Sidebar: Red Scare: Conn Hallinan

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:15:00 AM

John Gertz has singled out Daily Planet columnist Conn Hallinan for an extra measure of rancor, resorting to red-baiting when all else fails. 

Hallinan, a veteran journalist and columnist for both the Daily Planet and Foreign Policy in Focus, makes no secret of his red past. 

“Yes, I was a communist,” says Hallinan, scion of one of the Bay Area’s legendarily progressive families. “But I haven’t been in years.” 

Hallinan’s wife and children are Jewish and he attends synagogue with them. He identifies himself as a supporter of Israel. 

Gertz said that while he doesn’t have a problem with the paper running columns “by a communist, at least he should be identified as what he is.” 

On his website, the producer-turned-media critic declares, “we will tell you now and in bold print: HALLINAN IS A LIFE LONG COMMUNIST .”  

And while Gertz insists that “Hallinan is obsessed with Israel,” Hallinan himself said , “As of May 18, I have written 87 columns. Just short of 11 of them concerned Israel, three this year.”  

Dpwatchdog makes one readily disproven claim, alleging that “Hallinan continues to write for” the “People’s [sic] Weekly World,” the Communist Party’s newspaper. 

A search of the paper’s website does reveal articles by Hallinan, but at the bottom of each of those that appear in the online index is the notation: “Conn Hallinan is a Foreign Policy in Focus columnist. This article is reprinted from www.fpif.org with permission of the author.” 

Gertz hasn’t restricted his criticism about Hallinan’s Daily Planet columns to the website. He also published a letter on the J Weekly website on March 26, which declared, “The Daily Planet’s foreign affairs analyst, Communist Party member, Conn Hallinan, devotes about 75% of his columns to anti-Israel commentary.” 

But Hallinan notes that the website, at his insistence, pulled Gertz’s letter at [which is still posted at dpwatchdog.com] and replaced it with one of Hallinan’s which refuted Gertz’s contentions.  

Back at dpwatchdog, Gertz continues to assert that “Hallinan may no longer be a ‘card-carrying’ communist, but he appears to be a communist who no longer carries a card.”