Media Still Decry 'Anti-Communist Witch Hunt' in Hollywood Obits

Tuesday's New York Times obituary on the life and work of American director Jules Dassin, "filmaker on blacklist," shows that anti-anti-Communism will never die. Times writer Richard Severo unfurls the usual flag in paragraph nine:

By the time he wrote and directed "Never on Sunday," a comedy about a good-hearted prostitute (Ms. Mercouri), the anti-Communist witch hunt in the United States had been discredited, and he had been accepted again.

This "witch hunt" language is offered despite the first paragraph acknowleged Dassin's membership in the Communist Party in the 1930s, as filmmaker Edward Dmytryk testified to Congress. The "witch hunt" found witches, but it was still "discredited."

Clearly, to the liberal media elite, Communist Party members are in no way witchy or evil. They may have bigger hearts and deeper consciences. As Dassin explained his Communist period:

He joined the Communist Party in 1930s, a decision he recalled in 2002 in an interview with The Guardian in London. “You grow up in Harlem where there’s trouble getting fed and keeping families warm, and live very close to Fifth Avenue, which is elegant,” he told the newspaper. “You fret, you get ideas, seeing a lot of poverty around you, and it’s a very natural process.”

Apparently, it's morally superior to have complete equality in squalor, as was the promise behind the Iron Curtain. But even there, the hypocritical rulers knew how to pamper themselves.

In the Los Angeles Times, Claudia Luther quotes from the communist-sympathetic book Tender Comrades by Paul Buhle and Patrick McGilligan, adding:

Of the blacklist period, Dassin often said that he was one of the lucky ones: He found work again after five years.

"I'm not bitter," the upbeat Dassin told L.A. Weekly when he was 90. "But there's an unhappiness for so many lives destroyed and for the effect it had on movies that were made, for a long time."

The liberal papers never tire of the sob story about "lives destroyed." I’ve often wondered about how crusading media liberals never attempt to explore the thorny paradox at the heart of this historical topic: wouldn’t America be weakened by granting every freedom to those who served lawless tyrannies who sought to crush that freedom?

Aside from the total avoidance of objectivity, a better question is this: How morally obtuse is a liberal newspaper writer that mocks the starvation of the Ukraine, the victims of the Gulag Archipelago, and the mind-numbing story of mass murder that tumbled out of the Soviet archives, by finding heinous evil in the fate of a film director who had to make movies in France and Greece?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis