"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ann Coulter and the McCarthy Myths

I recently purchased and downloaded Ann Coulter's "Treason" from Audible.com. I had previously read some of her books but not this one. My curiosity was aroused by some interesting reviews of the book I came across at Intellectual Conservative. The articles by Dan Sargis and Bruce Walker point out that the most absurd myth about Senator Joseph McCarthy, that he somehow created HUAC, is still being repeated as gospel by liberals.

In a review of an Audible.com production of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" Corey Thrasher repeats the oft told myth about Senator Joseph McCarthy. He cites the play's "significance to American culture (and also) it's connection to American history. (The play, first produced in 1952 presents) a riveting and imagined account of the famous witch trials in 17th century Salem. The play draws a direct parallel to 1950's America and the wave of communist paranoia that led to the establishment of the House Un-American Activities Committee driven by Senator Joseph McCarthy"

Upon hearing the above statements I immediately fired off an e-mail to Mr. Thrasher:

"Corey Thrasher: In your review of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" you compare the 17th century witch hysteria in Salem to the activities of HUAC, Joseph McCarthy and a "communist witch hunt". In fact, Senator Joseph McCarthy had nothing to do with HUAC (House Un-American Activites Committee). The operative word there is "house" as in House of Representatives and McCarthy was a U.S. Senator not a Representative! Senator McCarthy did work tirelessly to expose persons in very high positions in the U.S. government who were agents of the Soviets. A very well written, and read, account of this period can be found in Audible's "Treason" by Ann Coulter. "

In a return note Mr. Thrasher thanked me for the correction and agreed to extract the refernece to Senator McCarthy from his review.

In his review of "Treason" Daniel Sargis makes the point that Coulter's critics are mainly quoting each other ad infinitum, most appear not to have read the book at all. Sargis writes:

"Talk about bright minds! Andrew Sullivan leads diatribe with intellectual verve, “Few would dispute that she’s a babe.” And happily for his testosterone, “Lanky, skinny, with long blonde hair tumbling down to her breasts…” Good thing he wasn’t writing about Living History…"

"When Sullivan finally takes a shot at some substance, he asserts that Coulter is “defending the tactics of Joe McCarthy….” If Sullivan had actually read Treason, he would know that Coulter documents that the “tactics” attributed to McCarthy are little more than historical fabrication created by lying propagandists and their liberal devotees. Sullivan makes a better jilted suitor than serious writer."

Bruce Walker, in his review of "Treason", notes:

"Precisely as Ann Coulter noted in her book, I have visited with educated Leftists who absurdly assume that Senator McCarthy served on the House Un-American Activities Committee. The ignorance of Leftists about this presumed bogeyman is breathtaking."

"Leftists know nothing about the life of Joe McCarthy. They do not know or care about his strong support for civil rights when that cause was not popular or his genuine nobility and heroism in the Second World War. He is a cartoon figure, denied the same understanding which Leftists demand we give to baby-rapers or terrorists."


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