by stating that it would be proper to promote and discharge a known communist, McCarthy charged that Zwicker was not fit to wear that uniform. McCarthy's statement came solely as a result of Zwicker stating that a general would act properly by promoting and then honorably discharging a known communist. Did the New York Times report the incident accurately? You be the judge:
On that occasion, the Senator told the Camp Kilmer commander, who has been decorated 13 tines during his Army career, that he was "shielding communist conspirators" and was a "disgrace to the uniform."
(NY Times, Aug. 2, 1954, p. 7)

The New York Times gave the general the Kerry treatment with the reference to the general's decorations. The Times also falsely attributed words to McCarthy and left out the reasons for McCarthy's position. The Times engaged in ## 1 (lie) and 15 (strawman), thus resulting in #7 (smear).
Three months later, the NYT did it again regarding the same incident:
Called to testify in the case, General Zwicker declined to answer some security questions about Dr. Peress because he said he was prohibited by Presidential Order. Thereupon, Senator McCarthy denounced the general as unfit to wear the uniform.
(NY Times, Nov. 8, 1954, pg. 13).

By tying together two unrelated incidents, The NYT was engaging in a lie and tossing the real problem with Zwicker's testimony down the memory hole (# 2). The New York Times' version became accepted historical fact. Check most anti-McCarthy history books. They will repeat the Times' version and make no reference to the truth as it appears in the record of the Senate testimony. The NYT version became accepted history because there were no bloggers to set the record straight in 1954.

See Who Promoted Peress? for a more accurate book length study of this incident. Also, check any university library for copies of the hearing transcripts of the Senate Committee on Government Operations in 1954. Compare the actual transcripts with the New York Times version. Compare the facts with the spin. Had bloggers not done this in 2004, future generations would be taught that George Bush was voted out of office because he was discovered to be a draft dodger who used political influence to shirk his responsibility. Conservatives would shrink from defending him (or the war on terror) because he had "embarrassed the party" and the movement by his clouded past. Just as the new media prevented that scenario by exposing the truth, we can undo MSM/DNC versions of history using the new tools at our disposal.

If we don't diligently undo the official MSM/DNC myths of history, future generations may well be taught that Ken Starr was nothing more than a voyeur, Newt Gingrich a corrupt reactionary and bloggers were nothing more than paid functionaries of the Republican party. Today's lies need not become tomorrow's historically accepted facts.

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