In another fake outrage story and anti-Trump hyperventilation, CNN has come across a recording of an interview by Steve Bannon with a journalist and an author Diane West, where the President’s alt-right-hand man said “that Sen. Joseph McCarthy was right in his 1950s campaign claiming widespread Communist infiltration into the United States government.”
Gasp! Other, even less respected, news sites soon piled on. “Steve Bannon found himself at the center of controversy,” writes Salon, for “seemingly agree[ing] with McCarthy.” And Raw Story writes “Over the weekend, President Donald Trump accused his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, of engaging in “McCarthyism” for purportedly ordering an “illegal” wiretap of Trump Tower. Even though Trump offered no evidence to back up his wild claims, it turns out that Steve Bannon, the president’s top political strategist, actually thinks McCarthyism was a good thing.” Gotcha.
This is what Bannon actually said:
Today in modern pop culture, you know they call Ted Cruz the Joe McCarthy — if you want to think of who devils are it’s Ronald Reagan and those who name-names at the House Un-American Activities, the Hollywood Ten are heroes right? Alger Hiss is a hero, right? Richard Nixon’s a villain? Joe McCarthy is a villain. Your book makes very plain that these guys were right. The place was infested with either traitors that were on the direct payroll of Soviet military intelligence or fellow-travelers who were kind of compliant in helping these guys get along. I mean, there’s absolutely no question of it. How has pop culture so changed it that white is black and black is white?
Both CNN and Salon don’t fail to remind the readers that McCarthy was eventually censured by the Senate. Raw Story merely write about “his efforts to purge purported communists from the federal government.” Purported, eh?
McCarthy was a bit of a dick, charlatan and an opportunist but he was essentially right – the US federal government and its agencies were crawling with paid Soviet agents spying for Uncle Joe and unpaid sympathisers influencing the policy direction in Moscow’s favour. The Venona intercepts of Soviet signals traffic contains names and code names of some 200 Soviet agents, including scientists and couriers who betrayed the atom bomb secrets to Russia, and such liberal establishment darlings like Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, and Lauchlin Currie. The establishment expended an inordinate amount of capital over the decades defending in particular Hiss, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (codename: LIBERAL; no kidding); some still do, despite an overwhelming evidence against them. As Hayden Peake, curator of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Historical Intelligence Collection has stated, “No modern government was more thoroughly penetrated.”
None of the media stories about the latest Bannon “controversy” mention any of it. It’s as if the McCarthyism was some sort of a dangerous collective delusion – a witch hunt, in fact. The difference is that communist agents, unlike witches, did exist. Bannon makes a simple point: thanks to the liberal cultural hegemony, all those who fought against the Soviet infiltration (including McCarthy) have always been portrayed as villains, whereas the agents and their defenders and apologists are still seen as at worst misguided idealists and at best as the staunch defenders of American freedoms from political persecution. CNN et al continue this proud tradition into 2017.
When “A Very Short Chronology of the American Liberalism” is eventually written, this will be one of the key entries:
1917-2016: the left doesn’t give a shit about the Russian threat and the Russian espionage against America.
2016- : the left suddenly starts to give a shit about the Russian threat and the Russian espionage against America.
Future historians might never be able to explain the mysterious reasons for this unexpected and inexplicable change of heart.
So, congratulations; if you talk about the McCarthy period as a “Red Scare”, but believe that anyone connected with Trump who has ever spoken with the Russian Ambassador should be fired from the government* – you might be a liberal.
(* and I write this as someone concerned about the Russian influence on American politics)