Earlier this year, the Screen Actors Guild issued a statement lamenting that "those in the public eye should suffer professionally for having the courage to give voice to their views. Even a hint of the blacklist must never again be tolerated in this nation." Feeling the lash of a right-wing blacklist, the Dixie Chicks recently played to an adoring, sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden.
But earlier this week, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., denounced a radio corporation's decision not to play the Dixie Chicks as similar to Nazism and McCarthyism. The Dixie Chicks lead singer ridiculed President Bush before a foreign audience. That was constitutionally protected free speech. The decision of radio stations not to play the Dixie Chicks, however, is not a matter of their own free speech.
Conservatives are openly blackballed in all the liberal professions – publishing, Hollywood, the mainstream media, education and college faculties. Apparently, that's not "blacklisting." It is churlish for conservatives to complain about private censorship. True blacklisting occurs only when someone scowls at a liberal.
Ronald Radosh is one of the nation's pre-eminent historians, but he is blacklisted from American universities because he wrote a book concluding that the Rosenbergs were guilty – a few years before decrypted Soviet cables were released proving they were guilty.
Inasmuch as Radosh had once been a "progressive" himself, a fatwa was inevitable. Radosh marched for the Rosenbergs. He attended candlelight vigils for the Rosenbergs. He was even personally acquainted with Pete Seeger! But after setting out to write a book proving the Rosenbergs innocent, his research led him to conclude otherwise. He was a liberal who rejected the faith. Under strict fatwa procedures, Radosh had to be banned from academia.
As has been copiously detailed by John Judis in the liberal New Republic magazine, whenever Radosh is on the verge of being hired by a major university, the liberal wolf pack bays and suddenly the position disappears. Anonymous critics were quoted "question[ing] his credentials." One historian told Judis: "I wouldn't hire a red-baiter like Ron." Another said Radosh was "not a historian at all."