Covering Mccarthyism

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Strout examines how the Christian Science Monitor, a highly influential newspaper of the era, covered Joseph R. McCarthy and McCarthyism from the Senator's Lincoln Day speech in February 1950 through his censure in December 1954. Through his in-depth examination of the Monitor's interoffice communications, Strout examines how the Monitor's coverage compared with other elite and popular press newspapers and how the pressures associated with McCarthyism affected individuals at the Monitor.

An extensive review of the Monitor's editorials and news articles suggests that it was remarkably thorough and fair in its reporting, while still being outspoken, but responsible in its criticism. While many newspapers attacked McCarthy personally, the Monitor concentrated on the actions of the junior senator and the negative effects they were having at home and abroad. As Strout sees it, the Monitor served as a voice of moderation, while simultaneously being a persistent critic of McCarthy's tactics.

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Editorial Reviews

Focusing on the coverage of the Wisconsin senator from his famous Lincoln Day, 1950 speech accusing the State Department of being infiltrated by Communists through his censure by the US Senate on December 2, 1954, Strout (journalism, Mississippi U. for Women) details the handling of McCarthyism by this influential conservative newspaper as a case study of responsible media coverage. Adhering to founder Mary Baker Eddy's admonition "to injure no man, but serve all mankind," the paper criticized McCarthy's actions rather than resorting to name-calling. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
For readers who know little about the journalism of the 1950's, Strout offers a just-right amount of perspective. Most important, for readers who wonder how journalists ought—and ought not—to balance truth and lies from any significant source, this book is as fresh as today's news...The book works so well in a large part because the author had access to the professional and private papers of Richard Strout. That access yields wonderful glimpses of a journalist trying to be accurate and fair publicly while seething privately.
The Christian Science Monitor
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Product Details

Meet the Author

LAWRENCE N. STROUT is Gibbons Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Mississippi University for Women.

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Table of Contents

1 1950: McCarthyism Begins 1
2 1951: McCarthy's Character Assassinations 35
3 1952: McCarthy in the National Spotlight 53
4 1953: McCarthy versus the Press and the Eisenhower Administration 87
5 1954: McCarthy's Demise 121
6 The Legacy: The Christian Science Monitor and Joseph R. McCarthy 147
Selected Bibliography 157
Index 167
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