Tuesday night, on The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly served up an idea so half-baked that even his guest, arch-conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer couldn’t swallow. Bemoaning the near complete lack of interest the entertainment industry has shown in performing at Donald Trump inauguration festivities, O’Reilly attempted to conjure up a new boogeyman: “Reverse McCarthyism.”
For those who are unfamiliar, Joe McCarthy was a Republican Senator from the state of Wisconsin, who terrorized the entertainment industry in the 1940s and 50s, Through his congressional committee, McCarthy subpoenaed and grilled Hollywood luminaries for suspected “Communist sympathies.” This led to the blacklisting of some 150 people, including Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles.
It was a very ugly chapter in American history. People were bullied, encouraged to name friends and co-workers, and careers were destroyed with little or no evidence of any wrongdoing.
So in O’Reilly’s world, the lack of enthusiasm in performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration is “reverse McCarthyism,” because “a number of entertainers believe,” their careers will be harmed by “anti-Trump zealots.”
The really fun part (aside from him trying to pronounce the name of Jackie Evancho, who performed on America’s Got Talent, it seems.) is that in order to make his point, O’Reilly has to engage in some actual McCarthyism. He cites, without offering any evidence, a “liberal conspiracy.”
We hear the Beach Boys and the country group Alabama may be appearing, but that hasn’t been confirmed…Also not confirmed are some entertainers who reportedly believe if they show up at the inauguration it’ll hurt their careers.
The tenor Andrea Bocelli has been mentioned, along with Garth Brooks. But again, we cannot confirm the fear element.
O’Reilly’s lack of concern for detail and concrete information would make McCarthy himself uncomfortable. Krauthammer, for his part, never laughed out loud, but he had a couple of mic drop moments.
The election of George W. Bush in 2000 was perhaps the most controversial vote in the nation’s history. Decided by the Supreme Court. But a variety of entertainers showed up at the inauguration, including Ricky Martin, Wayne Newton, Jessica Simpson, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Rockettes…
Wayne Newton? Is that your ‘A-list’?
Other (but by no means all) of the highlights from Krauthammer include:
You know, I find it hard to get exercised over the fact that we may be short a Rockette at the inaugural celebration.
This is a republic. You are not summoned to perform for the king or for the dictator. In some places, if Kim Jong-un calls you to sing, you better show up, because otherwise you’re not gonna make it to the morning.
If Krauthammer is any indication, this line of ‘reasoning’ just ain’t gonna fly. But, who knows? In a country where we’re discussing Donald Trump’s inauguration at all, you can fool an awful lot of the people, far too often.
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