The nauseating spectacle of Hollywood celebrities prostrating themselves before Obama highlights the hypocrisy, ignorance and outright stupidity of these celluloid intellectuals, of whom George Clooney is a particularly nauseating example. As Hollywood’s most prominent celluloid intellectual — the equally imbecilic Ron Howard is a very close second — he probably thought he was being profound as well as smart when he declared that “We are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood. I think that’s probably a good thing”. A not unexpected statement from a man who seems to credit Hollywood with saving America from fascism and racism.
(These sanctimonious Hollywood denizens never mention the fact that the Democrats were the party of slavery, lynching, segregation and Jim Crow).
Just how tolerant and patriotic is the Hollywood left? Not very if history is allowed to judge. The vicious attacks on the late and great Elia Kazan by Hollywood leftists exposed the hypocrisy and totalitarian mindset of those who George Clooney admires for being “a little bit out of touch” with the rest of the country. This disgusting treatment revealed the extent of the left’s malevolent influence in Botox Town and just exactly where its sympathies really lie. No matter which way you dress them up, the attacks on Elia Kazan amounted to support for American Stalinists. And this is something that should not be forgotten, regardless of what the buffoonish Clooney would have us believe. Something else that should not be forgotten is that most of the world’s media, meaning leftwing agitators masquerading as journalists, felt the same way.
For instance, I can distinctly recall that when I first read that Elia Kazan was to be awarded a life-time achievement Oscar at the 1999 ceremony I knew immediately which side the Australian media would join. I regret to say, events did not confound my prediction. Like Pavlovian dogs Melbourne’s Age and Murdoch’s Australian went in swinging for the Left. Shane Danielsen’s article (The Australian 19 March 1999) was especially sickening. (Danielsen is now the creative consultant for Hopscotch Films. I guess this means he is paid to make things up). This was not the first cowardly attack launched by The Australian against Elia Kazan. The so-called Culture Vulture column (The paper’s Weekend Magazine 19-20 September 1998) called Elia Kazan “odious”. Of course, there was no criticism of Hollywood Stalinists.
A photograph of Elia Kazan dominated the page and inset was a photo of Senator Joe McCarthy. The juxtaposition was grossly misleading and motivated by malice. Readers were clearly intended to conclude that Elia Kazan and McCarthy were in some way connected. A totally dishonest insinuation but just the kind of thing one expects from the diseased left.
Danielsen asserted that McCarthy had organised the 1952 House Committee on Un-American Activities. Really? The facts (those little things real journalists report) are to the contrary. At the time of the HUAC hearings McCarthy was running his own investigation into communist infiltration of the State Department and the military. (Incidentally, HUAC was set up in 1938 by Democrats). He had nothing at all to do with any hearings on communism in the entertainment industry which were conducted in the House of Representatives. Moreover, these investigations started in the 1940s and were requested by actors and studio executives, mainly as a reaction to the Communist Party’s own blacklist, something the likes of Danielsen and Clooney would never mention.
(This is one blacklist we never get to hear about. And just in case you think it’s dead, several years ago two young left-wing writers on the Sony Studio Lot got Robert Montgomery’s name taken off a building because he had been a “friendly witness” to HUAC. Needless to say, Clooney and the rest of the Hollywood left remained unmoved by this act of leftwing bastardry).
So why did Danielsen assert otherwise? Why did The Australian libellously portray Elia Kazan as being linked to McCarthy? Danielsen called Elia Kazan’s “early flirtation with Marxism [as] puzzling”. This is a disingenuous statement, to put it mildly, considering that Kazan had been a Party member for 17 years. If this is Danielsen’s idea of flirting I can only boggle at his definition of courting. In his autobiography, A Life, Kazan wrote:
After seventeen years of watching the Soviet Union turn into an imperialist power, was that truly what I wanted here in the [US?] Wasn’t what I’d been defending up until now by my silence a conspiracy working for another country?
Kazan made it abundantly clear in his book why he acted as he did:
. . .If you expect an apology now because I would later name names to the House Committee, you’ve misjudged my character. The ‘horrible, immoral thing’ I would do, I did out of my true self. Everything before was seventeen years of posturing. The people who owe you an explanation (no apology expected) are those who, year after year, held the Soviets blameless for all their crimes.
Given that Elia Kazan’s autobiography and On the Waterfront clearly delineated his views what are we to make of Danielsen’s comments? Readers have a right to expect informed and honest commentary. Can anyone seriously suggest that Danielsen’s article provided it. Danielsen went on to claim that “Elia Kazan should have maintained” his silence and that his actions were a “betrayal”. Of what?
Let us get several things in order. If the people he ‘betrayed’ had been unrepentant members of the American Nazi Party and had taken their orders from Hitler would Elia Kazan be called a traitor for revealing their names? Not in a zillion years. On the contrary, Hollywood would have hailed him as a brave and honest man, as would Danielsen. What’s more, Clooney would probably have produced a film called a Elia Kazan: A Profile in Courage.
The same goes if these Stalinists had instead been secret members of the Ku Klux Klan. What Danielsen and his leftwing ilk conveniently ignored is that these so-called victims were members of a political party that took its orders from Stalin and who did everything possible to advance that mass murderer’s interests. It was their treason that Elia Kazan rebelled against.
(This is not hyperbole. Willi Munzenberg, later murdered by one of Stalin’s agents, was Moscow’s propaganda genius in the West. Otto Katz*, alias Rudolph Breda, was Munzenberg’s agent in Hollywood. Katz worked in close cooperation with Donald Ogden Stewart, a known Stalinist and one of the Hollywood Ten, i.e., one of Richard Dreyfus’ “principled” men). George Clooney Elia Kazan Richard Dreyfus.
Are Danielsen, Clooney and the other self-righteous leftists aware of this fact? Of course they are. Predictably Danielsen resorted to the loathsome practice of moral equivalence by seriously claiming that “HUAC’s activities were indistinguishable from the very totalitarianism they professed to despise”. I emphasised “professed” because the insinuation is that the House Committee really consisted of totalitarians. (Insinuation, incidentally, is one of the Left’s favourite methods for smearing opponents).
Are the likes of Danielsen and Clooney for real? I fear so, is the answer. The Danielsens of this world have absolutely no problem in equating the crimes of Russia’s Leninist-Stalinist regime, a regime that murdered millions of its own citizens, with the behaviour of the House Committee of Un-American Activities.
I suggest the likes of Danielsen, including moral cretins like Clooney, Dreyfus, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg read, just for starters, The Harvest of Sorrow by Robert Conquest and then try to argue that there exists here a genuine moral equivalence. The people that Elia Kazan ‘betrayed’ knew of Stalin’s crimes and yet they still supported him. And Danielsen had the nerve to pompously state that “Kazan’s hands are not clean”. It’s time that the miserable likes of Danielsen did a little hand-washing of their own.
From where I’m sitting I have no trouble at all in seeing whose hands are soiled — and I’m not just referring to Hollywood. But let Elia Kazan answer for himself: “Why should I defend people like this?” Perhaps the likes of Clooney and lefty mates in the media have the answer, though I doubt it. Those who can condemn others for revealing the names of Stalinists who worked to literally enslave their own country lack, putting it mildly, any moral perspective.
A curious silence befell the Left and its media mates when Edward Dmytryk gave his support to the Ad Hoc Committee for Naming Facts and its defence of Elia Kazan. As director of such Hollywood classics as The Caine Mutiny and The Young Lions one should have thought his support would have warranted a reference by Danielsen.
No, not a word. Was that because Dmytryk was one of the Hollywood Ten who went to prison, serving the longest term? Is it also because he turned against his Stalinist colleagues? In an article for The Saturday Evening Post (19 May 1950) titled What Makes a Hollywood Communist? he wrote:
The time has come now when even the fellow traveller must get out. They’re like the waxy capsule that protects the tubercle — dissolve that waxy covering and you could kill tuberculosis in no time. I know now that you can’t aid a Communist front in any way without hurting your own country. The Hiss conviction, the Judith Coplon trial, they all show that no matter how small a fraction of the party is guilty of espionage, the responsibility is on the whole party, and anyone who supports it.
But judging from Danielsen’s acidic comments about Kazan, Dmytryk’s hands must also be “far from clean”. Needless to say, Dmytryk also suffered at the hands of the same pathological Hollywood Left that waged a vicious anti-Bush campaign Led by the two-faced likes of Clooney. The Australian followed Danielsen’s predictable left-wing review with Hollywood in Love by Lynden Barber. His contribution to the debate (23 March 1999) was to slavishly follow the ‘party line’ and denounce Elia Kazan for having “ruined the careers of eight of his friends by naming them to the House of Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy era”.
That was damning enough for him, except that it is not true. Every Stalinist that Elia Kazan identified to the committee had already been named by other witnesses. Regardless of what the lying Danielson, Barber and their ‘journalistic’ left-wing ilk would have readers believe, Kazan’s testimony did not destroy any Hollywood careers. Those he named did not work in Hollywood but in the New York theatre.
We now come to The Age — a mephitic leftist Melbourne rag dripping with self-righteousness and intellectual pretensions — that brought its readers the equally leftist views of Richard Dreyfus, who seems to have quite a few intellectual pretensions of his own as well as an apparent inability to connect with the truth. He stated that Elia Kazan’s anti-communism “lasted barely as long as it took to testify in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee”. That is a lie, as we have already seen. He then asserted that Arthur Schlesinger Jr had written in the New York Times that the only people “against Kazan, were communists themselves”.
This is another lie. Schlesinger actually wrote: “Mr. Kazan’s critics are those — or latter-day admirers of those — who continued to defend Stalin after the Moscow trials…” (emphasis added). Clooney and Dreyfus clearly appear to fall into the category of “latter-day admirers”. Of course, he does criticise the left for not “condemning Stalinism for what it was”. That the Left was fully aware of the bestial nature of Stalinism clearly eluded Mr Dreyfus’ keen moral sense and deep grasp of history.
But as is always the case with leftists, Dreyfus’ criticism turned out to be merely a ploy to shield himself against accusations of Stalinist sympathies because he then accused the Right of using Stalin’s barbarism as a means of “wrapping its virulent anti-communism in virulent anti-Semitism, racism and nativism (whatever that is)”. This is what logicians call the tu quoque fallacy or, in plain English, you too. This amounts to “whatever I did you did it too — or even worse”. All that Dreyfus* did is parrot the leftist anti-American line and tried to pass it off as a serious argument. Note, however, that he attacks “virulent anti-communism”.
Does he, I wonder, also attack virulent anti-Naziism? He calls the Hollywood Ten “principled” (nine after Dmytryk recoiled from their Stalinism) even though they were dedicated Stalinists who were aware of his crimes and yet still supported him. No wonder Dreyfus ardently supports Obama, they inhabit the same moral vacuum.
(Dmytryk actually left the Communist Party about six months before the hearing. I also noticed that Dreyfus chose to ignore Dmytryk’s support for Elia Kazan’s actions. After all, acknowledging Dmytryk’s views would completely undermine his argument that it was immoral to inform on Hollywood Stalinists — but not, I presume, members of the Ku Klux Klan or any neo-Nazi organisations).
That innocent people were hurt and careers destroyed during this period is indisputable and inexcusable. It needs to be remembered, however, that this hysteria was fuelled by the success of Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe, the Berlin blockade, the attempted communist take-over of Greece, communist threats in Italy and France, communist victory in China, the Korean war and Stalin’s out and out viciousness.
As I said, though this does not excuse what happened it does help put it in its proper historical perspective. And only the innocent, not the guilty, have the moral right to complain and not the likes of Arthur Miller. This shameful period inspired him to write The Crucible but nothing inspired him to write an allegory about Stalin’s purges and show trials. (At least Miller had the decency to support the award of the life-time achievement Oscar to Elia Kazan).
In addition, let us not forget that the release of the Venona Papers ultimately confirmed that the American Communist Party, and that also means the Hollywood Ten, had always been under Moscow’s control. Motivated by patriotism, honour and principle, Elia Kazan told the truth about the Hollywood left and that was his real crime. That is why the self-righteous likes of Dreyfus, the late Rod Steiger (a rotten ingrate if there ever was one), Nick Nolte, Ed Harris (both burning with hate) and their media soul mates are repelled by him. And that is also why they will never demand that the left apologise for its treason.
The Elia Kazan scandal should be a constant reminder hat it is the left that pursues political vendettas and not the so-called Right. A nasty little fact that is amply confirmed by the Hollywood left’s vicious attacks on Republicans. It says a great deal about the state of the Democratic Party that its Leninist-hardcore is generously supported by these celluloid intellectuals.
Note: When Clinton was president Clooney made The Peacemaker, a film about terrorists trying to get hold of a nuke. He played the role of the hero who broke the rules to save the day. As soon as America put a Republican in the White House he responded by making Syriana, a movie that depicts America as the villain and terrorists as victims and heroes. His nauseating hypocrisy confirms my opinion that Dems like Clooney don’t have a country — they, like Lenists, have only a Party.
* * * * *
Why are so many Hollywood celebrities from Streisand to Dreyfus and from them to Ron Howard, Julian Moore and Harvey Weinstein so politically dense? Part of the answer, apart their ignorance and lack of judgment — to put it mildly — they have all been influenced directly or indirectly by Margery Tabankin who has been a ‘political adviser’ to a number of celluloid intellectuals, among them the cretinous Barbra Streisand and the mendacious Dreyfus. Streisand was so impressed with Tabankin’s hatred of the US that she appointed this fanatic Executive director of the Barbra Streisand Foundation.
This brings me to Steve Spielberg, the man who said his audience with Castro were “the eight most important hours of my life”. Spielberg made Tabankin an executive director of his Righteous Persons Foundation. Then we have the Christian-hating Norman Lear who put her on the board of directors member of People for the [Anti]-American Way.
So who is Margery Tabankin? She is a fanatical leftist who loves Castro, hates Israel and loathes the United States. She also has links to the Washington-based Marxist-Leninist Institute of Policy Studies that openly collaborated with the KGB. It now fronts for Castro and also rationalizes the terrorism being waged against the West by Islamo-fascists.
*Otto Katz, the Stalinist agent who declared that he had “discovered Hollywood”, was arrested in Prague on Stalin’s orders in 1952, given a show trial and then hanged, after which his body was burnt in the prison yard. Prison guards shovelled his ashes and bones into a sack which was then taken out of the city and dumped in a rubbish filled ditch. A fitting and ironic end for a man who was prepared to send millions to their deaths. Needless to say, not a single Hollywood leftist uttered a word of protest at his treatment or made the slightest gesture of sympathy. They were too busy smearing Elia Kazan.