Joe McCarthy's Assault on Drew Pearson

It may seem unimaginable these days, but 60 years ago a U.S. Senator assaulted a prominent newspaper columnist at an exclusive club in Washington, D.C.


The brief but violent confrontation between Joe McCarthy and columnist Drew Pearson took place December 12, 1950, at the end of a dinner at the Sulgrave Club, which occupies a Gilded Age Beaux Arts mansion on DuPont Circle.

I recount this episode in my latest book, Getting It Wrong–in the chapter puncturing the myth about CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and his half-hour television report on McCarthy in March 1954. The myth has it that Murrow confronted and single-handedly took down McCarthy, the Red-baiting Republican senator from Wisconsin.

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