Senator Joe McCarthy

Senator Joe McCarthy - Ministering a dose of paranoia to an already hysterical nation.

June 14, 1954 – Army-McCarthy Hearings – Week 8 – Past Daily Reference Room

Senator Joe McCarthy
Senator Joe McCarthy – Ministering a dose of paranoia to an already hysterical nation.

June 14, 1954 – Recap of Days testimony – Army-McCarthy Hearings – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

For everyone who is complaining about the glacial and relatively drama-free hearings currently going on at Capitol Hill, one just has to look at the history books to find ample proof Capitol Hill and Hearings are not synonymous with the circus – they are often cures for insomnia – the wheels of government move at a snail’s pace and long winded dissertations on seemingly pointless or well-trod ground are the trademarks of Capitol Hill and always have been.

For the most part, minds have been made up – we’ve been living with the story for well over a year now – we’ve been bombarded by theories and faux outrage and actual overload. We hear of threats to do this or the other and voice amazement that the whole thing is handled in such genteel fashion, with such kid-gloves treatment that anything resembling justice is laced with a barrage of mea culpas as things head to trial (eventually or not at all).

But there was a time when Hearings were held to look for facts and explanations to determine if criminal wrongdoing had been done – and that those doing the asking weren’t all that concerned with ramifications or re-election. And those waving threats and vowing to produce names and proof were riding a wave of righteous indignation – and capitalizing on an aura of fear that America was heading straight into the arms of Moscow and determined to “flush them out”, whether any of these feints and threats turned out to be real or not.

Bear in mind, these hearings were carried live, and in their entirety in 1954 by ABC TV and the fledgling network Dumont as well as NBC Radio – they went on, everyday, from April to June 1954. All the networks carried a half-hour recap of the day’s hearings. This recap is from CBS Radio.

It wasn’t the first time gavel-to-gavel hearings were broadcast over TV and Radio and it wouldn’t be the last. But lately the process has seemed too much at a snail’s pace and polite and attention spans have shortened to nanoseconds, even though the current batch of hearings is down to 2-hours at a time and not daily.

Still, it’s a process and its been in place for some 200+ years – and as is evidenced by the Army-McCarthy Hearings of 1954, it has a history. Here are the hearings for June 14, 1954 as detailed by CBS Radio.




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