With America hot in the grips of the Red Scare, it was possible to settle all manner of vendetta by simply implying someone had "Communist Friendly" ties. Such was the case of Edward J. Corsi, who had been appointed in 1954 by John Foster Dulles to oversee the State Department Immigration Program. Corsi, who was a liberal Republican, had apparently run afoul of a Congressman from Pennsylvania who decided Corsi was ill-equipped to handle the position and was rumored to be tied in the past to Communist front organizations. Corsi's boss, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles promptly fired him and it sent shock waves throughout Capitol Hill. The scandal was thought to have political repercussions for the upcoming 1956 elections and his firing set up an outcry that came from many unlikely sectors of the political spectrum, including Eleanor Roosevelt.
While the scandal was fresh, CBS' program Face The Nation on April 17, 1955 sat down with Corsi, and with a panel of journalists, hammered questions at him.
John Madigan (Washington Bureau Chief of Newsweek): “Do you believe you were fired in this instance because an influential Democratic Congressman made some charges concerning your alleged associations previously with Communist front organizations?
Edward Corsi: “ I haven’t the slightest doubt about that Mister Madigan, because the Secretary himself told me that.”
Madigan: “Mister Dulles has told you that he fired you because of charges made by Representative Walter of Pennsylvania?”
Corsi: “Mister Dulles told me that it was essential that he maintained friendly relations with Congress.”
Madigan: “But did he tell you that was the reason you were fired, in order to keep up such relations?”
Corsi: “Well I think that would have had no other meaning for me other than that. What he said he had to maintain friendly relations with Congress and this controversy had embarrassed those relations with Congress and I was to go to South America so that the controversy would end.”
It's interesting that political assassination by innuendo is still very much alive and used today.
June 21, 1955 - Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Charter. North Korean pilots defect to South Korea. Big Four Conference in Geneva scheduled for July greeted with enthusiastic anticipation. Winston Churchill welcomes softening of Cold War issues, but is still wary. CIO leader Walter Reuther rejects Auto industry plan for uniform negotiations. Eisenhower extends reciprocal trade agreements. Read more...