Cliff Kincaid
Glenn Beck needs a fact-checker on McCarthyism
By Cliff Kincaid
February 12, 2021

Whining about “McCarthyism,” TV personality Glenn Beck told his followers about one of his upcoming TV programs, saying, “Our new Red Scare is here, America. Are you on the list?”

This was presented in the context of introducing Donald Trump Jr. joining Beck “to call out this modern McCarthyism and explains the real reason for President Trump's second impeachment trial.”

But the impeachment trial of Trump and the attacks on Trump supporters have nothing to do with McCarthyism. In fact, it’s the opposite. In truth, we could use another prominent anti-communist like Joe McCarthy. The number of communists in the Democratic Party is now so large that books have been written about it. Anti-communist analyst Trevor Loudon has written a number of them.

In his bizarre message to viewers and supporters, Beck claimed that Senator Joe McCarthy ran the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. But Senators don’t run committees in the House.

Glenn Beck needs a quick education on the lessons of “McCarthyism.” Then he can pass on the truth to his audience. Otherwise, he’s as guilty as the left of spreading misinformation.

One of my mentors, the late M. Stanton Evans, once wrote a great Human Events column “When Conservatives Parrot Liberal Lies about Joe McCarthy,” about how various conservative media personalities and politicians used the term “McCarthyism” to refer to the antics of left-wingers. Beck has to be added to the list.

Evans noted that these conservatives “know nothing at all about McCarthy except what the liberals deign to tell them.”

Evans pointed out that “McCarthy was repeatedly proved right, about the larger picture of subversion, and about a host of individual cases.” Yet, McCarthyism, a term coined by the Communist Party to demonize anti-communists, has been adopted not only by liberals but by conservatives as something that explains the use of unsubstantiated charges. This is how the liberals control the public debate. Conservatives let them control the debate by adopting the terminology of the liberals.

In this context, I was truly shocked when Glenn Beck sent out an email promoting one of his programs under the headline “The New Red Scare & Our ‘Reality Czars.’” He said, “The American Red Scare of the 1950s may be one of the most important—and most terrifying—events in our nation’s history. It was a witch hunt—an all-out assault—on any American citizen deemed to be a threat simply because of their thoughts.”

This is complete nonsense.

I have repeated the facts many times, but I guess I have to do it again. McCarthy cited 59 suspected communists in the State Department, and he produced that list, plus 22 others. McCarthy helped uncover a communist spy ring involving foreign service officer John Stewart Service and Phil Jaffe, the editor of a pro-communist magazine. He targeted Owen Lattimore, a key State Department adviser and communist. McCarthy’s charge against Mary Jane Keeney, a State Department and UN employee and Soviet agent, was proven correct. McCarthy was right about Annie Lee Moss, an Army Code Clerk who was a member of the Communist Party.

The John Stewart Service spy ring also involved Laughlin Currie, an adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, and the spy ring succeeded in manipulating U.S. foreign policy to enable the communists to seize China. Other top communists in government included Harry Dexter White at the Department of the Treasury and, of course, Alger Hiss of the State Department, a founder of the UN.

The J.C. Hawkins book on McCarthy and others, Betrayal at Bethesda, includes an appendix naming 224 Communists identified by McCarthy and the investigations of others. McCarthy came out dead from Bethesda Naval Hospital, after going in for knee surgery, when he was on the verge of investigating communists in the CIA.

The embarrassing email promoting “Glenn TV” also had this whopper: “Led by Senator McCarthy, the House of UnAmerican Activities Committee destroyed lives. Mere accusations sometimes meant you were stripped of your job and your dignity. Sound familiar?”

He was trying to brand left-wingers with the label of McCarthyism because of the assault on Trump supporters that is occurring these days.

I have used the term “McCarthyism” to make a point, such as when I referred to “Kevin McCarthyism” and the attacks by the House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on conservative members of the party. But that was a play on words, using the term “McCarthyism” since it was the last name of Joe and Kevin.

I never meant to imply that Joe McCarthyism was in any way illegitimate. I like Joe. Kevin not so much.

But Glenn Beck’s claims that Senator McCarthy actually ran a House committee investigating communists was another major error on his part. He needs a fact-checker. Senators don’t run House committees.

It’s almost as embarrassing as when Bill O’Reilly, then with Fox News, claimed McCarthy had “demonized people who didn’t deserve to be demonized.” Guest Ann Coulter shot back: “That’s not true. Name one. There is not one.”

This exchange then transpired:

O’Reilly: “I’ll name one. Dalton Trumbo.”

Coulter: “He had nothing to do with Dalton Trumbo.”

O’Reilly: “Sure he did. It was the House of UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC). And who was overseeing that?”

Coulter: “He was known as Senator McCarthy. He was in the Senate, not the House. Everyone confuses him with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.”

O’Reilly: “But who was overseeing that? Come on, you know the clubhouse rules.”

Coulter: “He had nothing to do with HUAC. You see, this is part of the myth. Everyone says this. Everyone says HUAC.”

Rather than being an innocent victim of McCarthy or even the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, Dalton Trumbo, according to author Allan H. Ryskind, was a major Hollywood Ten figure and longtime Communist enthusiast. What’s more, as Ryskind’s book Hollywood Traitors makes clear, Trumbo was in fact a Soviet/Nazi agent of influence in Hollywood.

He notes, “The Hollywood Communist contingent, including Trumbo, quickly turned against Hitler after the Fuehrer betrayed Stalin in June of 1941, launching a massive invasion of the Soviet Union. Then, and only then, did the radical screenwriters switch sides again, now demanding America give massive assistance to the Soviet Union to combat fascism and help it survive the Nazi onslaught. Only after Hitler invaded the USSR did the Communist screenwriters become ‘patriotic,’ since they believed U.S. assistance was crucial to the Soviet Union’s survival.”

I couldn’t watch the whole Blaze TV interview with Donald Trump Jr. since it was only available to paid subscribers. But then, why would I bother, since Glenn Beck doesn’t seem to understand his own subject matter and he misleads his own audience in the same way the liberals do.

This is how conservatives join with left-wingers in distorting American history and making true progress difficult if not impossible.

© Cliff Kincaid


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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