web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Just Wild About Harry


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button

Harry Truman reached out from the grave last week and exposed the media’s double standard when it comes to judging Democrats and Republicans. A librarian at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, discovered a 1947 diary of Truman’s that had been sitting unopened on a shelf for some four decades. The book contained the following edifying remarks:

“The Jews, I find, are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political, neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog.”

The media’s response? Either a rush to “explain” the remarks in a positive light or a relative disinterest (playing down the entries about Jews while highlighting some other aspect of the diary). The New York Times, for example, headlined its July 11 story on the diary “Truman Wrote of ’48 Offer to Eisenhower” – and didn’t get around to blandly mentioning Truman’s anti-Semitic comments until the sixth paragraph.

The Times failed to give its readers the full flavor of Truman’s rant, reproducing only a partial quote from the diary and excising the president’s comparison of Jews - a mere two years after the Holocaust – with Hitler and Stalin.

Just about every media account quoted so-called experts who strained to place Truman’s remarks in historical context and to differentiate between his words and deeds. Such fair-mindedness is, of course, noticeably lacking whenever the media rehash the anti-Semitic state ments made by Richard Nixon, whose deeds vis-a-vis Israel trumped Truman’s – Nixon saved Israel from catastrophe during the Yom Kippur War while Truman, after granting recognition to Israel in 1948, refused to provide desperately needed arms to the new Jewish state as it fought for its life against invading Arab armies.

Some of the aforementioned “experts” professed shock at the very idea that Harry Truman could have harbored dark thoughts toward Jews. Sara Bloomfield, director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, reacted with a particularly appalling display of ignorance: “Wow!” she said. “It did surprise me because of what I know about Truman’s record.”

Ms. Bloomfield obviously doesn’t know very much. At a Cabinet meeting in 1946, Truman complained bitterly about Jewish organizational leaders, remarking, “If Jesus Christ couldn’t satisfy them here on earth, how the hell am I supposed to?….I have no use for them and I don’t care what happens to them.”

On another occasion, referring to Jews who were pressing the case for a Jewish state, Truman snapped to some aides, “I’m not a New Yorker. All these people are pleading for a special interest. I’m an American.”

Truman’s anti-Jewish tantrums were hardly limited to his inner circle: Ted Thackrey, editor of the New York Post and husband of the paper’s flamboyant publisher, Dorothy Schiff, recalled how stunned he and his wife were when they paid a call on Truman at the White House and broached the subject of Palestine. “Now, Thackrey,” Truman said, anger visibly rising, “if only the [expletive deleted] New York Jews would just shut their mouths and quit hollering.”

In his book Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter, James Humes, a speech writer for five U.S. presidents, relates a little-known but highly revealing story that was told to him by the television producer David Susskind, who worked on a documentary with Truman several years after the latter left office.

“Susskind,” writes Humes, “said that each morning…he would arrive at Truman’s house at Independence. He would wait on the porch on a cold February day while Mrs. Truman went to inform her husband of his arrival. After about the fourth morning, he asked the president in his walk why he was never asked inside.

” “You’re a Jew, David,” Truman replied, “and no Jew has ever been in the house.” ”

According to Humes, Truman went on to explain to a stunned Susskind that the house was his wife’s: “Bess runs it, and there’s never been a Jew inside the house in her or her mother’s lifetime.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Share Button

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Just Wild About Harry”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Indepth Stories
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

Yossi Klein HaLevi

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/just-wild-about-harry/2003/08/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: