Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2005/ 8 Mar-Cheshvan,
Danny Ocean defends the Rather network
The most cosseted, self-indulgent, worthless people in the universe are worried their suffering has been downgraded. For 50 years Hollywood drama queens have churned out plays, movies, TV shows, books, poems, allegories, museum exhibits, personal testimonials, dioramas, interpretive dances, wood carvings, cave paintings, needlepoint wall hangings and scatological limericks about their victimization at the hands of a brute named Joe McCarthy. Schoolchildren who will learn nothing about George Washington, Thomas Edison or Paul Revere are forced to read chapter and verse about the black night of fascism (BNOF) under McCarthy.
But half a century of myth-making later, one little book comes out and gives the contrary view and Hollywood thinks it's Treblinka.
George Clooney, writer and director of the rebuttal, claims he was driven to make the movie "Good Night, and Good Luck" because "a book came out about how great McCarthy was."
Q: Ann Coulter's "Treason"?
Needless to say I was shocked to learn that George Clooney can read. Liberals haven't been so alarmed by a book since "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
So, apparently, we must revisit the BNOF under McCarthy one more time. (Ethical dilemma: Would you write a book to set the record straight on Joseph McCarthy knowing that it might give rise to yet another lame George Clooney movie?)
Clooney said of his small contribution to the "McCarthyism" industry: "I realized that we had to be incredibly careful with the facts, because if we got any of them wrong, they could say it's all horse****. So I had to double-source every scene."
I don't intend to see his movie because except for the McCarthy parts it sounds like a snoozefest. (Half the reviewers so far have said "good night" to Clooney, and the other half have said "good luck.") And despite all those "double-sources," in addition to getting the big facts wrong (about America and about the Soviet Union), Clooney got all the little facts wrong, too. I guess he borrowed some of Al Franken's "fact-checkers."
As even liberal reviewers have noted, it was hardly an act of bravery for Edward R. Murrow to attack McCarthy. The New York Times was attacking McCarthy, The New York Post was attacking McCarthy and The Washington Post was attacking McCarthy. Every known news outlet was attacking McCarthy. McCarthy was in a pitched battle for his life, his career and the fate of the nation. Murrow merely jumped on the liberal bandwagon and rather late in the game. (You want bravery? Try sitting all the way through "Solaris.")
I gather the movie's two examples of McCarthy's perfidy are the cases of Annie Lee Moss and Milo Radulovich. As described in detail on Pages 62-64 of "Treason," Moss was a proved Communist Party member who happened to be working in the Code Room of the Pentagon. It was an act of sheer madness, like, say, putting a member of al-Qaida at the Pentagon today or putting Pat Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Oh wait ...
Moss put on a big Amos 'n' Andy show for a Senate committee, delighting racist liberals who happily proclaimed Moss too simpleminded to be a communist. Only thanks to McCarthy, who ignored the barrage of calumnies from liberals, Moss was moved to a less sensitive position at the Pentagon.
As for Milo Radulovich, he had absolutely nothing to do with McCarthy. McCarthy never mentioned his name. So maybe liberals have finally found the one liberal in the '50s who was not on the payroll of the Soviet Union. I don't know and I don't care.
Amusingly, Clooney said in an interview that Alger Hiss was "probably" a communist spy. By now, I believe even the Nation magazine has been forced to admit Hiss was more than that. But, Clooney says, the point is McCarthy "was wrong about 99 percent of them."
If McCarthy was "wrong about 99 percent of them," when are we going to get a movie about one of the 99 percent? I might go see that movie.
Clooney reverts to the standard Hollywood talking point, saying: "More important than that, (McCarthy) was wrong every time he denied people their civil liberties."
Ah yes, the old civil liberties canard. Apparently, the only period worse than the BNOF under McCarthy is the current BNOF under President George Bush. This was followed by the usual number of specific examples of civil liberties that had been denied: zero.
Liberals churn out hysterical slander daily, but insist on acting like they are the ones under attack. Come to think of it, the current BNOF is a lot like the original BNOF under McCarthy.
The only people being tortured are those of us forced to endure the egos of Hollywood fantasists who profess left-wing views to prove they are deep thinkers.
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JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of, most recently, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) : The World According to Ann Coulter". (Sales help fund JWR.)