Appearing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Monday, liberal MSNBC panelist Karen Finney angrily hung up on the host after he dismantled her claim that conservatives are modern day McCarthyites for opposing health care. Hewitt stopped Finney and demanded she explain her historical analogy.
As described by Politico, Hewitt pressed, "Did any communists infiltrate the United States government?" Finney squirmed, "I think if we go back to the McCarthy hearings, it’s pretty clear that he created a culture of paranoia and fear that people later recognized, they sort of bought into it and then recognized that it was absolutely misplaced." The former head of the Democratic National Committee even declined to answer this basic question: "Was Alger Hiss a communist?"
Refusing to be diverted, Hewitt needled, "Karen, Karen, I’m just a little talk show host, I’m not an MSNBC host, I just have history...I just want to know, do you think Alger Hiss was a communist?"
After Finney (see file photo at right) instructed her conservative host to "go ahead and name" Cold War-era communists, Hewitt retorted, "Can you?"
Writing about the exchange on National Review, John Fund explained:
What is astonishing is that some liberals still can’t have an honest conversation about Alger Hiss, a top State Department official who accompanied FDR to the Yalta Summit in 1945 and was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations. I don’t believe Finney, a savvy operator, didn’t know who he was. Instead, as former Washington Post editor Susan Jacoby wrote in her book on Alger Hiss, the case "strikes chords located along ideological fault lines" to this day.
Apparently, we still have to clear up the historical perspective that some of today’s liberals have about the Cold War and the seeming inability some of them have to acknowledge that there were Communists in government back then — and that that fact is distinct from Joe McCarthy’s endlessly cited excesses.
The charge of McCarthyism is amusing coming from an MSNBC personality. Karen Finney has repeatedly appeared on the Martin Bashir program. That host has compared Rick Santorum to mass murdering communist Joseph Stalin.