I have been struck for some time by the similarities between Ted Cruz and Old Joe McCarthy (I even see a physical resemblance), so I was particularly pleased to see Karen Finney raise the comparison on her weekend MSNBC show Disrupt. On Sunday, Karen and guests Mark Tapscott (Washington Post), and Michelle Cottle (The Daily Beast) discussed “McCruz’s” latest campaign to sow fear of Obamacare likening this effort to the fear-stoking and resultant paranoia of Communists and spies in our government that McCarthy effected during the Cold War.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Apparently as a result of this piece, Karen was invited to call in to a conservative radio show hosted by Hugh Hewitt. When Hewitt attempted to derail Karen’s argument and refused to let her make her point, she hung up on him. Here is how Mediate described the encounter.
There is an odd excitement in the right-wing media over an exchange between MSNBC host Karen Finney and conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. The right-wing talker invited Finney on his program after she linked the rhetoric of Ted Cruz to that of Joe McCarthy, an unsurprising comparison considering the Texas senator’s previous hunts for communists on the Harvard Law School faculty.
Instead of discussing Cruz’s behavior, however, Hewitt decided to discuss the history of McCarthyism, ostensibly defending the Wisconsin senator.
“Was Alger Hiss a communist?” Hewitt asked. Finney responded, “I think that’s distracting from the point I was trying to make.”
Finney continued, “And the point I was trying to make was, you had Joe McCarthy was on a mission to root out communism in the government, and he did it in such a way that created a hysteria that was very unhealthy for this country. Do you really disagree with me on that?”
Long-time fans of Karen’s can remember numerous times when she, as a guest on various MSNBC shows, was prevented from making her point. Many of us tweeted at those times: “Let Karen talk!” Now that she has (finally!) her own spot, she is free to make her own points in her own time. She is also free to hang up on rude radio hosts that try to hijack her message.
Good going, Karen! Thank you for raising the topic, and thank you also for not letting Hewitt drag the discussion off course. The tack he chose to take deserved disruption.