God knows I’ve criticized Rachel Maddow before. She’s trite, pretentious, and smug, a female version of Jon Stewart without any of the charm. Like Obama, the left loves her largely because of her constant aura of pedantry – do you ever get the feeling that leftists still long for the guidance of the college professors who called them brave for toking up and sexually experimenting? – her supposed brilliance, and her sonorous baritone.
Only one problem: last week she proved that not only was she a raging blacklister, she proved that she was an ignoramus.
It all went down on last Thursday night’s show. Maddow decided to “debunk” Mike Huckabee’s “Learn Our History” program, a rethinking of the American journey from the conservative point of view. Specifically, Maddow had a problem with Huckabee’s “new and improved past, a revised American history carefully constructed to make you feel more comfortable than you might otherwise feel about our national history.” She then picked out one specific example – the left’s favorite example: “You may remember the House Un-American Activities Committee. Part of that was Senator Joe McCarthy red-baiting the living heck out of the entertainment industry … In 1947, Ronald Reagan testified before that committee as a friendly witness, as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. And in 2011, Mike Huckabee reimagines all of this as six words in his animated hagiography of Ronald Reagan for kids: … ‘He worked against Communism in Hollywood.'” She then proceeded to attempt to blacklist the company that did the animation for the Learn Our History series, explaining, “If you know who brought this amazing animated sauce to life, please get in touch with us. We would like to know.”
Whoa there, missy. Let’s start from the beginning here: in ripping Huckabee, Maddow ignores the fact that Huckabee’s history is actually right, and hers is dramatically wrong. First off, Senator Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with HUAC – a fact she should have realized since he was a Senator while HUAC was a House committee (in doing so, by the way, she missed out on nailing Richard Nixon, a fact that will surely have her bitching out her producers).
Second, and more importantly, Reagan did fight communism in Hollywood. Despite the left’s constant insistence that communism was never a threat to Hollywood, every single piece of contemporary evidence demonstrates the contrary. Reagan had belonged to probably two communist front organizations in Hollywood, the Hollywood Independent Committee of Arts, Sciences and Professions, and the American Veterans’ Committee. As soon as he found out what they were, he quit. As SAG President, Reagan had to carry a gun on him because his life was threatened by communists in the industry. Communists in Hollywood attempted to shut down the industry on October 5, 1945, when they initiated the “Battle of Hollywood,” a strike called by the Conference of Studio Unions, headed by communist Herb Sorrell. Big Peace’s own Peter Schweizer, in his beautiful biography, Reagan’s War, quotes the People’s Daily World, a Communist newspaper of the time: “Hollywood is often called the land of Make-Believe, but there is nothing make-believe about the Battle of Hollywood being waged today …. The prize will be complete control of the greatest medium of communication in history.” The war wasn’t make-believe – communists threw firebombs and rocks at anyone attempting to enter the Warner Bros. lot. Kirk Douglas said, “Thousands of people fought in the middle of the street with knives, clubs, battery cables, brass knuckles and chains.” Reagan, who opposed the communist strike, refused to sneak onto the lot – instead, he rode a bus, sitting tall (against the advice of the studio’s security chief).
Furthermore, Reagan was no blind McCarthy advocate. He condemned McCarthy, stating that he “used a shotgun when a rifle was needed, injuring the innocent along with the guilty.” In those HUAC hearings, he refused to name names, and according to biographer Dinesh D’Souza, “testified in 1947 that he opposed government legislation from Washington that would make membership in communist groups or the espousal of communist views illegal.” The proof is in the pudding – at the urging of famed director Mervyn LeRoy, Reagan worked to get an unknown actress named Nancy Davis off the blacklist (she had been mistakenly placed on it). She later became Nancy Reagan.
The reason that those like Maddow can’t stand Reagan’s SAG presidency is because it gives the lie to the liberal notion that conservatives hate culture. Maddow wants to depict all Republicans as evil (even though Reagan was a Democrat at the time), even as she attempts the same McCarthy tactics with regard to Huckabee’s animator as McCarthy did with regard to communists. The only difference is that McCarthy actually had reason to try blacklisting communists – there were communists in Hollywood. Maddow has no reason to target these animators. It’s just another example of how the left tries to run anybody out of the entertainment business who disagrees with their fallacious take on history – even as they openly screw up history themselves.