The headline on a Feb. 22 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein screams, "Mika Giggles Like Schoolgirl Over Sex In Woody Guthrie Book—Ignores His Communist Ties."
What do the two have to do with each other? Nothing. But Finkelstein really, really wants us to know that Guthrie was a dirty commie:
Woody Guthrie was an American original who wrote some enduring music and did a lot to publicize the plight of the people of the Dust Bowl. There's just one little inconvenient truth about Guthrie: he ran in Communist circles. Though it's reported that he never officially joined the party, he's quoted as saying that the "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party." He also wrote 174 columns for the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper.
But nary a mention was made of Woody's Communist connections on Morning Joe today. Instead, Mika Brzezinski giggled like a schoolgirl over the numerous, explicit sex scenes contained in a recently-discovered novel that Guthrie wrote, House of Earth.
Brzezinski is talking about a novel Guthrie wrote, in which Guthrie's alleged communism has no direct link, if there is any link at all. Finkelstein fails to explain any relevance Guthrie's political views have in discussing a work of fiction. It appears that Finkelstein just wants to red-bait.
Finkelstein fails to mention that much of Guthrie's communist activity occurred in the 1930s, when capitalism wasn't exactly doing well. And as others have pointed out, the Communists wouldn't let Woody be an official Communist, even if he'd really wanted to join, because he was too much of a free spirit.
But facts become inconvenient when Finkelstein is red-baiting, and he complains once again that the dicussion of Guthrie's book was "sanitized to remove Communist references."