Farah's pretty right-wing, but I think his facts jibe with what I've read on the matter. There was a special on PBS a couple years back, that covered this issue, and I pretty much came to the same conclusions after watching it. They really were Communists, dupes of the mass-murdering Stalin, even if a couple of them, particularly Dalton Trumbo and Ring Lardner, Jr., were very talented writers with a lot of friends who didn't take kindly to their persecution/prosecution.
Monday, March 15, 1999
The real Hollywood blacklist
By Joseph Farah
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
This year's Academy Awards ceremony might actually be worth watching. It may help illustrate a point I have been making for more than a decade -- that the real blacklisters in Hollywood have always been leftists and Communists, not right-wingers and anti-communists.
Amid the pageantry set for March 21 is the awarding of a controversial honorary Oscar to director Elia Kazan, whose screen credits include "On the Waterfront" and "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Why would it be controversial to present the 90-year-old filmmaking legend with an honorary Oscar? Because Kazan was a cooperative witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities that sought to root out Communist Party subversion of the entertainment industry in the late 1940s.
Knowing what we all know about Communism today -- particularly the brand of 1940s-style Stalinism supported by the Hollywood Communists of that era -- you would think Kazan would be given a medal of valor, an award as a freedom-fighter, some sort of patriotic honor. But no, he's simply being acknowledged for his considerable lifetime achievement as a filmmaker. Nevertheless, there's plenty of opposition to the plan in Hollywood, where the heroes now often wear black hats and the villains white.
In only 50 years, the leftists have managed to rewrite history so effectively that the Hollywood Stalinists of the 1940s have emerged as the heroes and those who stood up for freedom are portrayed as the villains.
For instance, a March 8 report by Robert Koehler in Variety, the daily bible of the entertainment industry, had this to say: "Kazan's 1952 testimony to members of the Sen. Joseph McCarthy-led House Un-American Activities Committee, identifying for the committee several former colleagues in the radical-left Group Theatre (including Clifford Odets) as communist 'sympathizers,' proved to be a watermark in an era of anti-communist investigations."
Utter nonsense. Sen. Joseph McCarthy had nothing to do with any hearings on Communism in Hollywood. His was a completely separate Senate investigation into Communist subversion of the State Department and the Army in the 1950s. The earlier Hollywood hearings were conducted in the House of Representatives.
The most memorable of the House hearings involved the Hollywood 10 -- a group of writers and directors who were all, at one time, card-carrying members of the Communist Party, sworn to allegiance to perhaps the world's greatest mass murderer of all time, Josef Stalin. The Communist Party USA was then and remained long afterwards no more or less than a puppet of the Soviet Communist Party in Moscow.
It's worth remembering that during the Hitler-Stalin pact, Hollywood's Communists followed the party line to the letter, marching against U.S. involvement in World War II. Overnight, once Hitler betrayed Stalin, the Hollywood Communists became the leading hawks in the industry, urging immediate intervention in the war.
Unlike McCarthy, the House committee leadership didn't recklessly make allegations about those not under Communist Party discipline. They sought to divide the hard-core party loyalists from those caught up in a cause they didn't fully understand.
The initiative for the investigation came from actors and studio execs in Hollywood who wanted to clean up their own industry. Why? For one thing, the heavy-handed Communists in Hollywood had already instituted their own form of blacklisting -- shutting out those who were unsympathetic to Uncle Joe's cause in the industry.
Once Communists were identified, they were given a chance to rehabilitate themselves by the industry. Essentially, all they had to do was renounce Communism. That's where the Hollywood 10 got themselves into trouble. You see, the FBI had hard proof of their Communist activities. They even had copies of their party ID cards. The 10 knew that they would be asked if they were members of the Communist Party. If they told the truth, they would be ostracized by their industry and their country. If they lied, they would be charged with perjury. If they pleaded the Fifth Amendment, everyone would understand that was tantamount to an admission.
What they did instead was disrupt the committee's hearing -- claim it had no business asking questions.
Of the 10, the one who arguably suffered most was director Edward Dmytryk, ironically, the only one of the Hollywood 10 who left the party before the committee hearings. After serving his prison term for contempt of Congress, he renounced Communism. His career sputtered to a conclusion and lives today in infamy in an industry that celebrates his nine loyal Communist colleagues.
Hollywood today still has a soft spot in its heart for Communism. Imagine, for instance, if the Hollywood 10 had been members of the Nazi Party. Do you think any self-respecting member of the entertainment industry community would stand up to defend their rights to free expression and association? Not a chance. Yet, there is no moral distinction between Communism and Nazism. The Communist death toll is considerably higher, but they had more time to wreak their murderous havoc on the world than the Nazis.
All this to say, it's about time Hollywood began recognizing those who, like Elia Kazan, courageously defied the Communists of the 1940s and 1950s -- if not for their courage and defiance, at least for their artistic achievement.
Joseph Farah is founder, editor and chief executive officer of WND and a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. He is also the founder of WND Books. In addition to his daily column in WND, he writes a nationally syndicated weekly column available to U.S. newspapers through Creators Syndicate.