S. 13 originals. It was not an especially large event on Thursday, February 9th, 1950, two hundred and seventy five guests gathered in the colonnade room of the Maclure Hotel, the corner of Market and 12th Streets in Wheeling, West Virginia. The occasion, a Lincoln Day dinner.
The speaker, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, his text American carnage in his address to the Ohio County Republican Women's Club, McCarthy said today we are engaged in a final all out battle between communistic athie Islam and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this as the time. And ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down. They are truly down. McCarthy was something new in modern political life. A freelance performer who grasped what many ordinary Americans feared and who had direct access to the media of the day.
He exploited the privileges of power and prominence without regard to its responsibilities to him. Politics was not about the substantive but the sensational. The country feared communism and McCarthy knew it. And he fed those fears with years of headlines and hearings, a master of false charges of conspiracy tinged rhetoric and of calculated disrespect for conventional figures from Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower to George C.. Marshall, McCarthy could distract the public, play the press and change the subject, all while keeping himself at center stage.
McCarthy held the country in his thrall for four years. Slowly, painfully slowly, the nation turned on him.
But it took a long time in retrospect, and a central signpost in the rebellion against demagoguery came at ten thirty on the evening of Tuesday, March 9th, 1954, when CBS broadcast an episode of Edward R. Murrow. See it now? Its subject, Senator McCarthy, its means of storytelling, images and recordings of McCarthy's own words. At the conclusion of the report, Murrow spoke more in sorrow than in anger.
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who fear the right to speak, to associate and to defend the causes that work, for the moment, unpopular.
I'm Jon Meacham, and this is it was said Episode six, Edward R. Murrow fights for a free press. Joe McCarthy seized the moment there was already a red scare going, but he inflamed it by finding communists everywhere, whether they were there or not. It became clear tomorrow that McCarthy had sort of drawn a line in the sand. A lot of people want to believe that there must be somebody to blame. They needed an enemy. And demagogues are good at stirring up enemies.
Edward R. Murrow was the most important journalist slash reporter of that era. McCarthy and Murrow were very different American types, and their intersection tells us much about America in the Cold War or in any era in which a blustering, media savvy figure uses fear to divide us, understood as largely unfounded accusations of communist subversion. McCarthyism was about exaggerated threats at a time of real danger abroad. Evidence of the Soviets post-World War Two ambitions was genuine and growing.
President Truman's dramatic announcement that Russia has created an atomic explosion sends reporters racing for Flushing Meadows, where Russia is. Lashinsky arrives to address the United Nations in a statement about how does Russia have the atomic bombs? Well, what you replied to the Russian foreign minister maintains his silence about Russia's atomic progress in his address. He accuses the West of planning an atomic war and urges the outlawing of atomic weapon.
By nineteen forty nine, Moscow had a successful atomic program, a development that led William Loeb, the conservative Manchester, New Hampshire newspaper editor, to suggest a preemptive nuclear attack. We cannot sit idle and wait for Armageddon and destruction. We must forestall such a catastrophe. And the only way is to strike a proposed aggressor before he is ready to strike. Arrests of spies for nuclear espionage terrified the West. China, meanwhile, fell into communist hands and the Korean War began at home.
There was the celebrated case of Alger Hiss, the urbane New Deal lawyer and diplomat pursued by Congressman Richard Nixon and convicted of perjury after denying knowing Whittaker Chambers, a former communist turned cold warrior and politically the Republican Party out of power since the Hoover loss of nineteen thirty two was eager to win seats in the House and Senate elections of 1950, domestic fears of communist influence were potent and might just make a potent mid-term issue. After World War Two, we won and people thought we were done and wouldn't have to fight another war, and then lo and behold, the Russians get the atom bomb by nineteen forty nine.
This is the journalist, author and historian Evan Thomas.
And there was a great sense of betrayal and disappointment. And it's a perfect breeding ground for demagogues that sense that something's wrong. There must be an explanation. Well, the explanation was communist communist spies and Joe McCarthy is a drunken demagogue, but a pretty clever drunken demagogue, a senator from Wisconsin who seized the moment and went around seeing commies, reds everywhere, he just there was already a red scare going, but he inflamed it by finding communists everywhere, whether they were there or not.
Now, it's important to know that there were some communist spies. The Russians did salt spies into Washington during World War Two, so he wasn't entirely making it up. But by the time McCarthy got going, most of those spies had either been caught, rounded up, disappeared. Most of what McCarthy was talking about was by nineteen fifty fifty one. It was fiction, but it was sure effective because a lot of people wanted to believe that there must be somebody to blame and an enemy and they needed an enemy.
And demagogues are good at stirring up enemies.
And he created this enormous wave of fear and loathing and support for Joe McCarthy.
It was in this climate that McCarthy delivered what the Wheeling intelligentsia described as an intimate and homey address to the guests gathered at the Maclure Hotel. He said, While I cannot take the time to name all of the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five that were known to the secretary of state as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy in the State Department.
The number of McCarthy's alleged communists was a moving target, his charges constantly shifting in the fullness of time. The two hundred and five figure he offered at Wheeling wandered down to fifty seven. McCarthy thrived on a dangerous but politically alluring combination of hyperbole and imprecision. George Reedy, a wire service reporter who became an aide to President Lyndon B.. Johnson, recalled Talking to Joe was like putting your hands in a bowl of mush.
So we like what you're trying to do. We like what you are trying to do, but, oh, we don't like your methods. And I often think of the days I spent back on the farm and one of the jobs I had was my three brothers was taken down into the swamps and dig out the skunks that used to come up and kill our baby chickens. You learn early in life that you don't go skunk hunting with striped trousers, a silk handkerchief and a top hat.
You just can't do it. I said, we're engaged now. And as you well know, in digging out a much smellier breed of animal and I dug up back on the farm.
McCarthy was an opportunist, uncommitted to much beyond his own fame and influence his own lawyer, the young New Yorker Roy Cohn, could not discern any great ideological conviction in the senator from Wisconsin. Cohen recalled Joe McCarthy bought communism in much the same way as other people purchase a new automobile, the salesman showed him the model, he looked at it with interest, examined it more closely, kicked the tires, sat at the wheel, squirrelled in the seat, asked some questions and bought.
It was just as cold as that. As Cohn tells the story, in late nineteen forty nine, McCarthy was given an FBI report detailing allegations of communist infiltration within the federal government, particularly the Department of State. It was not new information. A copy had been on file at State since at least nineteen forty seven. In truth, the Soviets had been making strides in penetrating Washington in the nineteen thirties and early forties, but a loyalty program had rolled up many of the agents.
Now, in the waning hours of the decade, Cold War ultra hawks wanted to press the case, even though most observers believe the case largely closed. McCarthy was in, as he put it, he would buy the package. Why? Roy Cohn offered two reasons. The first was patriotic. Cohn recalled. He was worried about the threat the country posed by the communist conspiracy, and he decided to do what he could to expose it. The second, Cohn said, was that McCarthy had seen the dramatic political opportunities connected with a fight on communism.
McCarthy was gifted with a sense of political timing. Sometimes he misjudged. But on balance, his sense of what made drama and headlines was uncommonly good. He had found, he thought, a politically attractive issue he could sink his teeth into.
Joe McCarthy was the nation's premiere red hunter. Many people strove for that title, but I think McCarthy was the one who put it into terms that the average American could understand.
This is the Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian David Oshinsky.
And basically what McCarthy was saying is that we are the richest, most powerful nation in the world. And yet you look around and we are losing everywhere. We've lost China, we've lost most of Europe. The we're in a Korean conflict that we simply cannot get out of. The Russians now have the atomic bomb. How has all of this happened? And I think what McCarthy did that others didn't do was to say that the enemy is not in Moscow.
The enemy is right here in the United States. It was that version of today's deep state. In other words, there are actually people inside our government who want the communists to win. And I know who those people are. I have a list and I will root them out and I will use any means necessary, not the Marquis of Queensbury. Rules are tough Irish. Maureen and I will take them out into the street and beat them to a pulp and basically save the country in the process.
Right after the Wheeling speech, a trio of Wisconsin journalists sat down with McCarthy Toys, a Chinese restaurant on Third Street in Milwaukee. Joe, I don't believe you've got a goddamn thing to prove the things you've been saying. The reporters recalled saying it's all a lot of political hogwash. Listen, you bastards, McCarthy replied, I'm not going to tell you anything. I just want you to know that I've got a pail full of shit and I'm going to use it where it does me the most good.
Thoughtful people correctly gauge the McCarthy threat. McCarthy's methods to me look like Hitler's Eleanor Roosevelt remarked in private correspondence, President Truman agreed that there is no difference in kind between Hitlerism and McCarthyism, both being the same form of warfare against the minds and souls of men. Publicly, Eisenhower's predecessor did not mince words when defining McCarthyism.
McCarthy is a corruption of truth, the abandonment of our historical devotion to fair play. It is the abandonment of due process of law. It is the rise to power of the demagogue who lives on and drove across the Atlantic.
Winston Churchill, in office for a second term as prime minister, added a paragraph to Elizabeth.
The second coronation address delivered from Buckingham Palace on the evening of the June 1953 ceremony at Westminster Abbey, defending the Anglo American tradition of fair play from McCarthyite incursions, parliamentary institutions with their free speech and respect for the rights of minorities, and the inspiration of a broad tolerance in thought and its expression. All this we conceive to be a precious part of our way of life and outlook.
Not every Republican signed on with McCarthy on Thursday, June 1st, 1950, fewer than four months after the speech in Wheeling, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, the Republican from Maine, issued what she called a declaration of conscience against McCarthy's methods.
Joe began to get publicity crazy, Smith recalled in an interview with David Oshinsky. And the other senators were now afraid to speak their minds to take issue with him. It got to the point where some of us refused to be seen with people he disapproved of. A wave of fear had struck Washington. Smith recalled that she ran into McCarthy, who had flattered her in the past, with the suggestion that she would be a fine vice presidential nominee for the Republicans in 1952.
On her way to the floor, Margaret McCarthy said, You look very serious. Are you going to make a speech? Yes, Smith replied. And you will not like it. Is it about me? Yes, but I'm not going to mention your name. A frowning McCarthy, Smith recalled, then said, Remember Margaret. I control Wisconsin's twenty seven convention votes for what Smith said, pushing on she rose a few moments later on the Senate floor.
I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition, she said. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. Too few heeded Smith's warning she was about four years ahead of most of her colleagues, while she did convince six other senators to join her declaration, a defiant McCarthy dismissed them as Snow White and the six dwarves. The Republicans were open to seeing where McCarthy's act might lead.
Joe, you're a real sob senator, John Bricker, a Republican from Ohio, told McCarthy. But sometimes it's useful to have SOB's around to do the dirty work. McCarthy's popular appeal was clear. He's unbeatable now, the mayor of Milwaukee said in the spring of 1950. He's a Northern Huey Long. Get smarter TV for your smart TV, get lost in the docks on Curiosity Stream, you probably binge TV every now and then, but have you ever documented discover a treasure trove of entertainment on Curiosity Stream, the first documentary streaming service unlock access to thousands of stream mobile documentaries and non-fiction TV shows on history, nature, science, food technology, travel and more with Curiosity Stream get an entire year of streaming for just 14 99.
When you sign up using code, what about it? Tune in to exclusive programs featuring David Attenborough, Stephen Hawking, Nick Offerman and Chris Hadfield. Enlightened entertainment curated by experts. Curiosity Stream works on just about any device, anywhere, any time. Educate and enlighten the whole family with curiosity stream. Curiosity Stream has thousands of stream mobile documentaries and non-fiction TV shows on topics like history, nature, science, food technology, travel and more use code. What about it?
To sign up for just fourteen ninety nine for the whole year. Sign up today. Docu binge better with Curiosity Stream. McCarthy's followers loved his style, his foes feared it. In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt, on a trip to Japan, found herself facing questions about McCarthyism. Will you please explain these attitudes? A Japanese businessman asked the former first lady. We are unable to understand why these things happen in a great democratic nation like the United States. Part of the answer lies in the nature of democracy itself.
Masses of Americans approved of McCarthy no matter what the elites might say or do. Millions thrilled to the senator's Manichean vision of life. He spoke in the starkest of terms, savoring superlatives. Everything was dramatic, contentious, perilous. So few things, McCarthy implied, stood between American freedom and communist slavery. But one of those things, perhaps the most import
ant of them, was McCarthy himself, who quoted John Paul Jones. I have just begun to fight.
You are, of course, one of the most controversial figures we've had in the Senate and a long time and you have the distinction of having coined a new word for the dictionary, namely McCarthyism. Now, I'd like to just ask you, this is one American. Have you had any regrets about any of the tactics that you've used in your fight on the State Department? Have you done anything that you wouldn't do if you were doing it again? Mr Hill, I think at times we should have hit much harder.
How he loved the story of himself as the noble warrior, a story that dominated the newspapers of the day, McCarthy surely needed the press and the press, alas, came to need McCarthy.
He was a fantastic story, a real life serial.
The twists and turns of the McCarthy saga meant more bylines for the reporters, more exciting headlines for the editors, and given the subject matter, alleged infiltration of the government of the United States by a fatal foe. More copies sold for the owners. Radio and television amplified McCarthy's impact on the political conversation. As Richard Hofstetter of the Columbia University historian wrote at the time, the growth of the mass media of communication and their use in politics have brought politics closer to the people than ever before and have made politics a form of entertainment in which the spectators feel themselves involved.
Thus, it has become more than ever before an arena into which private emotions and personal problems can be readily projected. Mass communications have aroused the mass man.
Even if there were only one communist in the State Department, there will be one communist too many. People aren't going to remember the things we say on the issues here. Our logic or common sense are facts, he remarked to Roy Cohn before the televised Army hearings.
Television offered McCarthy even greater reach the number of TV sets in America more than tripled during his heyday, rising from 10 million in 1950 to 35 million in 1954 to McCarthy, the new medium offered nearly unlimited possibilities to dominate the public consciousness, and he valued performance over substance. They're only going to remember the impressions, but television would also help bring them down. And the man who did a great deal to bring that about was Edward R. Murrow, a radio man turned television pioneer. Edward R. Murrow had a great radio voice, gravelly, full of gravitas, sort of mellowed by whiskey and cigarettes. He spoke slowly and deliberately. He was like a bell gonging and it was a thrilling voice. A lot of Americans were introduced to it in World War Two when Murrow was in London during the Blitz, watching the bombs fall and he would begin.
This is London. And people listened because he was right there and he made you feel like you were right there with him.
I'm standing on a rooftop looking out over London. At the moment, everything is quiet for reasons of national as well as personal security. I'm unable to tell you the exact location from which I'm speaking off to my left far away in the distance, I can see just that red, angry snap of antiaircraft bursts against a steel blue sky earlier this evening. Again, those were explosions overhead. Earlier this evening. We heard a number of bombs go sliding and slithering across to fall several blocks away.
He also resonated with a kind of moral depth. He was not afraid to be all. He was an objective newsman. By and large. There was a kind of moral certainty about him that was reassuring. Edward R. Murrow was kind of the most important journalist slash reporter of that era, people depended on them. He had been there during World War Two during the London Blitz. If you think of Edward R. Murrow today, you would probably almost think of a combination of Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw.
He basically was the most distinguished journalist. He also was one who broke into television and began to use that medium very, very effectively, although he continued to do a radio show. And his see it now, basically his weekly documentary, which took on various issues in American society, was extraordinarily influential.
And in nineteen fifty three, as McCarthy was beginning to gain serious traction in power, Murrow did a number of shows on see it now talking about things like loyalty, oaths, people who had been fired to their jobs because of false accusations and the like. And clearly he was not going after Joe McCarthy personally, but he was getting involved in the territory where really McCarthy had the most influence.
While Murro was a creature of the larger world, the chaotic 20th century, a man who'd seen the ravages of extremism up close from the blitz to the liberation of the Nazi death camps, McCarthy created his own curious world moving around Washington and around the nation with a coterie of AIDS investigators and reporters, a showman at heart. McCarthy attacked the press and public, but drank and schmooze with journalists in private amid hearings in the capital. McCarthy would adjourn for lunch to a corner table in the Car Alarms hotel, where he'd take off his suit coat, have a Manhattan, eat a slab of lamb or coffee and muse about the action.
McCarthy's headline hunting also benefited from the prevailing culture of journalism at mid century, that the job of a journalist was to report the content of a statement, not to assess its validity. One journalist observed of the era, My own impression was that Joe was a demagogue. But what could I do? I had to report, quote McCarthy How do you say in the middle of your story, this is a lie? The press is supposedly neutral. You're right.
What the man says, I don't care how high pitched becomes a screaming and squealing of the left wing element of press and radio. I don't care what the person's in the Mark Chiles and the Alsop's the Time magazine. I don't care what they have to say. I don't care how much they scream and squeal. If lumberjack tactics are the only kind of tactics that crowd understands and take my word for it. Those are the kind of tactics we're going to use on them as long as there is one.
They're endangering the lives of hundred and fifty million American people. At least one newspaper executive thought McCarthyism required a new way of reporting, Palmer Hoyt, the editor and publisher of The Denver Post, wrote a memorandum to his staff suggesting that neutrality was not the highest virtue. Truth was reporters, Hoyt said, should apply any reasonable doubt they might have to the treatment of the story. Believe me, there is nothing wrong with this country that repeated strong dosages of the facts will not correct.
Hoyt told other editors at a Tucson, Arizona, meeting in November 1954. Even McCarthyism will melt away before this treatment. When he read coverage he disliked, McCarthy did not keep quiet. He went on the offensive, singling out specific publications, in particular journalists, sometimes at big rallies. He particularly hated the Milwaukee Journal. Keep in mind that when you send checks over to the Journal, McCarthy would tell business audiences you are contributing to bringing the Communist Party line into the homes of Wisconsin.
To a journal reporter, McCarthy confided off the record, I don't know that I can cut the Journal's profits at all, but if you show a newspaper as unfriendly and having a reason for being antagonistic, you can take the sting out of what it says about you. I think I can convince a lot of people that they can't believe what they read in the journal. One of the things I will say is that people tend to think of Edward R. Murrow as the man who brought down McCarthy from the media and to some extent that is true.
But print journalism had been taking on McCarthy for years before Ed Murrow got involved. Indeed, the famous Henry Luce Time Life Time magazine had McCarthy on the front cover of Time, and it was called Demagogue McCarthy. There were reporters and journalists like Drew Pearson who were going after McCarthy day after day after day.
There were other print journalists who were going after McCarthy. What made Murrow different was that this was a new medium and it was television.
Now, speaking from the actual control room of Studio 41, Edward R. Murrow. This is an old team trying to learn a new trade. My purpose will be not to get in your life any more than I can to lean over the cameraman shoulder occasionally and say a word which may help to illuminate or explain what is happening. We're impressed with the importance of this medium. We shall hope to learn to use it and not to abuse it.
I'm excited to tell you about this new, important and powerful documentary podcast called Whirlwind, written and told by a two time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who's teamed up with the production team that created Slow Burn and Fiasco and presented by kadence 13. In this new podcast series, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tim Weiner tells the story of the long covert war between Russia and the United States over the course of 10 episodes. Weiner talks to CIA directors, KGB spies and international experts to learn about the political warfare of the past and connected to what's happening today.
Let's face it, right now, Russia is at war with the United States and we're losing. This is the story of what's happened and what continues to happen with the top experts involved in partnership with kadence 13 jigsaw productions and a production of prologue projects. Whirlwind is available now to download and subscribe for free on Apple podcasts, Spotify, radio, dotcom, and wherever you get your podcasts.
We. Good evening tonight. See, it now devotes its entire half hour to a report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy told mainly in his own words and pictures, because a report on Senator McCarthy is, by definition, controversial. We want to say exactly what we mean to say. Senator McCarthy claims that only the left wing press criticized him on this, like our case of the 50 largest circulation newspapers in the country. These are the left wing papers that criticized him.
These are the ones that supported him. The ratio is about three to one. Now, let us look at some of these left wing papers that criticized the senator, the Chicago Tribune. McCarthy will better serve his cause if he learns to distinguish the role of investigator from the role of avenging angel. The New York Times, the unwarranted interference of a demagogue, a domestic nudnik, the Times Herald of Washington. Senator McCarthy's behavior towards Zwick are not justified.
The Herald Tribune of New York McCarthyism involves assaults on basic Republican concepts. The Milwaukee Journal. The line must be drawn and defended, or McCarthy will become the government. The Evening Star of Washington. It was a bad day for everyone who resents and detest the bullyboy tactics, which Senator McCarthy so often employs. A New York World Telegram Bamboozling, Bludgeoning, Distorting Way. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Unscrupulous McCarthy bullying. What a tragic irony it is that the president's political advisers keep him from doing what every decent instinct must be commanding him to do.
That's the ratio of about three to one so-called left wing press.
One of McCarthy's henchmen actually went to one of Murrow's subordinates and said, We have information on Murrow and he showed it to him. And it was this outdated article where Murrow had had something to do with the conference in Moscow in the 1930s. But it became clear tomorrow that McCarthy had sort of drawn a line in the sand.
So if Murrow did nothing, it would be seen as sort of being squeamish in terms of McCarthy that he had knuckled under to that kind of attack.
Earlier, the senator asked upon, what does this Cesar feed it? Had he looked three lines earlier in Shakespeare's Caesar, he would have found this line, which is not altogether inappropriate. The fault there, Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. No one familiar with the history of his country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and prosecuting is a very fine one, and the junior senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly at the end.
For McCarthy came in the months following the Murrow broadcast when hearings into McCarthy in the US Army opened in the Senate. Behind the scenes, President Eisenhower had maneuvered to detail the pressure that McCarthy and Roy Cohn had exerted to secure favors for David Shine, a recently drafted internment of KONE's. The report of this influence with his implication of an illicit relationship between Cohn and Shine, always denied by Cohn, drove the hearings day by day and week by week. McCarthy performed poorly before vast television audiences coming across as more gadfly than crusader.
I think the real problem with Joe McCarthy when you talk about did he go too far, you have to talk about it in political terms. When Joe McCarthy was a Republican senator and the Democrats controlled the White House and the Congress, he was basically a loose cannon using an issue that the Republicans well understood by 1950, that was the best issue they had. That was the government was riddled with communists.
And when you talk about Joe McCarthy going too far, the real factor involved is the 1952 election in which Republicans gained control of the White House and Congress. And McCarthy is no longer attacking Democrats in power. He is now attacking members of his own party when he begins to go after government agencies and then eventually the United States Army. He's going after John Foster Dulles, his State Department. He's going after President Dwight Eisenhower's army. Ike is a five star general.
So in a sense, McCarthy's tactics didn't change. What change was the political dynamic? In an iconic moment, the counsel for the Army, Joseph Welch, attacked the senator who had clumsily attempted to impugn the loyalty of a young lawyer on Welches team until this moment.
Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness, Welch told McCarthy, let alone did I agree you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that life. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty. I would do so. I like to think I'm a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me. McCarthy blundered forward and took up the theme again.
Welch was ready and struck with force. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator, he said, have no sense of decency, sir, at long last, have you left no sense of decency? I know this hurts you world. I was saying, Mr. Chairman, point of personal brutality. I'd like to finish this. Senator, I think it hurts you, too, sir. I'd like to finish this. And if there is a God in heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good.
I will not discuss it further. I will not ask Mr. Cohen any more with you. Mr. Chairman. May, if you will follow up next with.
Yet McCarthy's base of support remained loyal after the Welch moment, Gallup found that 34 percent of the country still backed the senator a formidable enough number unless we can get rid of McCarthy and Eisenhower, a Republican senator remarked Cone, he's going to be a mighty big thorn in our side.
That 34 percent figure was the problem. The Republicans, Roy Cohn believed, were worried that McCarthy could bolt the GOP form a right wing third party ticket and attract enough support to throw the 1956 presidential election to the Democrats by the end of the year. The threat evaporated when the Senate censured McCarthy, who descended into drink and illness.
Senator Joseph McCarthy dies at 47 with a series of sensational anti-communist charges and investigation beginning early in 1950, his political career began a meteoric rise at a requiem mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Monsignor John Jay Cartwright said that McCarthy would take his place among those colleagues of the Hall of Fame.
Each one of whom is great in memory because at one time or another he had the fortitude to stand alone. McCarthy's casket was borne from the church to the Capitol for a brief state funeral, customary for sitting senators attended by Vice President Nixon. Thirty to forty nine Senate Democrats and thirty eight of forty six Senate Republicans. House Speaker Sam Rayburn, Alice Roosevelt Longworth and Roy Cohn were there to. Cone had come down from New York City, a notable fixer contrived at the nexus of law, politics, media and society.
I don't want to know what the law is, Cohen would say of a case. I want to know who the judge is. One of his more celebrated clients and after years was a young real estate developer who was looking to move into Manhattan from his family's base in Queens.
And Roy Cohn was always there for Donald Trump, Edward R. Murrow stood against the tide late to be sure, but still there he stood, his words, a warning to demagogues and an inspiration to those who were down the years take their own stand when the crisis came. This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.
There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities as a nation. We have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves indeed, we are the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that?
Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it. And rather successfully, Kashish was right. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night and good luck. On the next episode of it was said, a daughter of the segregated South, Barbara Jordan, keynotes the Democratic National Convention of 1976. It was America's bicentennial and Jordan was a voice born in one nation, speaking to the hopes of a better nation to come.
Thank you for listening to it was said. A creation and production of C 13 originals, a division of Caden's 13 in association with history executive produced by me, Jon Meacham and Chris Corcoran, directed by Lloyd Lockridge. Edited, produced, engineered and mastered by Chris Bazil with production support and research by Bill Schulz and John McDermott and research assistants by Ian Mott, creative consultation by Eli Lehrer and Jesse Katz. Graphic Design, Marketing and publicity by Josephine Francis, Kirk, Courtney and Hillary.
Chef, our theme song is I Can Almost See You by Hammack in our closing credits.
Song is Light by Michael Kiwanuka. We are miles apart, but say you're for. I want to tell you about another history podcast that explores how moments in history continue to shape our world today. History This Week is a podcast that explores events big and small, that change the course of history. And one episode, you'll find out how a flood of molasses changed public policy forever. In another, you'll hear profound stories of the human spirit from Holocaust survivors themselves.
History this week comes out every Monday. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.