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Point of Order is compiled from TV footage of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, in which the Army accused Senator McCarthy of improperly pressuring the Army for special privileges for Private David Schine, formerly of McCarthy's investigative staff. McCarthy accused the Army of holding Schine hostage to keep him from searching for Communists in the Army. These hearings resulted in McCarthy's eventual censure for conduct unbecoming a senator. Written by
This 1963 film is reminiscent of another hearing we all may be familiar with
can you say Monica?
This documentary is a fascinating ride into the mind of American anti-hero Joseph McCarthy and his rivals in the Senate as he defends his (then closeted gay) staff member from accusations of improprieties in the televised Senate committee hearings.
The amazing thing is McCarthy's stupidity and arrogance in his presentation and his use of red herrings to get back to his "agenda". There are open laughs and applause at moments that show McCarthy's loss of power, culminating in the famous "senator, have you no sense of decency" comment by Mr. Welch.
The style is a bit dated - geez, it was just an assembly of clips - but it tells a story that this writer missed in his civics class. It's a must see for anyone interested in American politics, and it is especially interesting to students of political scandal.
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