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Joseph McCarthy

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Award-Winning Playwright Finds Trump Worse Than His Play’s Villain

Roy Marcus Cohn was the chief hatchet man for Senator Joseph McCarthy, and he went even further than the Senator in practicing thuggish and unprincipled tactics. Because of such behavior, Cohn had drawn the wrath of both right and left. For conservatives, Cohn, with his bullying and baseless methods, damaged the cause of anti-Communism for decades. For liberals, Cohn was a Bill of Rights-shredding hypocrite; who, despite being gay, hunted down and purged the government of homosexuals. Since his death in the 1980s, Cohn has since had a considerable after-life in popular culture. James Woods portrayed Cohn as a hyperactive fascist who used his powers to secure more romantic time with fellow staffer David Schine, then in the Army; which assured the Army-McCarthy hearings that took both he and McCarthy down. By far the most famous depiction, however, has been his deathbed appearance in playwright Tony Kushner’s Angels in America; a Reagan-era play about the AIDS epidemic. In the play, Kushner depicted Cohn as a hate-spouting homophobe who at… Keep Reading

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