I was watching the What’s My Line show from 1958, with Judy Holliday and she seemed a decent enough sort:
As always, I checked her out after that at Wiki, remembering Wiki always gives a leftsided view on people in the public eye. This stood out:
Bernard Dick summed up Holliday’s acting: “Perhaps the most important aspect of the Judy Holliday persona, both in variations of Billie Dawn and in her roles as housewife, is her vulnerability…her ability to shift her mood quickly from comic to serious is one of her greatest technical gifts.”
Suggesting she was able to mimic emotions, to play a part, which of course actors must, to be able to do the job well.
George Cukor said Holliday had, “In common with the great comedians …that depth of emotion, that unexpectedly touching emotion, that thing which would unexpectedly touch your heart.”
But oh ho ho, what was this? She was investigated by McCarthy in the ’50s for being a communist sympathiser.
In 1952, she was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to “explain” why her name had been linked to Communist front organizations. She was advised to play dumb (like some of her film characters), which she did very well.
Disingenuous by occupation. And exploring further, including The Ten on the list, it seems that one of the panel on What’s My Line – Martin Gabel – always presented as a sweet man and Arlene Francis’s husband, was one of them too.
That then led to this piece on Bogie and Bacall, a eulogy for the now deceased Bacall, therefore forgiving, Bogie quite complex on the matter but Bacall a long way to the left of him and remaining so all her life. That’s covered in more depth further down the post.
Interesting that the actual communists – those who really were members of the party, dedicated to the bringing down of American society and reconstituting it along Soviet lines, still used the First and then Fifth Amendments to protect themselves personally in order to carry out their campaign.
As any student of history knows, the USA had just come out of the shadow of Hitler’s fascism, it was actually people on the right who had exposed the way Standard Oil and others had colluded with the Nazis and most of America wanted none of that ever again. The ties between big business and Trotsky and Lenin also came out, the sudden Soviet presence in Berlin, the atom bomb.
In those days, not forgetting the leftwing universities churning out the new American, unbeknowns to most Americans, it seemed to many that the only alternative to fascism was socialism, nothing inbetween.
If you listen to Guy Burgess‘s rhetoric [here] and that of the other Cambridge spies, it seemed that communism was the only way to stop the Nazis behind the government. It did look that way at that time, with things coming out about how the British elite had colluded, including Edward.
So these left-liberals were doing it from noble motives to a large extent – hoping to stop fascism as they saw it.
As a newly decanted graduate myself a couple of decades on, I was of the left, I joined the Fabians for just that reason – to stop these bstds called Them and their foreign policy.
A left-liberal who enjoyed his way of life in America might be shocked to find that he actually agreed on many principles with those accusing him.
The issue was that the left saw it as Fascism v socialism, with socialism the good guys, while the JBS saw it as Fascism and Communism in one bag, as two names for the same lot of extremists who would wreck society for an ideology … and ordinary Americans on the other.
What got in the way was:
1. McCarthy was borderline alcoholic, used to bullying and as Eisenhower said – it was not the principles he disagreed with – he agreed with many of them – but the way, after the initial Ten had been nailed, it became a bit indiscriminate, quite indiscriminate, to the extent that if one was accused, one had to defend oneself.
McCarthy gave the very monster he was attacking all the fuel it needed. For goodness sake – attacking Hollywood actors, people adept as dissembling, by definition?
2. And in nailing people called communist, he missed the very people perpetrating the trouble – those safe and secure up there in govt, Them, sitting behind and above the McCarthy chair, observing him grilling some poor left-liberal for entertaining the idea of communism.
Then the right turned on him and said, “Enough!” He had just created a new victim class. The Man did his thing, gave McCarthy enough rope, the rest just followed. The forces ranged against him were legion.
He died a broken man at 48.
Yet he was not essentially wrong, as we know in 2015 because the documents are available to all on the net. Communist in those days meant Soviet but that was not the way the real global federalists operated, men and women with no state, no party affiliation except nominal. So in McCarthy’s enthusiasm and distaste for communists labelled a witchhunt, the real enemy above and behind was now as safe as houses.
Look at that Bill Whittle clip again where the Tea Party woman at the end tries to explain to the brainwashed reporter that they are equally against the GOP and Democrats combined – that’s never going to be allowed to air on the MSM.
Yet these things, in the context and language of the day, were precisely what Senator Jenner referred to, as did Larry McDonald, as did Wilson, as did Lindbergh Snr, as did Teddy Roosevelt, as did the press of the day, as did Old Dixie, as did Louis McFadden – all of these people warned:
Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by Congress, the President, or the people. Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government – a bureaucratic elite.
We have a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state… The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization. It is a dynamic, aggressive, elite corps, forcing its way through every opening, to make a breach for a collectivist one-party state.
It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government without suspecting that change is under way… If I seem to be extremist, the reason is that this revolutionary clique cannot be understood, unless we accept the fact that they are extremist.
It is difficult for people governed by reasonableness and morality to imagine the existence of a movement which ignores reasonableness and boasts of its determination to destroy; which ignores morality, and boasts of its cleverness in outwitting its opponents by abandoning all scruples.
This ruthless power-seeking elite is a disease of our century… This group … is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable.
It is Them in today’s terms. Sutherland is one. Prince Bernhard, Blair, Mandelson, Davignon, Juncker, Barosso, it is the CIA heads, e.g. Dulles, Bush Snr. It’s the old money, the old families. It’s way more extensive than most imagine. It does exist. People like Larry McDonald or Louis McFadden do not cry out over these things just to hear their own voices – they have seen whilst in the corridors of power and are trying to warn a non-listening world.
Words like communist are inadequate when referring to Them. Words like left-right become inadequate. Those up top who run the countries and who wish to preserve their positions by keeping the plebs down and at each other’s throats invent faux ideology and people are then at each other’s throats.
All the while, Them work towards a federated world government – there is no theory whatever in this – the SPPNA is a good start, the origins of the League of Nations and the UN a follow-up – but not gleaned from Wiki, use alternative sources.
Truman called for it quite openly. Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex. It was most unfortunate how McCarthyism got out of hand because these below were the principles those backing him actually believed in:
* Defend the Constitution from encroachment by groups and individuals who wish to erode and then replace it with their own version of its provisions, bring awareness that there are certainly groups within the society and in high places who are dedicated to bringing in a society with values inimical to those of constitutional America
* Reduce the federal bureaucracy, reduce government and therefore costs to the taxpayer
* Stem illegal immigration, applicants to go through legitimate channels, reduce the huge influx of undocumented immigration, welcome those correctly entering the country, irrespective of race, colour, religion – no place for racism
* Do not dabble in other people’s wars, we are not the world’s policemen, charity begins at home
* Keep the press free and able to report on what is happening
* Revoke U.S. membership of the United Nations, the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Trade Organization, UNICEF, GATT, the “useless and costly” NATO; all foreign aid, graduated income tax, government wage and price controls, the Federal Reserve system, the “mental health racket”, programs “regimenting” farmers
* Support pro-life, gun rights, property rights, privacy, national sovereignty, family, marriage
* There is no coordination among conservatives, which makes them unable to oppose coordinated action by the elite which is running government. There needs to be some constructive opposition.
Fairly mainstream. Ludwig von Mises supported these principles, most Catholics believed in them. That’s what the John Birch Society was about, even then. So what went wrong?
The left press, e.g. Time, Newsweek, Guardian, in collusion with those I call Them, along with GOP liberals, were out to smash the influence of the JBS, having just come through the “witchhunts”. JBS were asking very awkward questions, for example, during LBJ’s reign, in the context of JFK:
This included a detailed look at the relationship between Johnson and Billy Sol Estes. Haley pointed out that three men who could have provided evidence in court against Estes, George Krutilek, Harold Orr and Howard Pratt, all died of carbon monoxide poisoning from car engines.
JBS and similar groups and individuals were way too close for comfort, they refused to align with the official GOP, they had members on both sides – McDonald, one of their heroes, was a Democrat, they had blacks, Jewish, Muslims crossing the country giving speeches, which gave the lie to the anti-semite charges and anti-black charges.
They were conservatives in the Tea Party tradition. You can like or dislike the Tea Party but that’s where JBS was. But not McCarthy – his tactics strayed into the bully-boy.
WHEN BOGIE AND BACALL WERE DUPED BY HOLLYWOOD COMMUNISTS
She’s also being celebrated by liberals as a fighter for freedom in the arts, one who bravely confronted the closed-minded anti-communists in Washington—a stoic battler against Joe McCarthy and his “witch hunts.”
Sorry, but reality is more complicated.
The facts are that Lauren Bacall herself learned the truth about communism in Hollywood. She admitted to being badly duped by bad guys. She learned her lesson, even as her fellow Hollywood liberals to this day have not, opting instead for a false narrative that feeds a handy caricature. Here’s what really happened:
In October 1947, Lauren Bacall joined a group of high-profile Hollywood actors, writers, and producers for a major public-relations trip to Washington. The group’s stated goal was to defend the First Amendment freedoms of their accused friends and colleagues—accused, that is, of being communists dedicated to infiltrating the motion-picture industry as a means to peddle propaganda. The accused were summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities as “unfriendly” witnesses. (For the record, Senator Joe McCarthy had absolutely nothing to do with this.)
Unbeknownst to Lauren Bacall and friends, nearly every single one of the accused was a closet communist formally pledged to Stalin’s Soviet Union. When these individuals joined Communist Party USA, they swore a loyalty oath to strive to “ensure the triumph of Soviet power in the United States.” They were committed to what CPUSA general secretary William Z. Foster openly called a “Soviet America,” or what other hope-filled comrades called a “United Soviet States of America” (USSA).
Of course, these communists didn’t dare tell any of this to their liberal/progressive friends. They assured their pals that they were good liberals/progressives just like them. They would never support a totalitarian dictatorship. They insisted that they were being unjustly hounded and persecuted and silenced. This was an outrage, they said, a violation of their First Amendment/Constitutional freedoms (none of which existed in the Soviet Union).
And thus, they needed the help of their friends. Would these fellow Hollywood liberals/progressives lend a hand? Would they come to Washington to support them?
The liberals were more than game. After consulting with the “unfriendlies,” they created a group called the “Committee for the First Amendment.” It was a classic name for a communist front, one that made communists smile at their cleverness, especially when they were easily duping fellow leftists.
The liberal stars they enlisted ran into the hundreds, with big names like Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Myrna Loy, Paulette Goddard. A group of roughly two dozen lent more than their signatures; they actually set sail for Washington: Danny Kaye, Ira Gershwin, Judy Garland, John Garfield, Sterling Hayden, Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, John Huston, Philip Dunne, Billy Wilder, and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Bogart and Bacall topped the list, as they would any blockbuster movie.
“Before we left Hollywood,” said Bogart later, “we carefully screened every performer so that no red or pink could infiltrate and sabotage our purpose.” The street-wise Bogie prided himself in his ability not to be tricked. As one “First Amendment” crusader put it, Bogart “feels that he’s the most politically sophisticated guy in our business.”
The tough-talking Bogie seemed a most unlikely character to be duped. Neither he nor his girl, Lauren Bacall, would be anyone’s sucker.
The crew from the Committee for the First Amendment boarded a plane bearing the name (no kidding) Red Star, which immediately raised suspicions among the liberals, including Bacall, though apparently not enough to stop the voyage. “Coincidence or design?” Lauren Bacall wrote later.
What happened on the road from California to Washington is fascinating political theater. It would make a terrific movie, if someone in modern Hollywood dared to portray it accurately. In my 2010 book, Dupes, I lay it out at length, including the breathtakingly naïve statements along the way from the likes of Judy Garland, Danny Kaye, Gene Kelly, John Garfield, and so many other Hollywood Golden Agers whose movies I love. These statements were seized by the likes of the Daily Worker, which turned them into giant headlines.
The liberals/progressives, mouthing the talking points of the closet communists, were vicious toward the House committee. They literally compared the congressmen to Nazis, stormtroopers, Goebbels, Hitler, the Spanish Inquisition, and on and on. The four major Hollywood writers called to testify—Dalton Trumbo, Albert Maltz, Alvah Bessie, and John Howard Lawson (a.k.a., “Hollywood’s Commissar”)—were especially belligerent.
Alas, to make a long story short, the liberals/progressives were stunned, dumbfounded, shocked beyond belief, and deeply betrayed when they got to Washington and found that the accused communists were undeniably and unmistakably just that: communists. Congress, both Republicans and Democrats alike, openly presented mountains of evidence: registration rolls, news clips, Daily Worker articles, New Masses’ bylines, front-group memberships, party applications, forms, cards, checks, cash, and even numbers. The world quickly learned some crucial facts. To wit:
• Dalton Trumbo, Communist Party registration card, no. 47187, code no. “Dalt T.” A total of 39 citations with communist or communist-front affiliations.
• Albert Maltz, Communist Party registration card, no. 47196. A total of 58 citations with communist or communist-front affiliations.
• Alvah Bessie, Communist Party registration card, no. 46836. A total of 32 citations with communist or communist-front affiliations.
• John Howard Lawson, Communist Party registration card, no. 47275.
As for Lawson, he was a one-man communist-front. Congressional investigators presented the May 18, 1934 Daily Worker identifying Lawson as no less than one of its own correspondents; a November 1946 issue of Masses & Mainstream listing Lawson as a member of its editorial board (along with Alvah Bessie and Dalton Tumbo); and the awful fact that Lawson (who was Jewish) was a sponsor of the odious American Peace Mobilization, which from 1940-41 had accommodated Hitler because of Hitler’s alliance with Stalin. It was one of the most insidious communist fronts. Joining Lawson in the front were Albert Maltz, Budd Schulberg, Herbert Biberman, Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman, Artie Shaw, and Will Geer.
The evidence was undeniable—and only made the likes of Lawson, Trumbo, Maltz, and Bessie even angrier. Lawson was fuming. He had to be escorted out of the hearing room as he screamed at the House committee: “Hitler’s Germany!… Hitler tactics!”
All of which brings me back to Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Bogart, much like his Hollywood persona, was a mercurial fellow. You didn’t backstab Bogie. Already a loose fuse, he grew redder and redder as the facts on Hollywood’s communists rolled in, and then he detonated. “You f—ers sold me out!” he yelled at Danny Kaye.
Unbelievable as it may seem, Lauren Bacall later said that as she and Bogie and the others flew to Washington, they did not know that most of the unfriendlies called to testify were secretly members of the Communist Party. “We didn’t realize until much later,” she admitted, “that we were being used to some degree by the Unfriendly Ten.” She conceded that they had been foolishly naïve, headstrong, emotional, and that they had hastily strolled into something “we knew nothing about.”
Most members of the Committee for the First Amendment felt that way. The group fell silent, withered, and died.
That’s the history. The villains were the communists who lied to and exploited their liberal friends. The communists had hung the liberals out to dry, tarnishing their reputations with the movie-going public. Liberals like the wonderful lyricist Ira Gershwin now appeared before the California legislature to explain how he could be so oblivious as to host meetings for a communist front at his home. All the liberals endeavored to explain themselves.
Bogart, too, looked to repair the damage. He went public with a strong statement explaining why “I am not a communist,” nor, for that matter, “a communist sympathizer.” “I detest communism just as any decent American does,” wrote Bogie. “I’m about as much in favor of communism as J. Edgar Hoover.” He pledged that his name would never again “be found on any communist front organization as a sponsor for anything communistic.”
(For the record, in Dupes, I include a lengthy analysis on whether Bogart had attended a Communist Party training school in New York in 1934, when he was much further to the left than where he was by the end of his life. I found a “Bogart” on the registration list held in the Soviet Comintern archives on CPUSA. It was a question that I had wanted to ask Lauren Bacall, but never had the chance. Frankly, I doubt she would have been agreeable.)
Bogart conceded that the trip to Washington had been “ill-advised, even foolish,” “foolish and impetuous.” He told Newsweek, “We went green and they beat our brains out.” He said that liberals like himself could no longer “permit ourselves to be used as dupes by commie organizations.”
All over the world, the press took potshots at Bogie: “Was Bogart’s Face Red?” chuckled the headline in London’s News Chronicle. “Don’t try to fox me again,” columnist George Sokolsky warned Bogart in an open letter in the New York Sun.
By 1952, Bogart even considered voting Republican. He almost cast a ballot for Eisenhower in the presidential election, but his unrelentingly liberal wife vehemently objected. Lauren Bacall would remain well to the left of her husband—and of the nation, for that matter.
But at least in 1947, Bacall and her fellow liberals learned a hard lesson. Yes, she would remain a liberal, but she was chastened by this experience. May she rest in peace, hopefully far removed from the schemes of lying Stalinists.
Let me repeat:
She conceded that they had been foolishly naïve, headstrong, emotional, and that they had hastily strolled into something “we knew nothing about.”
Now if the right could have shut up and just allowed the left to come to its own realization, if the witchhunts had been far more focussed and clever, more organized, quite openly fair, as they were in the initial days, if common, garden variety left-liberals who are just basically dogooders had been left unthreatened with ruin, then the people as a whole might have stayed onside – and they were very much onside in the early days.
The possibility of left and right for once not at odds on certain issues was a very dangerous one and had to be stopped at all costs.
Which leaves a dead Bogey and Bacall and the utter mess in the US and overseas today, the country under the thumb of the CFR and banksters, of Them. Clinton is one of the criminal class of Them about to assume the highest office once they McCarthyize Trump.
And it will go on. The only time, and not for altruistic reasons, Them ever came a cropper in the US was in 1832/33, it was a major setback for the illuminists and was never repeated.
In 1910, they held the Jeckyll Island meeting with the German Warburg and others, the result being the Fed in 2013 when no one was looking. And all the ups and downs since then have been due to Fed action or rather inaction.