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What Effect Did McCarthyism Have On 1950's Media In The United States?

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Introduction

What Effect Did McCarthyism Have On 1950's Media? Fred Hintz A.Plan of Investigation This investigation assesses the effects of the "red-hunter" policies in the 1950's on the media of the time. The specific media that were affected during this period that are examined in this investigation are film, television, and the radio. The methodology of the HUAC in limiting the various media is investigated, as is the response of the leaders in the media at the time. The two sources used in the investigation that are further analyzed are Nightmare In Red: The McCarthy Era In Perspective by Richard M. Fried and Banned In The Media: A Reference Guide to Censorship in the Press by Herbert N. Foerstel. They are evaluated for their origins, purposes, values, and limitations. This investigation does not assess the ideology of McCarthyism, or any of the other practices and policies put in place because of McCarthyism. This investigation also does not assess the effect of McCarthyism on present-day media. B. Summary Of Evidence. The largest organizations that targeted "subversiveness" in American society in the 1950's were the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), and, specifically geared towards communist influences in the media, AWARE, Inc. ...read more.

Middle

However, the AWARE organization managed to blacklist Faulk, and he was fired from his position at his radio station. After 6 years of unemployment, he managed to get the organization into court and won 3,500,000 in punitive and compensatory damages (Foerstel 81). The court case was a milestone against the McCarthyist establishment, but still managed to smear the reputation and career of John Henry Faulk. In the film industry, ten screenwriters and directors found to be communists or communist sympathizers were put on trial before the HUAC and refused to cooperate with the unjust inquisition. The Hollywood Ten, as they were called, consisted of Lester Cole, Alvah Bessie, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Malts, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalotn Trumbo, Herbert Biberman, and Edward Dmytryk. The Ten, rather than let themselves be put on trial, attempted to turn the tables on their plaintiffs, and questioned the righteousness of the court. In example, John Howard Lawson, in response to the "$64 Question": "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the communist party?", said "It is shameful that I have to teach this committee the basic principles of American[ism]" [Fried 16]. ...read more.

Conclusion

The cases of John Henry Faulk and The Hollywood Ten proved the HUAC and AWARE to be entirely unjust and radical. John Henry Faulk's legal defeat over AWARE proved that AWARE was not only targeting communists, seeing as Faulk was not a communist himself, but was instead targeting anyone who tried to stand in their way. The various hearings in which the Hollywood Ten were tried were not important in a legal sense, since the Ten were still imprisoned for infringement of the law, but ,since they managed to shed light on the injustice that the HUAC was perpetrating, they still were a milestone for the American public to see the problems with McCarthyism. E. Conclusion In all forms of the media, the censorship inflicted during the 1950s due to McCarthyism was major. The blacklists that caused mass purging of employees in media corporations were a direct effect of McCarthyism. The loyalty oaths set in place by major television networks were then a direct effect of the publishing of blacklists by the HUAC. The cases of the Hollywood Ten and John Henry Faulk were a response to the unjust behavior set forth by the McCarthyist establishment. ...read more.

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