McCarthyism and the Media Essay example

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McCarthyism and the Media

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
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In 1947 the first wave of hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities began. These hearings were mainly focused on Hollywood and the film industry.
McCarthyism would take its biggest toll in this industry and would contribute to the creation of the infamous “Hollywood Blacklist.” The HUAC interrogated numerous actors, directors, screen-writers, etc, and countless films were reviewed by innumerable congressional committees in hopes of finding circumstantial evidence that would prove the theory that Hollywood was infiltrated by communists and that communistic ideas were being portrayed to the unknowing public in films and the media. The HUAC hearings subpoenaed countless members of Hollywood, many of which lost their jobs. In the public’s eyes, being called to testify meant that you were either a communist or were associated with one and that was simply unacceptable for many of the production companies at that time. The most notable victims of these are hearings and the only ones to actually go to jail were the “Hollywood Ten.” After the investigation and analysis of a few select films, Avah Bessie, Herbert J. Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., and Dalton Trumbo were found suspects in portraying communistic

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