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Western Press and the Soviets

May 19, 1986

How incredibly refreshing it was to read Hough's article concerning the nationwide anti-Soviet propaganda machine that is to blame for the public's lack of knowledge about Soviet civilization.

Hough accurately targets the Western press for its use of "diplomatic sources" in Moscow, who naturally propagandize the Reagan Administration's own distorted line of reasoning with regard to the Soviets. He is also correct in asserting that McCarthyism is alive and well in the United States, but he leaves out an important element.

During the height of the McCarthy scare, many of the "fellow travelers" sought out for undue criticism were found in the entertainment industry. Today, the anti-Russian, anti-Communist, anti-East European garbage coming out of Hollywood in the form of "Rambo--First Blood Part II", "No Retreat, No Surrender" and "Born in America," just to name a few, is evidence that the late Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wis.) has indeed left his paw print on the movie industry, the source of the public's foreign policy knowledge.

The press mirrors the public's ignorance of the Soviets, as is evident in the handling of the Chernobyl incident as a Soviet "problem" and not as a nuclear accident.

Perhaps after reality sets in, the press will be given another chance to report objectively about the Chernobyl incident. Conversely, the public should take with a grain of salt reports from foreign correspondents or Administration officials on this subject, or on anything about the Soviet Union for that matter. As for Reagan's stance toward the Russians, he is a product of the industry that has turned McCarthyistic paranoia into a multibillion-dollar business.

BILL J. TAYLOR

San Diego

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