The Wisconsin Republican's name has been transformed into an epithet, “McCarthyism,” by much of the political Left that is intended to mean smearing political opponents with unfounded charges. While the Left and much of the Right accepted as gospel that McCarthy's charges were false, many conservatives (including the late William F. Buckley) have defended McCarthy as essentially correct on the facts and the specific cases he mentioned publicly. But in an interview with author M. Stanton Evans, Beck gave a fair summary of Soviet penetration of U.S. government after the Second World War that has only become known since the mid-1990s with the release of the Venona Papers, FBI files, and other primary source documents.
Beck asked: “The question is, was Joseph McCarthy right? Was he right?” And the inescapable conclusion he came to after reading Evans' Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy was that McCarthy had told the truth. (The book was reviewed by The New American here.) “I don't want to believe this,” Beck told Evans of his reaction when Evans' book was first published in 2007. “I put it down and I went 'I'm not ready to hear that. I can't handle that.'" But Beck later finished the book anyway and asked the audience, "Okay. Please, America, read this book.”
M. Stanton Evans told Beck of his research on McCarthy that “I found a lot of stuff missing, a lot of stuff had been censored, a lot of stuff that was in the records in one place but blacked out in another place. Mostly what I found was that the FBI files, which backed up what McCarthy was saying, had been withheld for 50 years. And we now have them, or many of them, and they show essentially that he was right in general. There was a massive penetration of the government, and that it was covered up, and that he threatened that cover-up. And that's why he was isolated, demonized, and destroyed. That's the technique.”
Beck pointed out that the “Red Scare” of the 1950s had more to do with ensuring employees of the U.S. government were loyal to their employer and not to a rival nation rather than a mere battle against a particular political or philosophical opinion. “If you were a Marxist then, you were a Soviet sympathizer. You were a traitor to our country," Beck noted of the Stalinist era. "You've got to put that into perspective.” Nevertheless, leftists are apoplectic about the content of Beck's program, while conservative organizations like The John Birch Society have trumpeted this first salvo in the mainstream media to resurrect the legacy of America's most famous anti-communist Senator.
Photo: Sen. Joseph McCarthy