I.F. Stone on HUAC's investigations into movies

The Grand Inquisition

If a Congressional committee can investigate ideas in the movies, it can investigate them in the press. The purpose is to terrorize all leftists, liberals, and intellectuals; to make them fearful in the film, the theater, the press, and any school of advanced ideas the Thomas committee can stigmatize as "red." ... [T]he committee is out to give the moguls of the industry no rest until they not only take from the screen what little liberal and social content it has, but turn to making films which would prepare the way for fascism at home and war abroad. There were two revealing moments in the producersí testimony. Jack Warner, explaining the "subtle" methods of "red" screen writers, said, "They have the routine of the Indians and the colored folks. That is always their setup." And when Louis B. Mayer said he was going to start making some "anti-Communist films promptly," Thomas leaned forward with a grin and asked, "These hearings havenít anything to do with the promptness, have they?"

--I.F. Stone, November 8, 1947 in the Nation magazine


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