You may have heard the news report that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “reprimanded employees for replacing ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogans with ‘All Lives Matter’ on the walls of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.”
“In a private Facebook post obtained by Gizmodo, Zuckerburg told employees that their behaviour was ‘malicious’ and ‘disrespectful,’ and reminded them that there are ‘specific issues affecting the black community in the United States.’” (H/T: Breitbart)
There are always “specific issues,” but not everyone has to agree with what those issues are or how they should be addressed. Facebook was built on the underlying principle that people could speak their mind to the world and not be molested about what they believed. That has changed.
Zuckerburg has joined the liberal blacklist brigade. Articles have been published on how Twitter is “shadowbanning” conservative tweets.
“A disturbing report from Breitbart reveals that Twitter has been ‘shadowbanning’ some conservatives sites without telling the owners of the accounts that their tweets are being restricted.
“According to the report, confirmed to Breitbart by a Twitter official, the company has a ‘white list’ and a ‘black list,’ with white list tweets getting favored search engine treatment while blacklisted accounts are left off timelines and virtually blocked from getting search engine coverage.” (H/T: American Thinker)
There isn’t enough space to describe how an unspoken blacklisting is rampant in today’s universities and the media. Try to get tenure at a major university if you’re a conservative.
In 2008, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich gave $1,000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in California. To a homosexual, it was like he gave money to Adolf Hitler or the Grand Kleagle of the KKK.
Other supporters faced the wrath of the Gaystapo for their support of Proposition 8.
Peter Vidmar, a double gold-medal winner in the 1984 Olympics in gymnastics, was forced to resign as Chairman of USA Gymnastics. Why? Because in 2008 he donated $2000 to support Proposition 8. The homosexual defamation machine went into action and put pressure on the Olympic Committee and its sponsors.
A letter writer to the San Francisco Chronicle who supported Prop 8 was intimidated when Internet search engines were used “to find the letter writer’s small business, his Web site (which included the names of his children and dog), his phone number and his clients. And they posted that information in the ‘Comments’ section of SFGate.com — urging, in ugly language, retribution against the author’s business and its identified clients.”
The blacklist lives and thrives in the hands of liberals!
During the 1940s and 1950s, Hollywood producers, directors, and actors were being scrutinized for their political beliefs. The period of “red hysteria” put people’s jobs in the film industry in jeopardy. “Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities; some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time.”
Writers and directors testified before Congress and the specially called House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). When a group of 10 writers and directors — the so-called Hollywood Ten — refused to testify before the committee, a Hollywood “blacklist” was instituted on November 25, 1947. On June 22, 1950, the journal Counterattack published Red Channels, a report on the “Communist Influence in Radio and Television.” The booklet identified 151 actors, writers, musicians, broadcast journalists, and others it believed were using the entertainment industry to spread Communist ideals. Even before publication, some on the list were already being denied employment because of their political beliefs. Beginning in May of 1947, the Counterattack newsletter published weekly information on the political views of entertainment figures.
On November 25, 1947 (the day after the House of Representatives approved citations of contempt for the Hollywood Ten because of their refusal to testify), Eric Johnston, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, issued a two-page press release that represented the views of the heads of the major studios. The “Waldorf Statement,” as it came to be called, announced the firing of the Hollywood Ten and stated:
“We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ, and we will not re-employ any of the 10 until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a Communist. . . . We will not knowingly employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States.”
Most people today would not recognize the names of the Hollywood Ten. The two-time Oscar-winner Dalton Trumbo (1905–1976) might be the exception since the release of the 2015 film Trumbo.
Read related article: “Did You Know that According to the Film ‘Trumbo’ Communism is All about Sharing?”
He started as one of the highest paid writers in Hollywood making $4000 per week and worked on a number of noted films: Kitty Foyle (1940), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), A Guy Named Joe (1943), Spartacus (1960), and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945), starring Edward G. Robinson whose name was published in the Red Channels booklet, although Robinson was never “officially” blacklisted.
Trumbo’s 1939 anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun,1 won an American Book Sellers Award that year.2 It didn’t help Trumbo that the novel was serialized in the Communist periodical The Daily Worker in March 1940 and “became ‘a rally point for the left’ which had opposed involvement in World War II during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact.”
This and a visit from the FBI3 made Trumbo persona non grata among many in Hollywood, especially since, politics aside, bad publicity could doom a film that was written by a pacifist. How do you sell a movie to a patriotic public when the screenplay was written by a “Commie”? Hollywood was then and is now more about money than ideology. Left-leaning actors, writers, directors, and producers knew this, that’s why the movies they worked on did not espouse their radical ideology.
Let’s not forget that Communists, Trumbo included, had their own blacklists:
“When leftists have been in power, they, too, have eliminated their perceived ideological opponents from earning a living. Trumbo himself admitted to participating in the crushing of authors and works that did not agree with his ideology. Today, left-wingers on college campuses have all but eliminated anyone to their right from consideration for tenure-track employment. Facts like these would be welcome in any deep, rich, complex treatment of the life of a Dalton Trumbo.” (H/T: Front Page Mag)
Trumbo and his Communist friends made their money from the system of government and economies they hoped to replace with a failed political system. Little has changed in our day. Leftists extol the virtues of Che, Fidel, described as “Hollywood’s favorite tyrant,”4 and Hugo Chavez while failing to comprehend that their profession would be taken over and used for propaganda purposes.
Trumbo was still able to make a living while blacklisted since producers got his services at bargain-basement prices as long as his work went uncredited or was acknowledged under an assumed name (e.g., the film The Brave One). In fact, he had more work than he could handle.5
“The film blacklist ended in 1960 when Kirk Douglas, the star and executive producer of Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, credited blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, of the Hollywood Ten, as the movie’s writer, using Trumbo’s real name. Ever since his blacklisting in 1947, Trumbo had been submitting scripts under the pseudonym Sam Jackson. President-elect John Kennedy crossed American Legion picket lines to view Spartacus, thereby lending the credibility of the nation’s highest office to the effort to end blacklisting. . . . Also in 1960, director Otto Preminger publicly announced that Trumbo had written his blockbuster film, Exodus.”6
The Hollywood blacklist era has outraged liberals for more than 60 years, but it hasn’t stopped modern-day liberals from creating their own blacklist of conservatives.
The title comes from the line “Johnny get your gun” from the George M. Cohan song “Over There” (1917) that was used for recruitment for WW I and II. For the lyrics, go here. Watch the scene from Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) starring James Cagney who is shown singing the song along with soldiers marching in front of the White House. ↩
Humberto Fontova, Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2005). “The book criticizes American celebrities, particularly Hollywood actors, who support Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba and often travel to meet with Castro personally. Among those singled out are Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Chevy Chase, Steven Spielberg, Ted Turner, and Dan Rather.” ↩
Ronald Radosh and Allis Radosh, Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left (New York: Encounter Books, 2006), 208. ↩