Now that conservative intellectuals have proven that Franklin Delano Roosevelt caused the Great Depression, it’s time to debunk some of the other shibboleths of socialist historiography, beginning with the bad rap the Hollywood Blacklist has gotten. American Thinker Ben-Peter Terpstra (who we last enjoyed here) shows us that red-baiting and witch-hunting, long considered unjust and even un-American, are actually a part of this complete breakfast:
Once upon a time, there was a conservative anticommunist Hollywood, proudly standing up for America.
And making movies like Big Jim McLain (He’s a Go-Get-’Em Guy for the U.S.A. on a Treason Trail that leads Half-a-World Away!) and The Green Berets (”Out here, due process is a bullet”), pictures that are as beloved and relevant today as they were 40 and 50 years ago (which reminds me, I’ve got to drop by Hot Topic and pick up those I Married A Communist wrist warmers my niece has been bugging me for).
In the 1940s, the director, Samuel Grosvenor Wood, was growing tired of Stalin’s friend President Franklin Roosevelt, and rightly so. Hollywood’s pro-appeasement culture, too, was just as irresponsible and arrogantly insensitive. Russia’s gulags were real. Leftwing actresses were not.
Gale Sondergaard and Marsha Hunt are figments of your imagination, so no more spicy food at bedtime, ‘kay? Anyway, I feel bound to point out that “Stalin’s friend President Franklin Roosevelt” was also Churchill’s friend, but Winston was probably just pretending he liked Roosevelt to get to Eleanor. Or John Nance Garner. Anyway, there’s no disputing the pro-appeasement tone of Hollywood’s wartime output. Just look at the top grossing films of the period: the 1942 Shirley Temple musical, The Little Obersturmbannführer, the 1943 William Powell/Myrna Loy romantic romp, Pfeffernusses For My Fuhrer, and of course, the 1944 holiday perennial, Miracle in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (you probably watch it on TV every Christmas and get all choked up just like I do, but believe it or not, some people think this heartwarming yuletide classic is kind of appeasy). And without belaboring the point, I think we can all agree that if there’s one black mark against Hollywood leftists, it’s the zeal with which they schemed to keep America out of the war throughout the 1940s; especially after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June of 1941. Charles Lindbergh was a huge Commie.
So, how did Sam challenge Hollywood? Some historians contend that Mission to Moscow, a love letter film to Red Russia, from liberal Hollywood, pushed the director over the edge. Straight Sam’s response?
He got drunk on Cream Gin Fizzes and spent the weekend down at the Athletic Model Guild watching 16mm “physique films” with two off-duty sailors?
He helped form the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, in order to challenge Hollywood’s Alliance for the Preservation of Red Moscow’s Ideals.
I think you made that second one up.
And, fortunately, Hollywood’s womanly women and manly men stood with Sam
So did Hollywood’s hermaphroditely hermaphrodites, but Sam made them stand in back.
Yes, there were politically indecent writers, politically indecent directors, politically indecent producers, and — horror! — politically indecent actors, in Tinseltown. There were even some fabulous conservative costume designers (but that’s another story).
So you’re saying the womanly men and the manly women were also standing with Sam? That dude was one effective rabble-rouser!
George Clooney’s fan club likes to fantasize about the HUAC’s Catholic Joe hunting down poor put-upon reds.
Sexual fantasies about Congressional committees aside…”CatholicJoe?” I’ve heard McCarthy called “Tailgunner,” but “Catholic?” Really? Maybe Ben-Peter just likes to give personal little pet names to public figures based on their ethnicity or religion; he probably calls the head of MGM (and coincidentally a friendly witness who testified before HUAC) Jewy B. Mayer.
Then again, perhaps he’s not talking about Joe McCarthy at all, since the junior senator from Wisconsin was never elected to the House of Representatives, and therefore wouldn’t have been qualified to sit on the House Un-American Activities Committee.
But McCarthy, the anti-Nazi/anti-Stalinist Senator was not part of the “bad” HUAC.
Right. He wasn’t part of HUAC at all, Ben-Pete! Nor was he considered much of an anti-Nazi, even by the author of the sympathetic biography, Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator:
In 1949 a group of Waffen SS prisoners went on trial for the massacre of unarmed American prisoners of war during the Battle of the Bulge near the French village of Malmédy…By every objective standard, [McCarthy] managed to make a fool of himself…by taking up the prisoners’ cause, and even casting doubt on some of the evidence relating to the Malmédy massacre, McCarthy became in the public’s eye an apologist for Nazi war crimes.
But McCarthyism is really just a rubric of political paranoia and witch-hunting. Catholic Pro-Nazi Joe was seemingly more concerned with exorcising ghost Bolsheviks from the Army and the State Department. He really wasn’t about fighting the battle of Hollywood…
In reality, Hollywood’s greatest critics were her concerned actors, her concerned writers, her concerned producers, Red Dalton Trumbo’s longsuffering toilet scrubbers … And, many of Hollywood’s concerns predated the so-called Red Scare. There were even some fabulously concerned makeup artists.
I’m beginning to think Ben-Pete is using the “fabulous” as some sort of code word…
What’s more, Hollywood’s anti-communists were not toothless hicks with tics from the back of Bourke.
Were these dentally-deprived rustics suffering from facial or verbal tics? I guess it doesn’t matter; the important thing is, many anti-communist hicks were actually dazzling urbanites who were both toothful and ticless!
In this real reality, fiery intellectuals like Ayn Rand, for example, fueled their intellectual arguments.
Yes, it’s amazing what a nice fire you can stoke if you’ve got enough cow dung.
In all truth, the MIA was a great coming together of minds, from libertarian writers to Christian conservative actors (and, okay, fabulous costumes designers).
Fabulous again. Hmmm. What is he trying to say…?
Need more evidence?
I need a drink.
The libertarian-minded playwright/novelist, Ayn Rand, wrote the following in an official MPA pamphlet entitled Screen Guide for Americans: “The purpose of the Communists in Hollywood is not the production of political movies openly advocating Communism. Their purpose is to corrupt our moral premises by corrupting non-political movies – by introducing small, casual bits of propaganda into innocent stories — thus making people absorb the basic principles of Collectivism by indirection and implication.”
Actually, if your point is that Ayn Rand is a crappy, crappy writer, I honestly don’t need any more evidence. But thanks anyway.
And, the United States of America’s open ears were hearing and listening.
For they had been swabbed with the Q-Tip of Truth!
Rand’s writings sent Coulter-like shockwaves through the establishment. The above arguments were printed in newspapers across the United States, and even made it on the front-page of the entertainment section of The New York Times.
You have to give credit to clever Sam. He was in the thick of it. Today, we complain about liberal actors, but back then, the communists were only years away from taking over Hollywood, and therefore America’s cultural engine forever.
Just imagine the harm our military efforts in Vietnam might have suffered if we hadn’t scrubbed the crypto-Marxist propaganda from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.
Conservative Sam changed all that. He put appeasers on notice. He wasn’t preaching to the conservative choir, he was fuelling conservatives, libertarians, and independents. Remember Reagan?
Yeah. He was a so-called union president who ratted out his fellow guild members to the FBI.
While today’s Hollywood is still powerful, well-read people are awake to her tricks. And thanks to Sam, the Alliance’s first president, and his patriotic comrades, we don’t have to worry about choosing between Song of Russia and Song of Russia III in a rundown video store.
Thank God we’re free to rent Hotel For Dogs.
Conservative Hollywood lives in Walt Disney’s pirated Chinese versions of Song of the South.
What a tragedy that only the Yellow Man can enjoy a union-busting anti-Semite’s masterpiece of racism.
Conservative Hollywood lives in Gable’s frank movies.
Teacher’s Pet shaped an entire generation’s sexuality.
In the 1950s, there were no gulags in America.
Oh sure, there were lynchings, ghettos, and the odd restricted country club, but we kept the barbed wire to a bare minimum.
But there were “pinko-mouthing” Stalin enthusiasts with their pretend persecution stories, and their hatred for industrious women like Rand.
Now, I’m going to have to disagree, B-P. I seriously doubt that any man who hates women is going to be an enthusiastic, let alone habitual pinko-mouther.
But she knew the real Sam, and the real Russia. Rand knew that population-control breadlines were real. They were nothing to sing about.
But that never stops David Hasselhof.
Because of Sam we can run to (and not from) Conservative Hollywood without blushing.
Actually, I’m alarmingly red-faced at the moment, but I think it’s more from the giggling than the Conservatism.Posted by scott on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 9:10 pm