In Ron and Allis Radosh’s superb book about the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s, they pithily said that the blacklisting of Hollywood communists is the “bedtime story” liberals tell themselves every night.
Today, every form of argument directed at the Hollywood left, no matter how mild, makes them announce that it is the 1950s all over again. They charge we are again in time when liberals—then mostly card-carrying Communists—were denied employment because of their politics. For decades, they have “owned” the blacklist, using it as a weapon against anyone who denounces the Left Coast.
But one guilty little leftist secret is that a blacklist had been directed at anti-communists years before, in World War II. In that period, Communist screenwriters who had gotten into positions of power wielded this blacklist against conservatives in an attempt to take away the latter’s livelihood.
The hypocrisy on this issue is clearly a persistent matter. Lately, left-wing comedy director Judd Apatow is not so humorously trying to blacklist conservative commentator Laura Ingraham. Taking a leaf from Red Channels, a right-wing Hollywood group that sought to bully sponsors away from employing communists in the 1950s, Apatow is calling on leftists to boycott Ingraham.
What provoked Apatow was a broadcast in which Ingraham advocated for “merit-based immigration.” Ingraham said illegal immigration promotes lawlessness that is harmful to America’s representative form of government: “In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people and they’re changes that none of us voted for and most of us don’t like.”
Ingraham continued, lamenting the loss of “what was once a common understanding by both parties that American citizenship is a privilege, and one that at a minimum requires respect for the rule of law and loyalty to our constitution.”
Ingraham distanced herself from any racists who might share these views: “A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I won’t even mention. You do not have my support. You don’t represent my views, and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear.”
Although Ingraham never mentioned race in this monologue, and in subsequent statements denounced white power racists, liberals asserted that she was indeed a racist, and as such should be fired. Leading the charge was Apatow, who tweeted, “She is a liar. We know what she believes. She was very clear. Boycott her sponsors.”
This is not the first time Apatow has trafficked in Manichaeism, either. More recently, he was one of several high-profile people to declare they’d boycott The New Yorker festival if it didn’t defenestrate Steve Bannon from a scheduled public interview.
In June, he also denounced Fox News for “promoting evil ideas and greed and corruption,” and condemned those who didn’t attack the network: “I haven’t seen one new powerful person who works for or at Fox stand up and say they oppose these cruel policies [Trump’s immigration policies].”
Had Fox News taken a stand against Trump, this kind of behavior would stop, Apatow declared: “Fox is like the NRA to politicians. If they said, ‘This is too far,’ the president would stop this monstrous behavior.”
This incident yet again demonstrates the left’s moral vanity and hypocrisy. Apatow is not interested in a reasonable debate about the very real problem of border security. He has no interest in common ground, and sees those who don’t agree with him as racists. The left frequently wields morally heinous charges like these to stifle debate.
Apatow also demonstrates clear hypocrisy because he has no problem using techniques also wielded by the left’s boogeyman, the Hollywood blacklist, against anyone he has decided to label a “racist.”