Oliver Stone is furious about how Henry Wallace was ousted in 1944 in favor of Harry Truman. This is in line with the general furiousness now prevalent. It is “in” to be furious about something or other, so I am out-of-step. Stone’s fury at Harry Truman unfortunately results in a one-dimensional portrayal of the man in Stone’s documentary series, The Untold History of the United States. Truman was “plain speaking”, and so is Donald Trump.
Thus reads the description for my latest video, “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry”, published to YouTube on December 8, 2016. The clip, which clocks in at 9 minutes and 52 seconds, can hopefully be viewed at the top of today’s blog entry.
In the olden times, a town crier or night watchman would wander through the town at night, calling out, “3 o’clock, and all’s well”… “4 o’clock, and all’s well.” That was the “news” in those days.
Along came Gutenberg and the printing press. There began to be newspapers. The newspapers could not sell if their headlines proclaimed, “All’s Well.” And so there began to be various “crises” reported. This was exacerbated later by YouTube and mainstream “news” videos where the “crises” vied in competition with each other because competing outlets wanted to draw in the most audience.
Now, each of the various competitors is screaming at the others, shouting complaints about “fake news.” Competition can be fierce in the “news” industry. For example, in the Frank Capra movie, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, one scene has goons working for one newspaper going out and physically attacking newsboys from another newspaper and destroying copies of their newspaper.
Being “furious” about something or other is the underlying subtext in the various “news” outlets. People are furious about Donald Trump, or they are furious about overbearing government, and such things. And they want you also to be furious about it.
Oliver Stone, in his recommended series, The Untold History of the United States, is furious about Harry Truman because Truman was installed as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s running mate at the 1944 Democrat Party convention. Stone believes Henry Wallace deserved to have been FDR’s vice-presidential selection and Stone can scarcely contain his fury against Truman in his documentary. Hence, Stone’s portrayal of Harry Truman is one-dimensional.
Also portrayed in a one-dimensional way by Stone is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is seen by Stone as saintly. (However see Herbert Hoover’s magnum opus, Freedom Betrayed, for a different dimension on FDR.)
In episode four, “The Cold War: 1945-1950”, Oliver Stone again favors one-dimensionality by depicting the “Red Scare” of back then as largely paranoia. But is it possible that historian Stone is unaware of such things as the Venona Papers, in which signals-intelligence had decrypted Soviet messages and discovered such things as the Cambridge Five and Soviet espionage against the Manhattan Project? 
Oliver Stone has an obvious bias in his “Untold History”, however the series is still recommended, especially for its rare archival footage.
Harry Truman, Oliver Stone’s nightmare villain, was known for his “plain speaking”, which reminded me of another “plain speaker”, Donald Trump. Trump has been doing his plain speaking through Twitter, and the mainstream “news” is aghast about it. However I at least like the “plain speaking” aspect of Trump, even though the man himself remains a question mark to me. Give ’em Hell, Donald.
——- Sources ——-
 “Venona project”, Wikipedia, December 9, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venona_project