After claiming on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that Sen. Ted Cruz was “fear stoking” on Obamacare in a way that was reminiscent of “Joe McCarthy,” MSNBC host and former Hillary Clinton Press Secretary Karen Finney was taken aback when Hewitt asked, “Did any communists infiltrate the United States government?”
Finney answered, “I think if we go back to the McCarthy hearings, it’s pretty clear that he created a culture of paranoia and fear that people later recognized, they sort of bought into it and then recognized that it was absolutely misplaced.”
But Hewitt pressed Finney and continued to ask if communists had infiltrated the American government.
Finney said, “The point I was trying to make was you had Joe McCarthy on a mission to root out communism in the government and he did it in such a way that created a hysteria that was very unhealthy for this concern.”
But that did not deter Hewitt, who asked if she believed former State Department official, FDR aide, and one of founders of the United Nations, Alger Hiss, was a communist spy.
Hewitt said, “Karen, Karen, I’m just a little talk show host, I’m not an MSNBC host, I just have history. I just want to know, do you think Alger Hiss was a communist?”
Finney became so agitated that she eventually hung up on Hewitt without ever answering the questions.
Hewitt said that he was “flabbergasted” that Finney would not even attempt to answer: “She has a show on MSNBC called ‘Disrupt’ and she can’t handle a little tiny question about Alger Hiss.”
Evidence has mounted against Hiss over the years since he was outed as a Soviet spy by former communist Whittiker Chambers. Chambers meticulously laid out a case against Hiss in his dynamite anti-communist bestseller, Witness.
Chambers’ accusation led to a dramatic set of hearings in the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), in which he and Hiss traded accusations. The left demonized Chambers, calling him paranoid, delusional, and possibly warped by a homosexual attraction to Hiss. But a decryption of old Soviet cables in the Venona Project all but confirmed that Hiss was guilty and that Chambers had been telling the truth.
However, Finney, along with many other liberals, refuses to acknowledge that at least some of the communist infiltration charges are correct.
John Fund at National Review said of the Hewitt confrontation with Finney:
Apparently, we still have to clear up the historical perspective that some of today’s liberals have about the Cold War and the seeming inability some of them have to acknowledge that there were Communists in government back then — and that that fact is distinct from Joe McCarthy’s endlessly cited excesses.
The debate over communist influence in American politics during the Cold War did not end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. M. Stanton Evans wrote Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, which explains how the FDR and Harry Truman administrations were infiltrated by communist agents and offers a rigorous defense of Senator Joe McCarthy.
More recently, historian Diana West has shaken up the Cold War narrative with her new book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character.