MSNBC host Karen Finney called into conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s program on Monday for the first, and likely final, time. She ended up hanging up on Hewitt after she grew increasingly frustrated with the host’s persistent questions on “McCarthyism” and whether communists had actually infiltrated the U.S. government in the 1950s.
Hewitt began the interview with a clip from Finney’s weekend MSNBC show in which she compared Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Joe McCarthy in their shared “paranoia” and “fear-stoking” behavior. Things just got more and more tense from there.
Hewitt then pressed Finney on whether she believed there was any actual communist infiltration of the government during the McCarthy-era.
After being extremely evasive, Finney finally said: “No, there weren’t communists that infiltrated our government. That’s like Michele Bachmann accusing my friend Huma Abedin of being Muslim Brotherhood…”
“This is just a historical question,” Hewitt pressed. “Was Alger Hiss a communist?”
The MSNBC host further deflected, saying she didn’t want to “go down a rabbit hole.” She also repeatedly referenced the “environment” McCarthy promoted with his accusations.
When Hewitt asked again whether Alger Hiss was a “communist spy,” Finney said, “Hugh, I’m not doing this game with you! It’s not about who was a communist and who wasn’t a communist.”
After some heated cross talk, Finney hung up on Hewitt.
Listen to the tense exchange below via Mediaite:
Read up about the controversial Alger Hiss case here.