Joe McCarthy and Lillian Hellman: The Hated Patriot vs. the Beloved Commie
American Thinker ^ | 02/24/2018 | David Solway
Posted on 2/24/2018, 10:18:17 AM by SeekAndFind
Over half a century after the “Red Scare,” playwright and memoirist Lillian Hellman, whose name is often coupled with her adversary Senator Joe McCarthy, seems to have emerged relatively unscathed in the court of elite progressivist opinion despite the exposure of her manifold fabrications and deceptions. The liar, it appears, is the incarnation of a higher truth. Such is the power of the press and the cultural salience of left-wing attitudes in America.
Hellman, a passionate supporter of the Soviet Union even when Stalin’s crimes had been widely publicized, was subpoenaed before the House Un-American Activities Committee by McCarthy [see comments –ed.] and was subsequently lionized by the media, the commentariat, and the entertainment industry from the 1950s to the present for refusing to name names. She was elevated to the plinth of truth and courage while McCarthy was effectively
consigned to the Eighth Circle of the Inferno as an evil counselor and a sower of discord.
We can agree that McCarthy cast too wide a net, and many will argue that he was responsible for a climate of national hysteria, but we cannot deny, after the release of the Venona transcripts, that he was mainly right. There was indeed a concerted and largely successful attempt to infiltrate the White House by Soviet agents during the 1940s and 1950s. This was McCarthy’s truth.
Hellman, however, was a notorious liar, of whom novelist Mary McCarthy (no relation to Joseph) said, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” Historian Alice Kessler-Harris in her hagiographic 2012 volume A Difficult Woman attempted to justify Hellman as a literary fabulist with a poor memory who believed that truth is larger than fact. Dorothy Gallagher in her 2014 biography Lillian Hellman: An Imperious Life is having none of it,
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