Media Mashup: December 28, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 5.26.23 AMJoe McCarthy vs. Christiane Amanpour

Although the late Wisconsin senator went over the top in his tactics, his basic charge was true. Communists had infiltrated the top levels of the U.S. government.

I bring this fact up because I recently got pummelled for criticizing CNN’s Christiane Amanpour’s comparison of Donald Trump to McCarthy. Here is an assessment of McCarthy from no less an anti-McCarthy and anti-Trump bastion as The New York Times:

“The declassified Venona decrypts have revealed to the public the full extent and depth of Soviet spying in America and proved that fears of Russian espionage networks at work in the highest reaches of the government were not fantasy but sober fact. Meanwhile, independent sources from iron curtain Hungary have confirmed Alger Hiss’s role as a Soviet spy, just as Russian sources (including his former KGB case officer) have finally definitively established that Julius Rosenberg was a central figure in the Soviet spy network (although the importance of the material he provided on the atomic bomb, and the degree of his wife Ethel’s involvement, is still under debate). Even the truth about Owen Lattimore, the most famous of McCarthy’s “victims,” has finally come out, thanks to a former Chinese espionage agent’s memoirs and declassified FBI files, which go a long way to vindicate McCarthy’s original charges. In retrospect, the cause McCarthy made his own — anticommunism — has proved to be more valid and durable than the basic assumptions of his anti-anti-Communist critics.”

I am not much of a Trump supporter, but I do favor accuracy. For more “truth,” see

What’s Wrong With Journalism?

“The “Quote of the Year” Award went to professor Melissa Harris-Perry. When guest Alfonso Aguilar praised Paul Ryan as a “hard worker” on Oct. 26, the MSNBC schoolmarm took exception. “I want us to be super-careful when we use the language ‘hard worker,’ because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.”

“Comparing the speaker of the House to antebellum slaves? She concluded: “So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker, I do, but in the context of relative privilege.”

For more, see

What’s Wrong With Journalism II?

Gay Talese on the problems of journalism: “I believe the cronyism between people in power within journalism, or the ruling forces within areas of government – the State Department, the Defense Department, the White House – where people had an understanding of one another. They were, like, from the same class. There was no underclass! You know what I mean? They swim in the same pools, they belong to the same clubs. Their wives and everyone goes to the same fucking cocktail parties.”

For a lot more, see

Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist, who reported in Europe and the Middle East. He teaches media law and international journalism. Send suggestions and tips to





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