Jump to content
The Education Forum

Sex and McCarthyism

John Simkin

Recommended Posts

One of the victims of McCarthyism was the sexologist Alfred Kinsey. His report in 1954 suggesting that one in ten men were gay and that women enjoyed sex, deeply shocked Joe McCarthy. He therefore made sure that all Kinsey’s funding was cut off. McCarthy, a Roman Catholic, often persecuted people because of their religious beliefs and sexual orientation. For example, a very high percentage of those blacklisted, were Jews.

McCarthy, like his buddy, J. Edgar Hoover, had his own sexual hang-ups. They were both gay themselves, but full of self-hatred, they insisted on persecuting homosexuals. The main reason why the FBI refused to investigate the Mafia was a collection of compromising photographs that crime boss, Meyer Lansky, had acquired of Hoover. Sex also helped to bring down McCarthy. It was discovered that he had attempted to blackmail army authorities into not conscripting his boyfriend, David Schine.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Playwrite Arthur Miller was called to the house committee on unamerican activities and was told he would not be called if he produced naked photos of his then girlfriend Marilyn Monroe.

Some abused their power. This story shows Mccarthyism for what it was, creating a climate of fear as is the case today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

While I have heard often about Hoover's escapades as a crossdresser, I have never heard of McCarthy being gay. He was a drunkard, but this is a first. My understanding is that McCarthy's chief counsil, Roy M. Cohn was homosexual to the extent that he had paid male lovers who lived with him in his appartment, their sole purpose to give him sexual pleasure. This being said, it was Cohn who was involved with David Schine, and by many accounts madly inlove with him. It was Cohn who convinced McCarthy that Schine (who was a minor member of McCarthy's staff) was integral to his staff. McCarthy attempted to pull strings and bully the military to keep Schine, but to no avail. Which brings us to the hearings against the US Army.

Again, while I cannot deny that McCarthy was a homosexual, I have never seen any information that claimed he was, but I have seen plenty claiming Cohn was. In fact, I recall, hearing a speech not to long ago from Stephen Birkner, from Gettysburg College, that McCarthy dispised that aspect of Cohn's life but realized that without Cohn, he was nothing, so he turned a blind eye to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I have heard often about Hoover's escapades as a crossdresser, I have never heard of McCarthy being gay. 

It was well-known in Washington that both Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover were gay. Of course, both men, outed left-wing gays working for the government (they claimed they were security risks).

Hoover had a long-term relationship with Clyde Tolson. This sexual relationship lasted for 40 years. Mafia boss, Meyer Lansky, obtained photographic evidence of Hoover's homosexuality and was able to use this to stop the FBI from looking too closely into the criminal activities of his friends. This is why Hoover made this ridiculous statement that organized crime did not exist in America.

The CIA also used this information against Hoover. In this way they were able to carry out covert activities in America (this was of course illegal as it broke the rules stipulated by Congress when the organization was set up).

For some time opponents of McCarthy had been accumulating evidence concerning his homosexual activities. This included relationships with young members of his staff including Roy Cohn and David Schine.

However, in 1952, McCarthy decided to take on the CIA (I suspect he was using information supplied by Hoover). It was no coincidence that McCarthy decided to concentrate on the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This was the unit, led by Frank Wisner, that organized domestic covert activities. McCarthy made a speech describing the OPC as "Wisner's gang of weirdos" and began carrying out investigations into their past. It did not take him long to discover that some of them had been active in left-wing politics in the 1930s. Hoover also passed to McCarthy details of an affair that Wisner had with Princess Caradja in Romania during the war. Hoover, claimed that Caradja was a Soviet agent. Other members of the OPC, including Cord Meyer were also targeted.

What Joe McCarthy did not know was that Wisner and Meyer were running Operation Mockingbird. This was a CIA operation that controlled the American media. Wisner now unleashed Mockingbird on McCarthy. Hank Greenspun published an article in the Las Vagas Sun in 25th October, 1952, saying that: "It is common talk among homosexuals in Milwaukee who rendezvous in the White Horse Inn that Senator Joe McCarthy has often engaged in homosexual activities."

McCarthy considered a libel suit against Greenspun but decided against it when he was told by his lawyers that if the case went ahead he would have to take the witness stand and answer questions about his sexuality. In an attempt to stop the rumours circulating, McCarthy married his secretary, Jeannie Kerr. Later the couple adopted a five-week old girl from the New York Foundling Home.

Other journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird, Drew Pearson, Joe Alsop, Jack Anderson, Walter Lippmann and Ed Murrow all went into attack mode and McCarthy was permanently damaged by the press coverage orchestrated by Wisner. As one journalist, Willard Edwards, pointed out that now: "Most reporters just refused to file McCarthy stories. And most papers would not have printed them anyway."

Most importantly Wisner had provided a warning to J. Edgar Hoover. As long as he allowed the OPC carry out their covert activities in America, his homosexuality would remain a secret from the American people. However, once he died, journalists like Anthony Summers were free to write about Hoover’s homosexuality.

For understandable reasons, the CIA have gone to amazing lengths to keep Operation Mockingbird a secret. You can read about it here:


One of the really interesting asoects of this is that key figures in Operation Mockingbird arranged for the Watergate investigation to take place (Cord Meyer is suspected of being Deep Throat). That leaves the question: Why did the CIA want to get rid of Richard Nixon?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...