In 1980s College Republican lingo, a “Commie Symp” was someone suspected of sympathizing with Marxists. Events of the past week might make observers think establishment media outlets consist of Commie Symps.
That suspicion, only partially hyperbolic, arises because of the complete establishment-media blackout of the news that Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut spoke at a Dec. 11 awards ceremony for the Connecticut affiliate of Communist Party USA. As recorded by the Yankee Institute, a free market state think tank, Blumenthal pronounced himself “really excited and honored to be with you today” while presenting the group’s chosen award winners with special certificates of recognition from the Senate.
Blumenthal knew exactly the nature of the group with whom he felt so “honored” to join. Throughout the event, including in the introduction of Blumenthal himself just 60 seconds before the senator took the microphone, the two co-hosts repeatedly celebrated their Communist Party affiliation and urged listeners to join the Communist Party.
In any rational, morally decent media world, this would be a big scandal. There is nothing remotely acceptable about speaking to a group that openly celebrates 102 years of the Communist Party USA. This is not some warm-and-fuzzy, well-intentioned (even if slightly impractical) affiliation. The Communist Party USA repeatedly tried to subvert constitutional democracy and spy on the U.S. government while deliberately and regularly colluding with the Soviet Union. And it could not even claim to be on some supposedly less inhumane side of communism: It openly opposed Mikhail Gorbachev’s semi-salutary reforms known as glasnost and perestroika, instead preferring the old, hard-line Soviet style that sent many millions into gulags.
There is absolutely no moral difference between consorting with a Communist Party affiliate and consorting with a white supremacist or neo-Nazi one. The record of international communist cruelty is indisputable, with its 100 million deaths far exceeding (in number) the genocidal effects of Nazism. To read the record of international communist atrocities is, for any decent human being, to be sickened by communism’s inherent evil.
Never in history has any communist government brought anything other than misery. Even in headlines on newsstands as Blumenthal spoke to the Connecticut communists, the ravages of communism were and are apparent in the hideous deprivations being suffered by the people of Venezuela.
Yet, a web search shows not a single mention of Blumenthal’s Communist Party event by the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, or CNN. Compare that to the voluminous coverage those and other self-proclaimed “mainstream” outlets gave to the speaking engagements of Republican Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Steve King of Iowa with white supremacist groups. Indeed, all those outlets had conniption fits even when discovering, well more than a decade after the fact, that Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana had once spoken to a neighborhood civic association that had overlapping membership with a white supremacist group. (All the evidence indicated that Scalise was unaware of the group’s co-affiliations.)
This is not a “what-about” attempt to say news outlets were wrong to report on and condemn Gosar and King. (Their coverage of Scalise was entirely unfair, but that’s another story.) Indeed, they were entirely right to do so. What’s outlandish, though, is the media's hypocrisy in ignoring Blumenthal’s open glad-handing with communists. There is nothing remotely defensible in Blumenthal’s enthusiastic participation in the event. His actions were morally depraved.
Just as Gosar and King were drummed out of congressional committee spots, Blumenthal too should be penalized. A media with any ethics and discernment would lead the way in demanding it.