The leftist phrase “Red scare” is meant to imply a political paranoia that caused people to be falsely charged with communist espionage. But even today, leftist media outlets like National Public Radio use “Red scare” even as they admit the people involved were communists trying to aid the Soviet Union.
On Saturday’s Weekend Edition, NPR anchor Scott Simon proved again that they never tire of beating this drum as he promoted 98-year-old Miriam Moskowitz, trying to clear a 1950 “McCarthy era” conviction.
SIMON: Miriam Moskowitz is 98 years old and a convicted felon. In 1950, federal agents arrested Ms. Moskowitz and her then boss and secret lover, Abraham Brothman, Mr. Brothman was an associate of Harry Gold, who would later confess that he was a Soviet spy. They were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, for lying to federal investigators, based on the testimony of Harry Gold. It was the height of the Cold War -- the McCarthy era, when what was called the Red scare, gripped the country. Ms. Moskowitz spent two years in prison and was angry. Sixty-four years later, she now wants to clear her name.
Moskowitz was working with (and having an affair with) Arthur Brothman, then happily sharing his inventions with his Soviet spy contact, Mr. Gold. She told NPR she is innocent, but wouldn’t testify because of the adultery secret with the married Brothman and because she had belonged to the Communist Party and refused to name names of other party members:
MOSKOWITZ: I had a personal relationship with Brothman, but the more important reason was that if the prosecutor would have asked me had I ever belonged to the Communist Party, I would've had to answer yes because I was a member briefly. He would then have asked name some of the people you knew in the Communist Party. And at that point, I would have said I cannot do that. My conscience would not let me because they will suffer job loss, all kinds of punishment.
It’s at best unclear who was telling the truth about lying to federal investigators in 1950. But to Simon and the NPR gang, what they call “McCarthyism” is always more damaging to lives than Soviet communism was. It’s ancient history now to ask what happened to lives lost or damaged under Soviet communism, but they’re still playing the violins for American communists:
SIMON: Ms. Moskowitz, you spent two years in prison, paid, I guess, a $10,000 fine.
SIMON: A lot of money in those days.
MOSKOWITZ: An awful lot. I paid it off, by the way. It took me about 20 years.
SIMON: And what was the rest of your life like because of this conviction?
MOSKOWITZ: The rest of my life was sort of - I lived a double life. I hid the conviction. I always had the fear that when I met new people they would discover who I was and I'd have to scoot out of their lives for several years. It was a nightmare.
SIMON: Ms. Moskowitz, why open this case up again at the age of 98?
MOSKOWITZ: Because I'm near the end of my life. Because I am so fearful about the future of my country - this McCarthyism, whatever you want to call it, could happen again. And if I can do anything to put on the record what can happen in an extreme case, I think I've done a job of good citizenship.
SIMON: Miriam Moskowitz – her case to clear her name of the 1950 conviction is scheduled next week in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Ms. Moskowitz, thanks so much for speaking with us.
The NPR summary of the story was even more dramatic: Moskowitz says she was swept up in the hunt for communists in the 1950s during the McCarthy era....Moskowitz spent two years in prison and had to pay a $10,000 fine. The conviction destroyed her life, she says. The FBI continued to follow her after she left prison. She lost job after job because agents spooked whomever she worked for. For a time, she contemplated suicide.