To view or to download "Red Channels," click here. Released in mid-1950, "Red Channels" was a 214-page trade paperback, containing a blacklist of one hundred and fifty show folk who were anonymously cited as advancing the cause of Communism.
Only half-secret, "Red Channels" was a handy desk reference, readily available to those holding views considered to be politically correct.
Those named were banned from broadcast and film work but not Broadway, which was deemed too harmless to blacklist. Others named sought work in Europe; some never worked again; and some took the pipe.
A lucky few were simply too big to be blacklisted, like Leonard Bernstein who educated a generation of kids on live TV with his subversive message.
"Red Channels" was written by three so-called ex-FBI agents, but the source material is so voluminous and detailed, it could only have been drawn from confidential FBI dossiers. Most of the transgressions cited were of the "me too" variety, such as signing letters of support for presidential candidate Henry Wallace or any association with the one hundred and twenty-five suspected communist fronts, also enumerated in "Red Channels." A monthly newsletter, chock full of new names, was named "Counterattack" and was published monthly until 1973.
August 20, 2019