• U.S.

National Affairs: McCarthy Never Forgets

3 minute read

The Boston Traveler’s Columnist Neal O’Hara is not a seeker after journalistic dynamite; his daily feature, “Take It From Me,” is an innocuous collection of jokes, quizzes, fragments of news and “Thoughts While Shaving,” and it is published on the comic page. O’Hara said he had no intention of stirring up a hornet’s nest when he reflected (while shaving) last month that both Harvard’s newly elected President Nathan Marsh Pusey and Senator Joe McCarthy live in the town of Appleton, Wis. (seat of Lawrence College, which Pusey has served as president for the last nine years).

In the hope of a squib for his column, however, O’Hara sat down after getting the lather off his chin and wrote a letter asking what the Senator thought of the new prexy. Harvardman O’Hara expected nothing more than a note saying McCarthy thought Neighbor Pusey was a fine fellow. But to O’Hara’s amazement, McCarthy saw Red. He wrote:

“Dear Mr. O’Hara,

“Perhaps the best description of Pusey is that he is a man who has considerable intellectual possibilities, but who has neither learned nor forgotten anything since he was a freshman in college.

“He appears to hide a combination of bigotry and intolerance behind a cloak of phony, hypocritical liberalism.

“I do not think that Pusey is or has been a member of the Communist Party. However … his activities could well be compared to the undercover Communist who slaps at the Communist Party in general terms, cusses out the thoroughly well-known Communists, and then directs his energy toward attempting to destroy those who are really hurting the Communist Party . . . What motivates Pusey I have no way of knowing. He is what could be best described as a rabid anti antiCommunist.

“You perhaps should keep in mind that I may not be entirely unbiased in my analysis of Pusey. In Wisconsin he endorsed and lent his support to libelous smear-campaign material … I am very happy that he has left my home town of Appleton. Regardless of who takes his place, it will be an improvement. In other words, Harvard’s loss is Wisconsin’s gain.”

Translated, this meant that bitter Joe McCarthy was offended by Republican Pusey’s one venture into active politics: allowing his name to be used last year with those of 70 other Wisconsin citizens who approved a $1 campaign pamphlet entitled The McCarthy Record.

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