The Wrong McCarthyism
Where is Al Franken when you need him? The author of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot would have had a field day with Bill O'Reilly, but no, he had to go off and get elected to the U.S. Senate.
I know this took place a few days ago, though running around it's gotten me a bit behind and taken me a while to get up to speed. But I'm referring to when Bill O'Reill went on a bizarre hissy-fit rant about how difficult it's become for Trump to get not just A-list entertainers to perform at his innauguration, but almost anyone. However, as you may have read, he has a theory --
“The harsh truth is that there is reverse McCarthyism going on in the entertainment industry.” If you've finished shaking your head and rolling your eyes, I'll continue with his descent into emptiness. “A number of entertainers believe their careers will be harmed should they associate with a new Trump administration.”
How stupid is this? Even his guest Charles Krauthammer told O’Reilly off -- yes, Charles Krauthammer -- replying “I find it hard to get exercised over the fact that we may be short a Rockette at the inaugural celebration."
So much to say, so little time..
The main thing is that it shows a willful disingenuous on what McCarthyism actually was. Not that what he suggests has anything to do with what's at play, but if it did it wouldn't be even close enough to see the connection with the Hubble telescope, because it's McCarthyism was something else entirely. McCarthyism was the actual U.S. government using its authority to investigate people based on their political belief, bringing people to be questioned in Congress and asking them questions about their thoughts anad what they believe, throwing people in jail (actual jail) if they refused to comply.
That was MCarthyism. An offshoot of it is that people were literally blacklisted for their beliefs. Literally. Their names were actually kept in books (the most infamous was called Red Channels). And people were actually denied work and their livelihood as a result of it.
That's McCarthyism. This is people chosing of their own volition not to perform at an event.
Beyond that, Mr. O'Reilly in his meltdown has forgotten or chosing to ignore or just been to foolish to recognize several things. High among them is that, given that me live in a Democracy, people acctually have the right to entertain whoever they want for any reason they want. And more to the point is that it was clear during the election how many A-list celebrities didn't support Trump. So, why would one expect them to want to celebrate his Electoral College victory. And even more, it's not just a case of not supporting, but so many of them hating Trump, hating his racist statements, hating his encouraging racism, hating his misogyny, hating his ridiculting the disabled, hating his trashing of the press, hating his disparagement of U.S. Intelligence serves, hating demagoguery, hating his calls to "lock up" Hillary Clinton, hating his congenital lying, hating his support of hacking, hating his praise of Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the expense of President Barack Obama, and so much more.
And if people hate Trump SO much, hate him that much, why on earth would anyone sane and rational even think for a moment that such people would want to help celebrate his victory and entertain on his behalf???
Did Mr. O'Reilly not even consider such a possibility??? Hey, even Charles Krauthammer did.
While it's certainly possible that some entertainers' careers could be impacted negatively if they performed at a Trump Inauguration Ball (which speaks volumes), if it did possibly occur it would be because audiences were so offended that they stopped buying recordings or chose to not attend concerts -- not because of any institutional actions. Not that Mr. O'Reilly provided event a speck of lint as evidence of such a thing.
On the other hand, let's say that Beyonce, for one, did perform. I have a feeling that her career would be just fine. As would most anyone who chose to perform. But that's not at hand. The issue is that they simply hate the guy and hate all that he stands for and just simply have ZERO interest in entertaining on his behalf.
To me, much more shocking is that Ted Nugent hasn't volunteered or been asked to perform. Now, there's something for Bill O'Reilly to truly get up-in-arms outraged over...
Ultimately, the only McCarthyism at play here is Charlie McCarthy. Because Bill O'Reilly has shown himself to be a dummy. Perhaps even mouthing someone else's words.
1/6/2017 07:08:03 pm
I'll consider listening to this "noted historian" when he apologizes for his insistence that American troops murdered German prisoners near Malmedy, during the Battle of the Bulge. This contrasting with reality, where SS troops murdered American POWs. What a schmuck.
1/8/2017 10:49:06 pm
Yes, I remember that well -- the massacre at Malmedy. Disgraceful. I can't disagree with your assessment.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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