McCarthy and Copland

Here is an excerpt from the recently released secret transcripts from the McCarthy hearings. I found this one particularly funny since they are interviewing Aaron Copland – the composer of “Appliacian Spring” – one of the most profoundly American pieces of classical music from the 20th Century:

May 26, 1953, McCarthy and Cohn questioning classical music composer, professor, and conductor Aaron Copland about his associations with communists.

McCarthy: Have you ever been a communist sympathizer?

Copland: I am not sure I would be able to say what you mean by the word “sympathizer.”

McCarthy: Did you ever attend a communist meeting?

Copland: I am afraid I don’t know how you define a communist meeting…

Cohn: What was your view of the Hitler-Stalin pact – 1939 to 1941?

Copland: I don’t remember any specific view of it…

Cohn: Do you feel communists should be allowed to teach in our schools?

Copland: I haven’t given the matter such thought as to come up with an answer.

Cohn: In other words, as of today you don’t have any firm thought?

Copland: I would be inclined to allow the faculty of the university to decide that.

Now, just replace the word “communist” with the word “muslim” and you have the modern, present-day Ashcroft version.