Thursday, June 19, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2007, May 21st.]

Movie: “POINT OF ORDER” produced by Emile de Antonio; 1963.

Grade: F for deceptive editing (although the footage is historically significant).

I didn’t vote for George W. Bush in either election (I’m registered as neither a Republican nor a Democrat); I opposed the war in Iraq from the very first day; and I think that “W” should be impeached and then removed from office per Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution in connection with the September 11th attacks as well as for the deception used to embroil us in the Iraq war. OK? So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that I’m some Republican apologist. But when I attempted to watch Michael Moore’s FAHRENHEIT 9/11, I got exactly three minutes into it before shutting it off. I knew that he wasn’t going to present an objective view, but I thought that he would at least have enough respect for the intelligence of his viewers to offer a pretense of being fair and reasonable. FAHRENHEIT 9/11 was a one-sided “documentary” deliberately edited to project strictly an anti-Bush angle. Is Moore the only filmmaker guilty of these shenanigans? Not by a long shot!

In 1980, Nicaragua’s former president, Anastasio Somoza, wrote something about the media’s ability to tweak the truth:

“On Sunday afternoon, SIXTY MINUTES is the most watched network show in the United States . . . I have watched the show and I am familiar with the format. Generally speaking, the show is not complete unless someone is nailed to the cross. Also, the program will invariably sneak in a touch of propaganda. You can be sure this propaganda is slanted to the Left.

“When I was advised that SIXTY MINUTES wanted to interview me, I certainly had misgivings . . . However, I wanted so much for the American people to understand the realities of our situation in Nicaragua and to know what the administration in Washington was doing to us, that I agreed to do the program. All arrangements were made and Dan Rather was sent down to do the program. That interview I shall always remember. . . .

“I didn’t realize what the power of film editing really meant. With that power, Rather cast me in any role he chose. Everything good I said about Nicaragua was deleted. Any reference to Carter’s effort to destroy the government of Nicaragua was deleted. Every reference to the Communist activity and Cuba’s participation was deleted . . . . Rather depicted a situation that didn’t exist in Nicaragua. That show did irreparable harm to the government of Nicaragua and to me. Such massive disinformation also does harm to the American people.”

So, if I said to you that POINT OF ORDER is just another example of liberal media spin dogging the dead anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy, would you believe me? Well, don’t take MY word for it, just listen to the “Commentary” track on this DVD where at the beginning, the movie’s producer and editor, Emile de Antonio, states, “No camera was ever more objective than the cameras in POINT OF ORDER. They were fixed in two parts of a room and they just played from one end of the room to the other, from one speaker to another speaker, and yet the action, the real material was not true, and I felt that it was only by imposing order on that material, only by imposing my beliefs on that material, that you would get a kind of truth.” Well, when he says “a kind of truth” he’s using the word “truth” very . . . uh, liberally.

In his eye-opening book “McCARTHY," Roy Cohn, the chief counsel for the Senate Investigating Committee under Senator McCarthy and a principal player in POINT OF ORDER, had this to say about the “documentary”:

“An important myth-making factor was the ninety-seven minute “documentary” film, POINT OF ORDER, put together from TV kinescopes of the [Army-McCarthy] hearings and nationally distributed in recent years. I sat through this motion picture twice and was amazed. Virtually every incident favorable to our side was cropped, nearly every unfavorable one was included. None of the important points we scored, and they were many, was there. McCarthy came through as the heavy villain, and I as his apprentice in the black arts –- seeking to destroy everything from mere reputations to the armed forces of the nation. It was, I regret to say, a cropped movie.” [page 212]

Quite honestly, even if POINT OF ORDER wasn’t a demagogic attack on McCarthy, it still wouldn’t be very compelling theatre because it is so hacked up and disjointed that the continuity is a shambles and the context is bound to be lost on many viewers who aren’t already as familiar with the serpentine story as I am. For example, why was the photo showing Private Schine with Army Secretary Stevens presented to the committee to begin with? What was it meant to prove? Just what information was in the document that originated from J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI office, and why and how did it come into McCarthy’s possession? I know the answers to these questions, but you won’t learn them by watching POINT OF ORDER.

The big highlight of the proceedings is titled ‘The Accusation’ in which POINT OF ORDER’s proposed “hero”, the lawyer Joe Welch, indignantly asks McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” This is what the December 5th, 2004 edition of TV Guide called the 39th “Most Memorable Moment” in Television history, adding, “At the Army-McCarthy hearings, the lawyer’s question for the senator finally shows who the real enemy is.”

McCarthy was wrong to mention Fred Fisher’s Communistic association with the National Lawyer’s Guild, but not because he was recklessly smearing an innocent man (he wasn’t) and not because he was revealing to a national TV audience an unknown fact (he wasn’t; The New York Times had printed the same information just a couple of months earlier on April 16th). McCarthy should not have mentioned Fisher only because Cohn had made a secret agreement with Welch that the McCarthy team would not reiterate the Fisher information if Welch agreed not to reveal a private matter about Cohn. (If you want to know what that was, read the book “McCARTHY” by Roy Cohn.) But McCarthy lost his temper when Welch was questioning Cohn mockingly, and he ignored the previously agreed upon condition. In other words, TV Guide’s 39th Most Memorable Moment in TV history was essentially much ado about nothing, but Welch played it up and the liberal media seized it and utilized it to distort the public’s perception of McCarthy.

It is a national disgrace that so few Americans have done any independent research into the facts about McCarthy and “McCarthyism”, and have instead allowed the Edward R. Murrows, the Emile de Antonios, and the George Clooneys of the world to brainwash them with “a kind of truth”, a phrase synonymous with “liberal lies.” But not everyone downed the Kool Aid: in his book “The Assassination of Joe McCarthy”, Medford Evans relates the following story:

“In 1955, even after ‘censure’, Bobby [Kennedy], who was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men Of The Year by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, walked out on a formal dinner – away from the head table – when Edward R. Murrow got up to speak. Returning when the speech was over, young Kennedy, according to Victor Lasky, ‘told everyone within earshot that he had no use for that obscenity Murrow after what he had done to his good friend Joe McCarthy’, a reference to a famous TV documentary in which Murrow had excoriated the Senator from Wisconsin.” [page 77]

Some recommended titles for genuine research:

“BLACKLISTED BY HISTORY: The Untold Story Of Senator Joe McCarthy And His Fight Against America’s Enemies” by Evans

“McCARTHY” by Cohn

“McCARTHY AND HIS ENEMIES” by Buckley & Bozell


“AMERICA’S RETREAT FROM VICTORY: The Story Of George Catlett Marshall” by McCarthy

“McCARTHYISM: The Fight For America” by McCarthy


The publications mentioned above will go a long way toward making the reader cognizant of “the REAL truth” rather than “a KIND OF truth.”

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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