As so often happens, a meme is popping up all over at once. (Is that the very definition of a meme?) The same day I wrote “McCarthyism” along the margins of an article in my Wall Street Journal, I also saw the expression “new McCarthyism” in an excellent post I read, The Orwellian War on Skepticism.
I don’t know if modern readers realize that Joe McCarthy was a hero to many back in the day (or maybe it was just my parents??) but he was regarded by some as more the victim of a witch-hunt than the conductor of one. He was even later redeemed in a way, if I recall correctly, both in a US court of law with the conviction of Algier Hiss (for more on this, read the fantastic book Witness, by Whittaker Chambers) as well as with the mountain of Soviet evidence revealed in the Venona Papers that support even some of McCarthy’s most ridiculed claims.
Growing up, however, I recall emphasizing to my parents the importance of evidence as my only argument that could bridge the gap between their views and what seemed to me everyone else on the planet’s views! My mother even liked Roy Cohn for the rest of his sordid life based solely on the fact that he was McCarthy’s lawyer! So I’m not here to judge McCarthy or to validate the demonic connotations of the term McCarthyism, but I do want to point out that the Democrats who surely think themselves as the first to decry any form of McCarthyism are now leading the charge. (Left cover, right cover 1-2-3.)
Here is the article in the Journal that reminded me of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC, aka McCarthyism), in which there is a Congressional body (the CFIUS) investigating whether recent Chinese investments in Hollywood are proxies for Red Chinese infiltration of “soft power.”
China’s Dalian Wanda Group Faces Renewed U.S. Regulatory Scrutiny
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer raises concerns over Chinese conglomerate’s Hollywood takeovers
“Wanda’s acquisitions in Hollywood have raised concerns among politicians and some entertainment executives that they are “soft power” plays designed to spread Chinese culture and messaging through American media. The country is the second-largest movie market in the world behind North America, but it imposes a quota of 34 movies that can be imported from all countries to its theaters each year.”
By coincidence, I saw another reference to that soft-power concept in an excellent article that also makes reference to the new McCarthyism (but beware, the author was blacklisted as fake news!):
Yet, what Stengel and various mainstream media outlets appear to be arguing for is the creation of a “Ministry of Truth” managed by mainstream U.S. media outlets and enforced by Google, Facebook and other technology platforms.
As veteran war correspondent Don North reported in 2015 regarding this new StratCom, “the U.S. government has come to view the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’
Typical of this new McCarthyism, the report lacked evidence that any such network actually exists but instead targeted cases where American journalists expressed skepticism about claims from Western officialdom.
Check this out–foreshadowing from a KGB defector….