Burriss: McCarthyism alive and well?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 11:50 am
By LARRY BURRISS
One of the complaints I'm hearing quite a bit about this year's presidential race is how little actual investigation is being done by reporters and news organizations, which is a pretty interesting charge considering that this Wednesday, March 9th, marks one of the most significant dates in the media.
Actually, Murrow did what reporters are supposed to do: he simply took the words McCarthy was using, and compared them against reality. He went to documents and previous statements the junior senator had used, and showed the public where the contradictions and outright lies were.
By showing McCarthy in action, and by using his own words, Murrow took a bold step in letting the public see just what tactics the junior senator from Wisconsin was using to destroy those who opposed his brand of patriotism.
At one time McCarthyism was seen as an aberration on the American political scene, but recent events have shown his tactics have not been forgotten, and are alive and well today.
At the end of the program Murrow didn't say McCarthy was entirely at fault for the situation. He also laid part of the blame on an apathetic and over-credulous public: Even Murrow's final words in the broadcast are just as applicable today: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."