Tired Gray Crone of Gotham Admits to Nearly a Century of Erroneous Reporting

I’ve been slow in blogging on this as I really didn’t want to have to link to the Slimes. Blessedly the indispensable Glenn Instapundit Reynolds found and linked a piece from the American Interest:

Breaking at NYT: Communists Were Anti-American Soviet Tools

As part of its weekly essay series on the legacy of the Russian Revolution, the New York Times has earnestly broken the news to its readers that the American Communist Party wasn’t a principled and well-meaning organization but an anti-American espionage operation:

From its founding in 1919 in the wake of the Russian Revolution until the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Communist Party of the United States of America was an instrument of Soviet foreign policy. […]

The C.P.U.S.A. dutifully spread the lies put out by Moscow. The party thus insisted that the show trials during Stalin’s purges had uncovered a vast capitalist plot against the Soviet leader. Party members dutifully repeated Soviet fabrications that Trotsky had been in the pay of the Nazis. Worst of all, many Communists applauded the execution of tens of thousands of Soviet comrades, denouncing those who were executed as bourgeois spies and provocateurs.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings are no doubt smiling. The anonymous writer at the American Interest continues:

It will be interesting to read the pieces that come out 25 to 50 years too late, as the august Gray Lady awakens to other important news:

The Muslim Brotherhood hated Western ideas of freedom.

Iran was a committed enemy of the United States.

Cuban communists were anti-democratic thugs.

Abortion was an unspeakable tragedy that led to millions of unnecessary deaths.

Press bias and lack of self-awareness plus elite policy failures made the Trump presidency possible.

Social programs like Medicare were actually bankrupting the country.

Public service unions blighted the prospects of generations of immigrants and poor people of color in American cities.

Anti-Asian discrimination dominated college admissions offices under the guise of ‘racial justice’.

The collapse of free speech on college campuses was abetted by cowards and time servers who betrayed fundamental American principles.

Better late than never, we suppose…

Color me unimpressed with long overdue acknowledgement.

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  • Retired military

    I saw somewhere that of all the people that McCarthy brought before the communist hearings only one was ever proven innocent.

    • Brett Buck

      I agree with your general take, however, people don’t have to “prove themselves innocent”, the prosecutors have to prove them guilty. Being accused doesn’t equate to culpability.

      McCarthy was indeed correct in the large – the government and society really was infested with and being undermined by Communists (and still is). We now also have Islamist sympathizers in the same sort of situation. And certainly something should have been done and should be done about it.

      I think he was very wrong in the details. If you have an argument for sedition/treason/etc, then you have to prove it – not just drag people in front of Congress and accuse them, and let hysteria take care of the rest. In that sense, it really was like the Salem witch trials – except that even at Salem, they bothered with the actual trial and “convicted” people using some standards of the times.

      I am all for stopping threats to liberty, and I am pretty proud of my professional efforts along those lines. But I have a *big problem* violating due process of US citizens and using political hysteria to destroy peoples lives without it, even if they might be guilty.

      • Can you say Venona?

        • Brett Buck

          Yes, but it doesn’t bear on my point at all.

          Of course there was a concerted effort to undermine the country by USSR communist plants/dupes/agents. Anybody with any sense knew that was true, random leftist “useful idiots” aside. The fact that McCarthy and his like-minded colleagues were more-or-less correct about defining the problem is not under serious debate, It’s axiomatic – there were a bunch of commies and they were acting at the behest of the USSR to undermine the USA, They’re still at it- watch CNN for 5 minutes, if you have a strong stomach.

          I will also grant that the HUAC went even further over the edge, McCarthy only spawned that.

          But there are plenty of perfectly legal methods (read the National Security Act) to conduct actual trials using covered information, including that collected by Venona – which McCarthy, at least, may have known about on some level although probably not the details or the individuals implicated. An ultimately, even now, I think there were maybe 10 people, total, *actually implicated by Venona” that also appeared on McCarthy’s roles.

          The HUAC didn’t bother with any of that, they just drug people in and started pointing the finger, There’s no evidence that they had any justification for that for the vast, vast majority of those so accused. That’s just as fundamentally un-American as the people he was trying to “get”.

          Compare it to the Trump situation – it is a fact that the Russians tried to influence the election. Obama knew it (and did nothing for reasons fairly obvious) and that’s exactly what you would have expected them to do. I am 100% sure that they tried to influence every election since 1917, take that as a given.

          But there is no evidence in any way that Trump, or anyone associated with him, colluded with them to help himself. But what do you see 24/7 – Trump/Russia. It’s exactly the same sort of baseless political hysteria that Joe used against dozens/hundreds of (as far as anyone can tell even with 50+ years of hindsight and Venona) completely innocent American citizens, and the HUAC used against thousands.

          It was not an effective plan – since it clearly didn’t work – and it violated very basic principles of justice as we define it. If the goal was to get the commies out of the government, it was a miserable failure, even counter-productive,

          I find it tough to defend that.

          • Wild_Willie

            With the prism of the present it is very easy to criticize activities of an era long past. During the Cold War, covert and political means were going on in a very rapid pace. McCarthy’s problem was using classified material to confront communists but held the hearings in public where his use of verified classified reports could not be used. There isn’t a doubt that just about all the charges levied at citizens in the hearing were guilty. They came in guilty. They are proven guilty of the charges in private.

            Now the congress and press do this on a daily basis. The best example is the Russia lies. If you are truly outraged by this type of behavior, support President Trump loudly and proudly. ww

      • Retired military

        Maybe my choice of words was not as good as it should have been.

  • Retired military

    Got this copy and paste off Aceof Spades

    ———-

    On the Fourth of July of all days, “Never Trump” New York Times columnist Bret Stephens said President Donald Trump’s supporters are “idiots” who need to “admire” elites. The Times’ and MSNBC’s insufferably smug and out-of-touch useful idiot said Warren Buffett has a wonderful line: “First come the innovators, then come the imitators, and then come the idiots.”

    “I think the conservative movement has traced a similar trajectory,” he said on MSNBC, adding that “the party of Donald Trump” is associated with “exclusion, fear, and bigotry.”

    Stephens whined that conservatives “demonize” and do not “admire” elites who are “educated” and care about things like “culture” and the “cultivation of the human soul.”

    —————-
    LOL. I am sure that if you asked Stephens he would call himself a moderate and would never admit that he considers himself one of the eeeeellllllliiiiiiiiittttttteeeee

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  • Walter_Cronanty

    No mention of Walter Duranty in that NYT’s article? No mention that the NYT was a stooge of Stalin? Huh, who’da thunkit.

  • Heh, another (not quite as belated) defacto retraction:

    After 1,379 Days, NYT Corrects Bogus Claim Iran ‘Sponsored’ 9/11
    BY ADAM JOHNSON, FAIR

    In its reporting on a dubious lawsuit alleging Iranian meta-involvement in 9/11, the New York Times badly misunderstood the case and maintained for more than three years, in the paper of record, that the government of Iran “sponsored” the September 11, 2001, attacks. The belated correction, issued late Wednesday night on two widely spaced articles on the topic, unceremoniously noted that Iran did not, in fact, help commit the 9/11 attacks.

    So much for the “paper of record.”