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Oct 31

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 7:22 AM 

Halloween seems like the appropriate day to bring up the eternal masquerade of Hollywood's communists and fellow-travellers as freedom-loving small-"d" democrats. And this Halloween is particularly timely given we are at the 60th anniversary of the House Committee of Un-American Activities hearings (HCUA, by the way, not HUAC, as it is commonly called, I really do think, because HUAC carries a more sinister sound than HCUA). Turner Classic Movies marked the occasion last night with an all-night festival of movies by the Hollywood Ten, who, of course, remain eternal icons of the Left for "refusing to name names" of members of a world communist movement--a movement which the same Left adamantly refuses to admit the existence of. Oh well. That's history, Hollywood-style, for you.
     Of course, that same Hollywood narrative is our national gospel. At View from the Right, Lawrence Auster has been exploring the historic event in a series of posts, including analysis by Spencer Warren.
    I'd like to add what I learned while researching the nasty controversy over Elia Kazan's special Oscar in 1999. Kazan, of course, "named names," and was culturally ostracized for it--as were many other Hollywood people. Indeed, it didn't take long before there was an unofficial blacklist in operation that sent Hollywood conservatives either into the closet or off to the unemployment office, (And I know that because my father was a Hollywood conservative.)
    Ultimately, the sole member of the Hollywood Ten to decide to cooperate with government investigators was director Edward Dmytryk. In his absolutely marvelous memoir, Odd Man Out, he explains his change of heart and mind. What Dmytryk makes clear is the twisted thinking that has prevailed since the days of the Blacklist.
     The thinking goes like this: Those who "named names," such as Kazan, and, later, Dmytyrk, disclosed the identities of secretly organized Americans who were willing participants in a conspiracy guided by Moscow. This, according to the conventional wisdom to this day, is a far  greater crime than participating in the conspiracy itself. That's twisted.
    Dmytryk wrote: "What thousands of liberals have believed since [the Blacklist] was that one must allow a seditious Party to destroy one's country rather than expose the men or women who are the Party. In other words, naming names is a greater crime than subversion. That's what I call the `Mafia Syndrome,' and I find no shame or indignity in rejecting it."

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