History

By Ken Shepherd | January 29, 2014 | 5:25 PM EST

"[I]t’s important to remember that [Pete] Seeger, once an avowed Stalinist, was a political singer devoted to a sinister political system--a position he held long after the Soviet experiment drenched itself in blood and collapsed in ignominy."

With lines like that, the Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan might find himself crossed off a few Christmas card lists and curiously uninvited to some cocktail parties. And yet, things like that must be said. Kudos to Moynihan for recounting these inconvenient truths in "The Death of 'Stalin's Songbird'":

By Matthew Sheffield | January 23, 2014 | 6:08 PM EST

It’s hard to imagine, but for many years, conservatives and Republicans were rather common in Hollywood. Exploring that history is worth doing not just because it is informative but also because it illustrates that there is no good reason that people on the Right could not have a bigger presence in that industry today.

Arizona State University professor Donald Critchlow has done an important service in this regard with his new book When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. I had the pleasure recently of speaking with him about his work, the transcript of which follows this introduction.

By Cal Thomas | January 2, 2014 | 6:57 PM EST

In his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a "war on poverty." Today, with roughly the same number of people below the poverty level as in 1964 and with many addicted to government "benefits," robbing them of a work ethic, it is clear that the poor have mostly lost the war.

In 1964, the poverty rate was about 19 percent. Census data from 2010 indicates that 15.1 percent are in poverty within a much larger population.

By Paul Bremmer | December 20, 2013 | 4:45 PM EST

Slate published an enlightening piece on Wednesday in which journalist and author David Skinner revealed the true origin of the term “redskin,” which many liberal journalists have been crusading for NFL owner Dan Snyder to disavow.

According to Skinner, the word originated with Native Americans as a self-descriptive term. He explained:

By Tim Graham | December 14, 2013 | 3:34 PM EST

On the “Free For All” page in Saturday’s Washington Post devoted to letters to the editor, three locals smacked the Post for failing to note the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 7.

None of the letters as printed made the point that the Post has “flooded the zone” with lots of coverage and special sections this year for the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and then the JFK assassination. So what about the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in 2011? What did that draw?

By Tim Graham | December 9, 2013 | 8:28 AM EST

On Friday's edition of The Diane Rehm Show that's broadcast on many NPR stations from Washington, the host mangled her presidential history, but her guests and producers all humored her, like you might humor a nice lady who's 77. No one suggested a gold watch and an open space for a younger NPR liberal behind the mic.

As Rehm and a crew of reporters aerobically compared Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela, Rehm claimed Reagan was president in 1979 when she first took the microphone at WAMU-FM in Washington and he didn't want the U.S. involved in any anti-apartheid activities (video below):

By Tim Graham | December 7, 2013 | 7:07 PM EST

At the Daily Beast, Michael Moynihan attempted to overcome the tendency of journalists and celebrities to make Nelson Mandela a secular saint. Moynihan recalled that when Margaret Thatcher died, these same people denounced her for here "indulgence" of right-wing dictators like Agosto Pinochet in Chile, who allowed his country to become a democracy.

ABC called her reign an “elective dictatorship.” NBC reported several times that “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” became a popular iTune after she passed away, and CBS predicted the funeral would be a "tense and controversial affair." It's safe to guess these networks wouldn't dream of recalling Mandela’s associations with despots like Fidel Castro and Muammar Qaddafi, as Moynihan insisted they should:

By Paul Bremmer | December 6, 2013 | 5:41 PM EST

With the passing of Nelson Mandela yesterday, it was a metaphysical certainty that the media would draw parallels between the legendary South African leader and Barack Obama. So it was not a surprise when it happened during a tribute package at the beginning of Friday’s Morning Joe.

As triumphant footage of Mandela rolled on the screen, co-host Mika Brzezinski read a scripted narrative:

By Paul Bremmer | November 22, 2013 | 5:35 PM EST

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago by a Communist sympathizer, yet Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC ran a package that emphasized right-wing hate in Dallas while failing to mention Lee Harvey Oswald or his ideological leanings. The package, narrated by Brian Shactman, focused on the “unspoken speech” that President Kennedy was planning to give on the day he was shot.

Shactman just couldn’t help but mention those hateful right-wingers:

By Tim Graham | November 19, 2013 | 8:57 AM EST

On the front of Tuesday's Style section of The Washington Post is an article titled "Hallowed ground, restored to its roots." The Post assigned gardening writer Adrian Higgins, who wrote of an "elaborate celebration of the 150th anniversary of the president's original remarks" at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863. But nowhere in the 25-paragraph story about clearing the landscape is there any notion that Barack Obama, who has routinely compared himself to Lincoln, refused to attend.

George Condon of National Journal was the latest to report on the snub: "Instead of going to Gettysburg, he will go to the Four Seasons Hotel to address The Wall Street Journal CEO Council's annual meeting and talk about the economy. In his place, he has dispatched little-known Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to the ceremonies." Spokesman Jay Carney offered nothing to reporters:

By Matthew Philbin | November 18, 2013 | 9:25 AM EST

It’s good to see the left finally upset about treasonous threats to the United States. Never really able to get worked up about communist spies, domestic terrorists or radical mosques, lefties – at least the ones at MSNBC – are sounding the alarm over … The Confederacy.

Everywhere the hosts and guests of MSNBC look they see gray and butternut – secessionists and white supremacists, wild-eyed states’ rights absolutists and grim Confederate holdouts plotting to dissolve the Union. Driven by racism and distrust of Washington, they form a “confederacy of hate.”

By Brent Baker | November 18, 2013 | 8:32 AM EST

Lee Harvey Oswald was far-left defector to the Soviet Union, but you’d never know that from Sunday’s ABC This Week which focused on Dallas as a cauldron of segregationist hate for President Kennedy without any mention of the political orientation of the actual assassin.

Using Dan Rather as his expert, ex-CBS and current ABC reporter Byron Pitts perpetuated the myth that right-wing hate was somehow responsible for what occurred in Dallas: “Nowhere in Texas did the jagged edge of segregation cut deeper, anti-Kennedy sentiment spew any stronger. This flyer [“Wanted for Treason”] greeted the President when he arrived.”