- Infamous paperback book published in June 1950 that contained
the "supposed" names of Communist sympathizers and that inspired
the blacklisting nightmare which ruined the careers of many
individuals in the US entertainment industry.
Entitled: "Red Channels: The Report of Communist
Influence in Radio and Television," this 'Bible' of potential
traitors and subversives soon gained acceptance by many
networks, sponsors and ad agencies nationwide.
Founded in 1947
by former FBI agents, the book was published in New York City by
COUNTERATTACK: The Newsletter of Facts to Combat Communism
located at 55 West 42 Street and sold for $1.00 a copy.
generated such paranoid that the CBS network made its employees
sign a loyalty oath. None dared refuse to sign it for fear of
being labeled a "Commie."
Over time such names as: Leonard
Bernstein, Abe Burrows, Aaron Copeland, Jack Gilford, Henry
Morgan, Uta Hagen, Hazel Scott, Judy Holliday, Harry Belafonte
and even Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz found their way
onto the list.
Even Irene Wicker, a gentle children's show
hostess of THE SINGING LADY/ABC/1948-40, who had been a radio
favorite for 20 years, was implicated. Although all charges were
disproved, her career was destroyed through innuendo.
With the collapse of McCarthyism and his witch
hunts for Communists, Red Channels faded into history, becoming
just a bad memory.
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