McCarthyism Then and Now
Joe McCarthy (1908-1957) was a fiery demagogue who exploited and contributed to the anti-Communism hysteria of the 40s and 50s. He accused the Democratic Party of “twenty years of treason.” He said, “Those who wear the label Democrat, wear it with the stain of a historic betrayal. The Democrat Party stands for government of, by and for Communist crooks and cronies.” The junior senator from Wisconsin claimed to have lists of known communists in government. This program features audio from McCarthy and Edward R. Murrow’s famous See It Now TV broadcast as well as the 1954 Senate hearings which led to his downfall. It was during those hearings when counsel for the Army Joseph Welch asked McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last?” Sender Garlin gives the background and context on the rise of McCarthy and his ultimate demise.
Interview by David Barsamian as part of the Hemispheres public affairs program which he co-founded on KGNU.
Sender Garlin was a radical journalist and author of Three American Radicals. Howard Zinn said this about him, “As a reporter, he interviewed such diverse figures as Clarence Darrow, Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Huey Long, Lenin’s widow Krupskaya, and Olga Kniper-Chekhova, the Moscow theater star and widow of the great Russian writer. Sender helped form the John Reed Club in the early 1930s and was a founding editor of Partisan Review before he moved on to write for The Masses. His main thrust and satirical barbs were always against the system: the exploitation, the racism, the militaristic nationalism that have plagued this century, whether in the extreme form of Fascism or in more disguised form.” Sender Garlin died in 1999.