Ignorance of history, a keen lack of irony and the most hateful kind of racism has been on display in the past few weeks as celebrities and so-called political leaders line up to cheer Ukraine and damn as traitors any American who dare question the lies being peddled to the American public about the evils of Putin and the holiness of Zelensky and Ukraine. Two of the stupidest haters peddling this garbage are Karen Johnson aka Whoopi Goldberg and Mitt Romney. I can understand Romney’s behavior–he has always been a soulless ass.
But Whoopi is out of character for this kind of thing. Red baiting was supposed to be the job of right-wing Republicans. Democrats are the ones who once wept crocodile tears over the Red Baiting that savaged Hollywood starting in 1948 and continued through the fifties. If you were a suspected communist–in today’s terms it is Putin lover–you were denied the chance to work. Some actors and directors ended up killing themselves.
In light of the hysterical Russian hatred that is sweeping America and much of the so-called civilized world, I think it is time for the American public to denounce in the strongest possible terms the rampant hypocrisy of sanctimonious cretins who make their living pretending to be someone other than themselves and then strive to be taken serious for taking a moral political position. Anne Hathaway, Oprah Winfrey and Sean Penn are representative examples of this behavior. All three are eager to condemn Russia without knowing a damn thing about the history of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. They have jumped on the bandwagon of advocating for a political cause in Ukraine that enjoy widespread support among neo-nazis and the extreme right-wing.
It is especially galling to see how much of the Hollywood Community is now behaving like the red-baiting Jospeh McCarthy. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union. Now I have lived long enough to see the so-called liberals in Hollywood rail against Donald Trump and his supporters as “agents of Russia.” Many in Hollywood, who weep crocodile tears over the abuses of the Hollywood Blacklist, are now doing the same damn thing without a hint of irony. Only a few brave souls, like Oliver Stone, are behaving with honor.
If you are a film buff (and I consider myself one) you should be familiar with these great movies that remind the viewer of the horrors visited upon actors, writers and directors during the Hollywood Blacklist:
- The Front–a 1976 comedy-drama film set against the Hollywood blacklist in the 1950s. It was written by Walter Bernstein, directed by Martin Ritt, and stars Woody Allen and Zero Mostel.
- Good Night, and Good Luck–a 2005 historical drama film directed by George Clooney, tells the story of Edward R. Murrow fighting back against the hysterical red-baiting of Senator Joseph McCarthy.
- Trumbo–a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by Jay Roach that follows the life of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted but continued to write award winning movies in alias (e.g. Spartacus).
This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide.
Thirty years ago I reflected on this era and wondered how such mass hysteria could happen. Now I know. We have lived with the same kind of madness since Donald Trump was tagged as a Russian agent in the summer of 2016. And the irony is extraordinary. The very same Hollywood elite that heaped opprobrium on Director Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, are now leading the charge in labeling anyone who dares speak out against the failed coup as “stooges” of the Kremlin or Putin.
Hillary Clinton’s crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead. My hope is that both would speak in defense of Tucker and Tulsi, who are behaving in the great tradition of patriots.