President Bush Uses Blacklist in Fargo
"The listings in Red Channels were compiled, so J. B. Matthews claimed, from his collection of front group letterheads, congressional and California Un-American Activities Committee reports, and old Daily Workers. They were not always accurate, but they were devastating. By 1951, the television networks and their sponsors no longer hired anyone whose name was in the book, and the prohibition soon spread to anyone who seemed controversial. A tiny group of true believers enforced the blacklist by deluging networks, advertising agencies, and sponsors with letters and phone calls whenever someone they disapproved of got hired. One of the blacklist's most ardent enforcers was Laurence Johnson, a supermarket owner in Syracuse, New York, who threatened to place signs in his stores warning customers not to buy the products of any company that sponsored a program featuring one of "Stalin's little creatures." Although Johnson represented no one but himself and his employees, some of the nation's largest corporations capitulated to his demands.During the 2004 Campaign, it was common knowledge that the Bush people screened audiences and required oaths of allegiance to stifle any possible dissent in these artificially homogeneous crowds. As reported by the Washington Post at one Cheney rally:
Broadcasters scrambled to ensure that they did not hire the wrong kinds of talent and often enlisted professional anti-Communists to check the backgrounds of prospective employees. One of the authors of Red Channels charged five dollars a name; the ex-FBI agents of American Business Consultants provided similar services, sometimes, it was said, after threatening further exposures in Counterattack. CBS inaugurated a loyalty oath and, like the other networks and big advertising agencies, put full-time "security officers" on its payroll. In Hollywood the studios worked closely with the American Legion and the film industry's own anti-Communists and informers. The criteria for the blacklists varied. People who were cleared by one network or studio were banned by others. Even within a single network or agency, some shows hired performers that other shows refused to touch. The blacklisters' targets extended far beyond the Communist party and sometimes seemed to encompass almost every liberal in show business. One producer found that a third of the performers he wanted to hire were turned down by his superiors--including an eight-year-old girl."
The Albuquerque Journal reported on Friday that people seeking tickets to the Cheney event who could not be identified as GOP partisans -- contributors or volunteers -- were told they could not receive tickets unless they signed an endorsement form saying "I, (full name) . . . do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States." The form warns that signers "are consenting to use and release of your name by Bush-Cheney as an endorser of President Bush."
So when 7,000 people turned out at North Dakota State University's Bison Sports Arena to hear their President, you would think all Americans would be invited. He is the great uniter isn't he? Isn't Bush the President of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents? Well, that wasn't how it worked.
As the Washington Post reported today, apparently not all Americans were eligible to attend this speech:
The Fargo Forum reported that a city commissioner, a liberal radio producer, a deputy Democratic campaign manager and a number of university professors were among more than 40 area residents who were barred from attending the Bush event. Their names were on a list supplied to workers at two ticket distribution sites.
And where did the "buck stop" on this travesty of American politics? Well certainly not this President who is never responsible for anything done by his underlings.
The White House said the list may have come from volunteers; it did not come from the White House.
And what about John Kerry? Does he believe in these loyalty oaths to attend his political events? As he said in a candid interview with Jon Stewart:
Very smart. Now if-- if someone wants to come to your rally, what kind of loyalty oath do they have to sign?
(LAUGHTER) I saw you-- I actually saw you talking about this. None.
You know what? I--
--I have to say this.
Thank you Senator Kerry. When you leave the door open for 2008, remember to leave the door open for ALL Americans to walk through with you. Unlike the current President, you will be leading an America that works to advance each and every individual and not pit young against old, red state against blue, black against white, and haves against have-nots!
We shall wait for you Senator Kerry! And we shall be here when you need us to help you get to the White House in 2008!