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The Truth about the "Hollywood Ten"
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | April 18, 2005 | Art Eckstein

Posted on 04/18/2005 10:47:45 AM PDT by Liz

In 1947, the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) began a series of official inquiries into the penetration of the Hollywood film industry by the American Communist Party (CPUSA).

Major public hearings were held in 1947 and 1951, with smaller hearings throughout the mid-1950s. In the course of these inquiries, dozens of “friendly” Hollywood witnesses denounced hundreds of people as secret members of the Communist Party, while dozens of “unfriendly” witnesses refused to discuss their politics with the Committee. Those who were either publicly or privately denounced as members of the CPUSA found it almost impossible to get employment in the motion-picture industry for at least for a decade.

The most famous victims of the resulting blacklist were the original group of “unfriendly” witnesses, known as the “Unfriendly Ten” or “Hollywood Ten.” These individuals–mostly screenwriters– refused to give political information about themselves before HUAC in October 1947.1

The blacklist functioned in part officially, as demonstrated by a joint public announcement of the motion picture firms in November 1947 that henceforth no studio would knowingly employ any member of the Communist Party, or the members of any other group which advocated the overthrow of the United States government by revolution.

The blacklist also operated unofficially, through instruments such as the irresponsible red-baiting newsletter Red Channels, which named whole swaths of people as subversives. This, for example, ruined the career of the left-wing but non-Communist actress Marsha Hunt. 2

The blacklist also often functioned in secret: jobs just dried up. As a result, “fixers” emerged to get people unofficially “pardoned” by anti-Communist organizations and film industry managers, therefore making them employable again. One famous “fixer” was the fiercely anti-Communist actor Ward Bond. 3

“Fronts” arose as well in the form of people offering scripts ghost-written by blacklisted screenwriters in exchange for official credit for the script and often a cut of the payment. One famous example of such a “front” was Philip Yordan, himself a quite famous screenwriter. 4

Some film careers were totally destroyed as a result of the blacklist system. For instance, Mickey Knox, “the next John Garfield,” was a rising star of the late 1940s, turning in a star performance in the great gangster film White Heat (1949). If you have never heard of Mickey Knox, well, that is the point. Many other careers suffered severe setbacks, such as that of actor Howard Da Silva. 5

Actors and directors suffered more severely than screenwriters because they could not act or direct under assumed names, whereas screenwriters could use the “front” system, which allowed the most talented of them to continue to write. The CPUSA, however, had made its largest inroads in Hollywood among screenwriters, and many screenwriters’ careers suffered greatly or ended.

It is generally not a good idea to attack professional writers because they tend to write, and to write well, to get in the last word. This has certainly been the case with the blacklist. None of the HUAC committee or staff (which originally included Congressman Richard M. Nixon) has written memorably on the events of 1947 and 1951, let alone on the later, smaller investigations.

A few of those who appeared as “friendly witnesses” before HUAC, such as directors Edward Dmytryk and Elia Kazan, and actor Sterling Hayden. have written important memoirs, often defending their conduct and sometimes expressing self-doubt. 6

But such figures are far outnumbered by the self-justifying and bitter memoirs of those who were denounced: Norma Barzman; Walter Bernstein; Alvah Bessie; Herbert Biberman; Conrad Bromberg; Lester Cole; Lillian Hellman; Howard Koch; Ring Lardner, Jr. (and now his daughter Kate); Donald Ogden Stewart; Dalton Trumbo; and Ella Winter. 7

The publication of these works, and more fundamentally the cultural shift in Hollywood to domination by a bien peasant Left that started around 1960 and accelerated in the 1970s, has led to the lionization of the Unfriendly Ten as American “rebels” and martyred “non-conformists.”

Meanwhile, the anger within the current filmmaking elite at those who originally “named names” in the 1940s and 1950s has been unremitting. A now unalterable view of what occurred is held by people who have little knowledge of what it actually meant in the 1940s to be a Communist; that is, a Stalinist. Two examples demonstrate the current political situation.

Long read---rest at link.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: communists; hollywood; hollywoodleft; hollywoodten; huac
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1 posted on 04/18/2005 10:47:53 AM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz

It's been over 50 years. Time to do it again.


2 posted on 04/18/2005 10:50:31 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: KylaStarr; Cindy; StillProud2BeFree; nw_arizona_granny; Velveeta; Dolphy; appalachian_dweller; ...

ping


3 posted on 04/18/2005 10:52:01 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Liz

Freaking Communist traitors lost their jobs. Wah, wah, wah.

They should've lost their LIVES just like the other traitors, the Rosenbergs.


5 posted on 04/18/2005 11:03:02 AM PDT by PeterFinn (The Holocaust was perfectly legal.)
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To: robertpaulsen
Yup.

Problem is, 90% of the movies released nowadays don't seem to have an original screenplay.

6 posted on 04/18/2005 11:03:38 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Liz
They found a lot of communists. And these were the kind of communists who had no problems with re-education camps for those, like most of us, who disagree with their ideology.

I beleive the HUAC and later Sen. McCarthy as accomplished public servants.

7 posted on 04/18/2005 11:05:41 AM PDT by corkoman (Overhyped)
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To: Liz

INteresting article. Thanks.


8 posted on 04/18/2005 11:06:51 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: Liz

Excellent article. Didn't know Gene Kelly's wife was a commie. Guess that's why he was such a left-winger.


9 posted on 04/18/2005 11:07:02 AM PDT by rcocean
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To: Liz

Wait, where was Joe McCarthy's name? I mean, I know he was a Senator and thus not a member of the HOUSE committee, and his "witchhunt" was several years later, but his name wasn't in there at ALL! I mean, we all KNOW he just invented the "Red Scare" for politial power, right?!


10 posted on 04/18/2005 11:11:03 AM PDT by jcb8199
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To: robertpaulsen

I'll second that motion. Let's have at the liberal beasts.


11 posted on 04/18/2005 11:13:31 AM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: rcocean

"Didn't know Gene Kelly's wife was a commie"

I saw her on a special on Gene Kelly. She was his first wife and said that Kelly picked and chose his causes and considered himself a "liberal" democrat.


12 posted on 04/18/2005 11:17:15 AM PDT by AngieGOP (I never met a woman who became a stripper because she played with Barbie dolls as a kid.)
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To: jcb8199
Wait, where was Joe McCarthy's name? I mean, I know he was a Senator and thus not a member of the HOUSE committee, and his "witchhunt" was several years later, but his name wasn't in there at ALL! I mean, we all KNOW he just invented the "Red Scare" for politial power, right?!

LOL

Credit goes to Ann Coulter for her perspecive on Joe McCarthy, and how he was right all along as supported by the Venona papers released in the early '90s.

BTW, even talk show hosts still don't know McCarthy had nothing to do with Hollywood. Glenn Beck had a rant on McCarthy a while back, showing he had no idea who he really was and what he really accomplished.

13 posted on 04/18/2005 11:18:41 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: Grampa Dave; Libloather; Mudboy Slim; PeterFinn; rcocean; corkoman; nikos1121; Calpernia; ...

Hollyweirdos act like entertainers but they are subversive change agents.

Hollyweirdos thought back then---and continue to think now---that the rest of us just fell off a turnip truck and can't possibly be aware of leftist proselytizing via their movies, TV and music output.


14 posted on 04/18/2005 11:20:45 AM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: All

Ping


15 posted on 04/18/2005 11:21:54 AM PDT by Captain Ray
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To: Calpernia; Liz
Thanks! Here's a tidbit on Ella Winter, mentioned above:

Lying for the truth: Münzenberg & the Comintern

Münzenberg was and is not a famous name, though this man’s power had given him a potent grip on the workings of fame. Since his radical youth in 1917, Willi Münzenberg had been a largely covert but major actor in the politics of the twentieth century. As a founding organizer of the Communist International and a leader in the structure of Marxist–Leninist power outside Russia, Münzenberg had played an especially influential part in the conspiracies, the maneuvers, the propaganda, the secret policies and actions that had led to this very spot. . .

SNIP

Münzenberg’s true role in the world was a closely guarded secret, though in keeping with his particular talent, it was concealed in conspicuousness. His talent was for propaganda, albeit of a special kind. For Willi Münzenberg was the first grand master of two quite new kinds of secret-service work, essential to this century, and to the Soviets: the covertly controlled propaganda front, and the secretly manipulated fellow traveler. His goal was to create for the right-thinking non-Communist West the dominating political prejudice of the era: the belief that any opinion that happened to serve the foreign policy of the Soviet Union was derived from the most essential elements of human decency. He wanted to instill the feeling, like a truth of nature, that seriously to criticize or challenge Soviet policy was the unfailing mark of a bad, bigoted, and probably stupid person, while support was equally infallible proof of a forward-looking mind committed to all that was best for humanity and marked by an uplifting refinement of sensibility.

To create his networks of fronts and fellow travelers Münzenberg used every resource of propaganda, from highbrow cultural opinion to funny hats and balloons. He organized the media: newspapers, film, radio, books, magazines, the theater. Every kind of “opinion maker” was involved: writers, artists, actors, commentators, priests, ministers, professors, “business leaders,” scientists, psychologists, anyone at all whose opinion the public was likely to respect.

SNIP

The evidence is strong that two of Münzenberg’s principal lieutenants, Louis Gibarti and Otto Katz, were not only “Münzenberg-men,” and so agents of the Comintern, but (probably without Willi knowing for sure) agents of the NKVD as well. Gibarti and Katz: an extraordinary team. They did know something about trenchcoats, and careful tracking of their artful dodging through the first half of the twentieth century will turn up surprise after surprise. Gibarti was an elegant but slightly seedy Hungarian, affable, multilingual, and outspoken. He looked, said Babette, like “an opera cavalier.” Gibarti ranks as a founding father of the modern mingling of propaganda with espionage and covert action. Though his modus operandi made him seem like a “legal”—in contrast to illegal—Comintern agent, Gibarti’s “perfectly legal” organizations were pioneers in the art of doing secret-service business in the open. It was Gibarti, for example, who in 1934 guided a young recruit named Kim Philby through a “perfectly legal” front in Paris and on to Vienna, where Philby took up his first real job as a secret agent.

SNIP

In America, one might add to the list the name of Ella Winter, who began her career in politics being introduced by Felix Frankfurter to Lincoln Steffens in the midst of the Versailles Conference.

SNIP

After Steffens’s death, Winter proceeded to another marriage that was exceptionally useful from the apparat’s point of view. This one put her in a leading position managing the networks of Stalinist fellow travelers in Hollywood, a long-standing special concern of the apparatus, with much attention from Gibarti, Katz, and many others. Winter met and married a very successful Hollywood screenwriter, Donald Ogden Stewart-—a companion to Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos; a runner with the bulls at Pamplona in the company of the circle immortalized in The Sun Also Rises. Stalinism and Hemingway aside, Stewart was an attractive but malleable guilt-ridden lightweight. And at his side, Ella Winter was ideally placed for an active life among networks of Stalinist opinion in the film colony.

Ella Winter worked closely with Münzenberg’s men, especially those who were active in Hollywood. She knew Otto Katz well, and Gibarti referred to Ella Winter as “one of the most trusted party agents for the West Coast.” Gibarti had every reason to know.

16 posted on 04/18/2005 11:22:04 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Liz

This is one of those things that isn't what it appears on the surface, like the 3/5 compromise in the Constitution-

If you look at the origins of the HUAC, at its inception it had the approval of the CPUSA because they thought it would be a tool for taking on the right- their position changed quickly when the spotlight moved leftward.


17 posted on 04/18/2005 11:22:35 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Ping.


18 posted on 04/18/2005 11:23:57 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: MACVSOG68

Right--they act as if he set up HUAC, despite the fact that A) it was the HOUSE Un-American Activities Committee, not the SENATE (and he was a sentor) and B) He didn't really start his anti-Commie campaign until 1950...


19 posted on 04/18/2005 11:26:04 AM PDT by jcb8199
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To: Fedora

Are the Münzenberg’s men still alive?


20 posted on 04/18/2005 11:27:05 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: nutmeg

read later bump


21 posted on 04/18/2005 11:28:32 AM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Hillary Clinton 6/28/04)
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To: corkoman

Grandpa Walton was among those blacklisted in Hollywood. He a member of the Communist Party.


22 posted on 04/18/2005 11:29:35 AM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: George Smiley
....the (CPUSA) thought (the HUAC) would be a tool for taking on the right- their position changed quickly when the spotlight moved leftward......

Fits neatly into my long-held theory that Follywood detested the HUAC not for outing Communists (the Hollywarped crowd were proud of their beliefs) but b/c the HUAC placed their outrageous behavior under the spotlight and exposed these self-centered, egotistical types to be hateful, petty little red-stained rodents.

23 posted on 04/18/2005 11:30:28 AM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: jcb8199
He didn't really start his anti-Commie campaign until 1950...

True, and the thrust of his anti-communist investigation was the State Department and Department of Defense, which just happened to have been infiltrated by numerous communist activists and sympathizers. It's interesting to note that the left bashes those who have been the most successful in their anti-left campaigns, such as McCarthy, Reagan, Coulter, etc.

24 posted on 04/18/2005 11:31:08 AM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: GSWarrior
Grandpa Walton...Communist and gay lover to another high-profile communist (I forget his name).

I was floored when I learned that Grandpa Walton was a gay commie.

25 posted on 04/18/2005 11:33:52 AM PDT by what's up
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To: Liz

Being a dem/lib/socialist these days is a badge of honor in Hollywierd, especially when you have willing accomplices in Washington.


26 posted on 04/18/2005 11:33:55 AM PDT by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel - Martin Luther)
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To: robertpaulsen
Yea. Let's lock people up, deny them the right to make a living in their chosen field for the high crime of holding an unpopular idea.

Of the 10 listed as the Hollywood 10, is there any freeper commenting on this thread who can point to a crime than any one of them committed?

I await the flames that surely cometh.

27 posted on 04/18/2005 11:34:39 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Liz

Read "Reagan's War"- it begins when RWR was president of SAG.


28 posted on 04/18/2005 11:34:42 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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To: George Smiley

Great read.....as are many of the books written about the HUAC.


29 posted on 04/18/2005 11:37:03 AM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: what's up

Oh yeah....Harry Hay and his band of radical faeries or something.


30 posted on 04/18/2005 11:37:44 AM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: GSWarrior
Yes, I think that's right. Harry Hay was one of the movers behind the modern gay movement beginning his work in the 30's in San Francisco.

I believe he's one of the reasons SF is a hotbed of gay activism today.

31 posted on 04/18/2005 11:39:36 AM PDT by what's up
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To: Calpernia

The leaders of his original network are probably mostly dead by now, but there are lines of descent that can be traced in Hollywood as well as in Communist youth groups, the civil liberties movement, and the antiwar movement, where he was also active.


32 posted on 04/18/2005 11:41:20 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: dmz

I doubt very seriously that we would have handed China over to the Communists if not for Communist agents and fellow travelers in our government and media at that time.

Is this a "crime" by any particular Communist agent of influence? I don't know. But it is certainly something that anyone with a conscience ought to feel extremely guilty about. It resulted in the Korean War, the Vietnamese War, the Vietnam War protests that handed Southeast Asia to the Communists, and infinite suffering in China itself.

It can also be argued that it is a crime. Ezra Pound was punished for doing propaganda for Mussolini in the Second World War. These folks were doing propaganda for Stalin in the midst of the Cold War, when it was clear to most people that the Soviet Union was our enemy and an enemy to the peace and stability of the whole world. We are talking here about card carrying members of a party that had been declared illegal.


33 posted on 04/18/2005 11:58:00 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Fedora

Donald Ogden Stewart (1894 - 1980)

Occupation: Screenwriter, playwright, novelist

Born: November 30, 1894, Columbus, OH
Died: 1980
Education: Yale

After WW I service in the Navy and travels in Europe, he settled in New York and began writing satirical novels, which were quite popular in the 20s. In 1928 he was introduced to the theater by a college chum, Philip Barry, who wrote the part of socialite Nick Potter in his play Holiday with Stewart in mind. Stewart played the part on Broadway.


Fascinated with stage life, he wrote his first play, Rebound (1930), in which he also played one of the leading parts, and followed this with a musical Fine and Dandy (1930). As early as 1925, Stewart had been assigned to adapt one of his own novels for the screen, but the project was shelved and instead he wrote an adaptation of the play Brown of Harvard, which was released in 1926.

In 1930, Stewart settled in Hollywood as a screenwriter, following an appearance in a supporting part in the film Not So Dumb. He soon gained a reputation for his sophisticated screenplays and sparkling dialogue. He won an Academy Award for the script of The Philadelphia Story (1940), which he adapted from the Philip Barry play. After Hitler's rise to power he became involved in the political activities of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League.


This association came back to haunt him during the McCarthy era, when it was claimed the organization had been a cover-up for a Communist cell. Blacklisted, he left Hollywood for good in 1951 and settled in London, where he wrote his autobiography in 1970.

Biography from Katz's Film Encyclopedia


34 posted on 04/18/2005 12:00:35 PM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: Liz
Moreover, Communist relations with non-Communists were based on a smug sense of intellectual and political superiority.42

***************

Not much has changed, it seems.

35 posted on 04/18/2005 12:06:53 PM PDT by trisham ("Live Free or Die," General John Stark, July 31, 1809)
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To: Liz
Howard Da Silva was screwed. He was an actor in the studio system, not a writer or producer or director. He had zero power. Robert Taylor named him not as a communist but as someone who often had something to say at the wrong time. He got called in front of the HUAC and basically told them to f themselves by keeping quiet. He was blacklisted and made no movies for ten years.

Get it? No work for ten years because of what someone else said about him...that's not right.

36 posted on 04/18/2005 12:09:32 PM PDT by wtc911 ("I would like at least to know his name.")
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To: trisham

These same, uh, "intellectuals"---when asked about being associated with the CPUSA---asserted they had no idea Communism would become an enemy of the USA. Duh. I wonder if these intellectuals wanna buy a bridge---cheap---in Brooklyn.


37 posted on 04/18/2005 12:11:19 PM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: Cicero; dmz
"We are talking here about card carrying members of a party that had been declared illegal."

________________________

Really? What about Howard Da Silva? Ten years without work because of something someone said about him.

38 posted on 04/18/2005 12:15:12 PM PDT by wtc911 ("I would like at least to know his name.")
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To: Baynative


i threw my tv in the dumpster in 1994 when i saw how the big 4 networks were protecting the clingons.

i go to no movies, nor do i rent them.

i read, visit friends, listen to talk radio.

i don't need their propaganda.


39 posted on 04/18/2005 12:16:35 PM PDT by ken21 (if you didn't see it on tv, then it didn't happen. /s)
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To: wtc911

Why didn't he cooperate? Just curious. I don't know who the guy is.


40 posted on 04/18/2005 12:30:32 PM PDT by what's up
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To: jcb8199
[ Wait, where was Joe McCarthy's name? I mean, I know he was a Senator and thus not a member of the HOUSE committee, and his "witchhunt" was several years later ]

Joe found a buttload of "witches".. and burned a few before the "witches" burned him..
Its all in Ann Coulters book, "TREASON"..

Washington D.C. is NOW a coven not a government center at all..

41 posted on 04/18/2005 12:30:36 PM PDT by hosepipe (This Propaganda has been edited to include not a small amount of Hyperbole..)
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To: Liz

Thanks. There's more on Stewart in his FBI file, which identifies him as "one of the principal leaders of the Communist element in the motion picture industry" from 1936 on. About that time he became chairman of the League of American Writers, the American affiliate of the International Union of Revolutionary Writers, a Comintern front.


42 posted on 04/18/2005 12:36:28 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Liz
McCarthy was right! Last DVD's purchased was the series on The Bible narrated by Charlton Heston. As far as Mr. C4E and I care, Hollywood can go jump. We haven't been to a movie since I think 'The Patriot.'

Red

43 posted on 04/18/2005 12:37:30 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (God bless America...land that I love...stand beside her and guide her...)
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To: wtc911

Something similar happened to Jeff Corey. He and his wife were invited to a political meeting by a friend, were disgusted by the rhetoric they heard, and left after just a few minutes. Years later, someone remembered seeing him there, and he was instantly blacklisted.


44 posted on 04/18/2005 12:44:20 PM PDT by RightWingAtheist (Creationism is not conservative!)
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To: dmz
According to the article:

"... that henceforth no studio would knowingly employ any member of the Communist Party, or the members of any other group which advocated the overthrow of the United States government by revolution."

I say if Hollywood does not want to hire those who advocate the overthrow of the United States government by revolution, then they should have that right. Don't you agree?

Now, what are you talking about? Holding an unpopular idea? Crimes?

Maybe you're thinking of the Spanish Inquisition, not HUAC?

45 posted on 04/18/2005 12:45:26 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Liz

Joe was not perfect, but he sure was right about the commies and the left. If anything, he just underestimated their penetration and their ruthlessness.


46 posted on 04/18/2005 12:46:26 PM PDT by OriginalIntent (Liberals always lie about everything.---- The ACLU needs to be investigated and exposed.)
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To: OriginalIntent

Jow was doing the right thing, but he went about it in the wrong way........the lefty media hastened his destruction.


47 posted on 04/18/2005 1:29:36 PM PDT by Liz (One of it's most compelling tenets is Catholicism's acknowledgement of individual free will.)
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To: what's up
I don't know why Da Silva zipped his lip. Maybe he just didn't like the idea of having to defend himself to the congress against hearsay.
48 posted on 04/18/2005 2:18:07 PM PDT by wtc911 ("I would like at least to know his name.")
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To: Calpernia
He wanted to instill the feeling, like a truth of nature, that seriously to criticize or challenge Soviet policy was the unfailing mark of a bad, bigoted, and probably stupid person, while support was equally infallible proof of a forward-looking mind committed to all that was best for humanity and marked by an uplifting refinement of sensibility.

While they may not be celebrating the Soviet Union these days, the anti-American leftists certainly associate themselves with the idea that they are more well informed and forward thinking.

49 posted on 04/18/2005 2:30:38 PM PDT by Dolphy
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To: wtc911

If he wasn't guilty and had cooperated he wouldn't have been blacklisted. If I was called before Congress, I think I would open my mouth and cooperate.


50 posted on 04/18/2005 3:05:51 PM PDT by what's up
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