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Mccarthyism and the Media

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 04:23 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.2 
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The Cold War ushered in a new era in the American society that would change the way in which everyday life was carried on by the public.   Men, women and children were convinced to fit the “average” mold that was promoted through propaganda issued from the American government and media. Events, such as the McCarthy hearings and Hollywood Blacklisting, contributed to the overwhelming fear of nonconformity. The American public was bombarded with images of conformity such as the popular “family sitcoms” that were mass produced in the 1950’s.   The insistence upon normality and conformity was also portrayed metaphorically in numerous Sci-Fi movies of the time which exemplified xenophobia, the hatred or fear of strangers or foreigners or of anything strange or foreign.  

The ideas promoted by McCarthyism and the anti-communistic sentiment of the times were meant to push people away from non-conventional ways of thinking.   Anything that was the slightest bit left or radical or even new could be construed as communistic.   After Russia’s rejection to the Marshall Plan, a strong wave of communist fear began to sweep the nation and was being promoted by the U.S. government and the media.   The early development of the Russian nuclear weapon brought grounds for suspicions of leaked information and the discovery and conviction of espionage for the Rosenbergs only fanned the flames of fear.   The 1940’s were plagued with endless magazine articles like “How Communists Get That Way” and “Communists Are After Your Child.”   Even President Truman’s Attorney General stated “There are today many Communists in America.   They are everywhere--in factories, offices, butcher shops, on street corners, in private businesses--and each carries in himself the germs of death for society.”   The Cold War had created a fear that democracy was in danger and that the American people must take drastic measures to ensure the continuance of their way of life.   The first step taken in...


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