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McCarthy, Murrow and the Use of Media - Essay Example

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McCarthy, Murrow and the Use of Media

The spirit of the era facilitated the task and made McCarthy’s allegation against the regulation of supporting rebellious actions very efficient. His fight against the Communism in the United States influenced the life of American people and even now its influence is present in the American society. McCarthy accused the government in being “riddled with card-carrying members of the Communist Party”.1 The political career of Joseph McCarthy ended after 1954. The main goal of the given work is to show that it was the media that made the career of McCarthy and it was also the media that finally destroyed it. The role of the media in McCarthyism creation The famous speech of Joseph McCarthy given on February 9, 1950 made a good start for McCarthyism mainly because it impressed the media. According to Bayley (1981) the speech “has been the subject of more speculation, argument, and investigation than almost anything he said in the next five years”.2 The media, maybe against its wish and due to its carelessness, helped a lot and made a perfect start for era of McCarthyism. The consequences this event had turned into the difficult period in the history of media. The speech given by McCarthy contained much lie, however, journalists published it without any verification. The facts presented in the speech were not only false, they were absurd: “Why wouldn't he read some of the names on the list, if he had a list? If he had a list where on earth would he have got it? Who would have given it to him? The FBI? The State Department? Why? Could he have worked it up himself?”.3 The reporters who published this speech did not care about these issues, notwithstanding that it was their straight responsibility to check the information before publishing. Many experts consider press even to be responsible for the period when American citizens were misled. Not only printing but also television was successfully used by the shrewd senator. With the help of TV he easily penetrated homes of American citizens. Bayley (1981) points out: “McCarthy's rise to national prominence coincided with the explosive growth of television in the United States”.4 However, here McCarthy made a mistake: he did not take into account the fact that TV program can’t be corrected or edited and thus it may lead to his breakdown that finally happened. The media and the default of McCarthy The troubles of McCarthy started when he attacked the presidents, notwithstanding that Harry Truman was successfully defeated by him. McCarthy accused Truman in sympathy towards Communists and this fact was negatively treated by the American citizens. The party of Republicans was the next to win with Dwight Eisenhower as a leader. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the McCarthy to have a position of the head of Senate, thus he decided to compromise Eisenhower. McCarthy used press to accuse Eisenhower in being sympathetic to the Communist. 5 Eisenhower gave a speech in response but McCarthy was so self-assured that he answered Eisenhower on TV even not knowing the content of president’s speech. Joseph McCarthy did not know how mature the president was and accused him again but then it appeared that Eisenhower even did not even mention the name of the scandal senator in his speech. According to Reston, the speech of the president was a "note on the principals that should govern the relations between the legislature and the executive under the US ...Show more


Name Subject Date McCarthy, Murrow and the use of the media Introduction It goes without saying that the senator Joseph McCarthy is an interesting and outstanding figure in the American history. His political actions resulted in many alterations during the Cold War with the Soviet Union…
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McCarthy, Murrow and the Use of Media essay example
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