Trump: A Modern Day Joe McCarthyRoundup
tags: election 2016, Trump
... Most reporters abhor Trump and everything he stands for. Yet they remain the instrument by which he is able to elevate himself to the top of the Republican race and to the center of the national conversation.
This phenomenon is dismaying but hardly unprecedented. Joe McCarthy did exactly the same thing. Like Trump, who knows next to nothing of the Middle East, Islam, terrorism, military affairs, or any related field, McCarthy was an ignoramus who knew little of the threat he was purporting to address — in his case, communism. But just as Trump is a master of taking advantage of the war on terror to sow suspicion and hatred of Muslims, so McCarthy took advantage of the Cold War to sow suspicion and hatred of supposed Communist Fifth Columnists — which, in his telling, included such distinguished anti-communists as Secretary of State Dean Acheson and General George C. Marshall. And just as Trump plays the media like a Stradivarius, so, too, did McCarthy.
David Oshinsky’s excellent study of Joe McMcarthy, A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, makes for revealing reading. It’s sometimes hard to know if the author, a historian at the University of Texas, is writing about McCarthy or Trump.
Think Trump is dominating the news today? “McCarthy, and no one else in Congress, ruled America’s front pages for almost five years,” writes Oshinsky.
The reporters who covered McCarthy knew that his charges were baseless — he didn’t actually uncover any Communist agents but he did spread a lot of scurrilous allegations. “My own impression was that Joe was a demagogue,” one newsman remarked. “But what could I do? I had to report — and quote — McCarthy. How do you say in the middle of your story, ‘This is a lie’? The press is supposedly neutral. You write what the man says.” ...
comments powered by Disqus
- Sources: McMaster Mocked Trump’s Intelligence At A Private Dinner
- The JFK assassination files lead back to Seattle
- Princeton investigates its connection to slavery at a two-day symposium
- Rare Documents Show a Palm Reader's Take on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
- A Photo of Billy the Kid Bought for $10 at a Flea Market May Be Worth Millions
- Historian Says Textbooks Have Shaped Our Attitudes On Race
- Heather Ann Thompson says what went on at Attica is worse than we thought
- Princeton’s Jan T. Gross warns that Poland’s showing signs of turning decisively in a fascist direction
- Gar Alperovitz is still pushing to make America more democratic
- Robert Dallek: “The fish rots from the head”