May 18, 1951 and the controversy surrounding the abrupt dismissal and relieving of duties of General Douglas MacArthur by President Truman back in April was still having repercussions around Capitol Hill.
And depending on who you spoke to, the MacArthur firing was either a very sane or very crazy thing for Truman to do. MacArthur was considered something of a loose cannon to some; his support of an invasion of China and running the risk of triggering an all out potential nuclear War over Korea was alarming to those who sought some peaceful end to the fighting in Korea. And there were those who felt MacArthur’s firing was a sign of weakness on the part of the U.S. – that an invasion of China was the only solution if Communist influence was going to be stopped in Asia.
The dismissal also triggered an investigation over the firing, and hearings were underway on Capitol Hill. Allegations were voiced that the Democrats were covering up the real reasons behind MacArthur’s dismissal and that the hearings needed to be public. In any case, some commentators (this one in particular) labeled the hearings a whitewash and a washout and were dead-against the Truman decision to relieve General MacArthur of his duties. Furthermore, Republicans were convinced the hearings were designed to be a long, drawn-out affair, aimed at confusing the public and boring everyone to the point of ambivalence.
Such was the state of politics and Washington in 1951.
There was a lot more going on this day, but the primary focus of this news/commentary broadcast from Fulton Lewis Jr., a notable conservative broadcaster for the Mutual Broadcasting System, was over the MacArthur dismissal hearings on this May 18, 1951. Further evidence the label of News media as being “liberal” is, and always has been, misleading.