One of the most influential of the publications in the group was Counterattack, which sought to provide the average American with "facts to combat communism." Founded by former FBI agents and published by American Business Consultants, Counterattack attempted to elucidate examples of communist activity within the United States, failures of the government to protect against communists, and to rally troops against communism. Even Time magazine reported on the resignation of "Mr. Counterattack" and spokesman for the publication, Ted C. Kirkpatrick. Time recognizes the most significant action of Counterattack as the publication of the Red Channels, a report on purported communist control in the media.
By arousing popular awareness, Counterattack attempted to influence politics by uniting anticommunists in letter-writing campaigns, counter-protests against communists, and supporting legislation, such as the Nixon-Mundt Bill. Throughout its storied career, Counterattack was itself constantly on the defense against accusations of libel after the publication of Red Channel. As former FBI agents, the staff of Counterattack had access to FBI files on potential subversive activity and the files of the House Un-American Activities Committee. With this material, they published the names of members of the media who appeared and the number of times that they appeared, without accusations. Through such tactics, the publication gained attention and notoriety.
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May 7, 1948
This week, the newsletter focuses on the fight for passing the Nixon-Mundt bill, which would force Communist members to register themselves. The paper praises "Rep. Richard M. Nixon, a young Californian," who helped create the bill. Also, Communist influence in the media is examined, centered on the Arthur Gaeth program and ABC, as is the potential reunion of the AFL and CIO, the Wallace alliance with Communists, and "The Iron Curtain," a movie concerning a Stalinist spy ring in Canada.
May 28, 1948
A victory for Counterattack is proclaimed when the readership succeeds in inducing Secretary of State Marshall to refuse an award from a newsletter called The Churchman, which reportedly had communist connections. The upcoming Communist Party endorsement of Progressive candidate George Wallace is also noted with trepidation, as is the near-takeover of a medical society in New York City. A communist plan to create dissension between the United States and Great Britain is denounced. Other topics include: a strike by United Farm Equipment Workers, an address by William Z. Foster to the American Youth for Democracy, the merger of the Progressive Citizens of America with the Progressive Party, the "Voice of Freedom" Committee and Arthur Gaeth, a program on ABC on Communist intentions in America, and the expulsion of a communist leader in a non-communist local.
Supplemental: May 28, 1948
This supplemental explains the Nixon-Mundt Bill, including differentiating between the facts and rumors that were being told about it, and urges readers to support adoption of the bill.
June 4, 1948
This edition describes the "Fifth Column" activities behind the attack on the Nixon-Mundt Bill and the Communist Party's treasonous plan to support the Soviet Union against the United States. Communist Party member Paul Robeson's refusal to admit to connections with the Party reveals that the Party ordered him to be quiet. Plans for a new communist youth front are elucidated. Counterattack also notes additional Communist fronts than those that are named in a new report by Attorney General Tom Clark and declares that Eleanor Roosevelt is honorary head of a Communist front.
June 11, 1948
This edition discusses the potential of passage of the Nixon-Mundt Bill in the context of the debate over adjourning Congress and ties William Z. Foster's arguments against the bill to the "Stalin-Hitler technique of the Big Lie." Also discussed is Mrs. Roosevelt quitting a Communist front, the awards dinner held by The Churchman, the Stalin anti-Britain campaign and embargo, and communist agitation among the Sioux by Jim Blue Bird.
June 25, 1948
This edition begins with a call to urge action on the Nixon-Mundt Bill if there is a special session. Also noted is the CIO's praise of red-baiting, the organization of Panama Canal workers by a communist union, the alleged spread of communism by public school teachers, Progressive representative Vito Marcantonio, and communist distortion of news by the United Press.
July 23, 1948
Counterattack praises the indictment of the Communist National Board in this issue, but qualifies their applause by arguing that many "fifth columnists" remain, such as the "Commugressive Party." This edition also attacks the perfidy of the American communists for supporting the Soviet Union against Yugoslavia. Other reports include: the forced registration of the Lincoln Brigade as a foreign agent, a planned tenants meeting in Washington, and the publication of a new party-line tabloid in York, Pennsylvania.
July 30, 1948
This special, eight edition focuses on the ties between the Communist Party and the Progressive Party. This edition labels a number of Progressive Party leaders as communists and also reprints a list of subversive communist fronts from a State Department report.
August 6, 1948
This edition begins with a discussion of communist spying in the United States, especially by Jacob Golos. Whittaker Chambers is also discussed and used to make the point that subversion is the most important goal of communist spies, not espionage. Other figures are mentioned, such as Lee Pressman and Carl Marzani, to reinforce the proposition that the Progressive Party is controlled by the Communist Party. Spy investigations reveal the depth to which "Commugressives" have infiltrated the government.
August 13, 1948
This newsletter discusses the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley against the Communist Party. Accusations by Communists, including the idea that he is using "red herrings" to distract attention from other matters is dismissed. Counterattack also attempts to contradict attacks by Eleanor Roosevelt against Elizabeth Bentley. Also, the shift to underground status for the Party is outlined and the required organizational changes.
|August 20, 1948
Spy rings in the United States are again a central topic. The American Russian Institute is analyzed, with Counterattack noting the presence of several communists on the Board of Directors. Whittaker Chambers identified Henry Collins, executive director of the board, as a communist, but Collins refused to confirm the allegation. However, an accusation is made that the Department of Justice aided the national organization in getting off of the list.
August 27, 1948
Accusations against Alger Hiss begin this edition of Counterattack. The majority of the paper focuses on the upcoming denunciations of Albert Kahn, a leader of communist fronts and an author, and Vladimir Kazakevich, a professor at Columbia, by Elizabeth Bentley. Furthermore, the newsletter rails against the admittance of the "red dean" of Canterbury to the United States by the State Department.
September 3, 1948
The case of J Peters, a man being tried publicly and an accused underground communist agent. The fact that Eleanor Roosevelt came to the aid of Alger Hiss is also noted, as are the interim findings of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that Hiss's testimony is contradictory. The newsletter also urges that defectors from the Communist Party not be tried for their crimes. Also, this edition provides a question and answer section, including questions such as "Why do people become Communists," and "Why are they willing to become traitors.
October 1, 1948
The naïveté of the media and the public is discernable through their treatment of Joseph Stalin, Samuel Novick, and Clarence Hiskey. Counterattack declares that Stalin is fooling the West through seeming to be incapacitated by the Politbureau. Samuel Novick, an important supporter of communist fronts, helped a Soviet spy, Arthur Adams, enter the United States. Clarence Hiskey, a professor analytical chemistry, is also accused of helping Adams. The potential that a communist labor federation might split from the CIO is discussed. Also, the author discusses Eleanor Roosevelt speaking out against Counterattack in her newspaper column.
October 8, 1948
This edition outlines a plan by Stalin to cause dissension in Europe over the election of Charles de Gaulle in France. The possible results are civil war or strikes, but, in any case, any disruptions will result in a victory for the Soviet Union by impeding the Marshall Plan. The strong stance of Paramount Pictures against a communist-controlled union is applauded and praised as a model for other businesses. An order by the Atomic Energy Commission preventing certain unions from organizing is also admired as a "good beginning." General Electric was not entirely pleased with this decision, because of certain loopholes.
October 15, 1948
Counterattack in this issue accuses broadcasting networks of accidentally leaking the contents of a presidential address to communists, because many communists have connections in the media. The address detailed the Vinson mission, a diplomatic effort to resolve the atomic energy disputes, the Berlin blockade, and other diplomatic impasses. They also advocate more teamwork between Marshall and Dulles on foreign policy. The newsletter also urges loyalty checks at the state and local level and using the federal courts to crack down on the Communist Party, as U.S. District Judge J Foster Symes did when members refused a grand jury subpoena. Federal Judges J Waties Waring and John C. Knox were guests of honor at a communist front, the National Lawyers Guild. Further discussion includes a struggle between the communist union officials and an office workers union of the CIO. The newsletter also denounces presidential candidate Wallace for accusing Jews of aiding "reactionaries" and Professor Ralph Barton Perry of Harvard as a sponsor of communist fronts.
October 22, 1948
This week, the newsletter urges outspoken support of the trials of Communist Party leaders in the United States against international protests. The success of the "Denver Plan," using the federal courts against the communists, spread to Cleveland, as communists attempted to initiate propaganda against it. Counterattack protests the formation of a communist-controlled Committee on Loyalty Problems, which promotes fairness to accused communists. The AFL revoked the charter of a local at the University of Washington for "coming under totalitarian discipline." There is also a discussion of the communist influence in Canadian unions and among actors in Hollywood.
October 29, 1948
The spread of the "Denver Plan" to Los Angeles and the refusal of French longshoremen to unload American coal are the top news items this week. International communist hostility to the United States is documented, from Latin America to Austria. The newsletter also notes the worrying infiltration of the French Army by Communists. Several leaders of a hotel and restaurant workers union in New York City are declared to be communists and "Russia Firsters." The State Department's granting of a visa to the "Red Dean" of Canterbury also comes under fire.
November 5, 1948
The election of Truman, according to Counterattack, leaves the American policy towards China unresolved. Labor issues, including the position of communists in the CIO are discussed as is the election of Vito Marcantonio, a Progressive candidate. John L. Lewis is accused of aiding the communists because of a letter he wrote to William Green of the AFL, urging support for striking French miners. A forthcoming movie boycott is also reputed to be intended to force recognition of a communist union. Also, the author notes that an American bishop is persuading clergy not to meet with the "Red Dean."
November 12, 1948
The legal ramifications of Communist Party members signing Taft-Hartley affidavits is made clear, including indictment for perjury. Also, the case of a Wisconsin newspaper that uncovered the phony pretenses of a speaker who visited their area. The verbal attacks of a Polish communist that the Republican Party is fascist is considered and refuted. Counterattack also contends that Chancellor Robert Hutchins of the University of Chicago ignores the problem that his university has with communists in the faculty. The newsletter also proposes a joint House-Senate committee on Un-American Activities.
December 10, 1948
This newsletter begins by questioning who is responsible for the weakening position of the Nationalist forces in China. The answer, for Counterattack, is highly placed communists in the State Department. The moves of the CIO in response to the communist threat are again a subject for discussion, as are communist calls to deride its leader, Philip Murray. The author picks up a campaign by Prudential Insurance Company against the United Office & Professional Workers of America, due to communist leanings among the leadership. Muriel Draper and Paul Draper, a tap dancer, are described as important communists, as are Norman Corwin and Ring Lardner, Jr.
December 17, 1948
The fear of the upcoming defeat of the Nationalists in China weighs heavily on this weeks' discussion. The potential that, "in the near future, the Soviet delegate in the United Nations will be able to say that he is speaking for more than half the human race," while praised by radio commentators, such as J Raymond Walsh and Arthur Gaeth, is worrying to Counterattack. The newsletter achieved victory because of its December 3rd action against a communist front soliciting funds in New York City. Additionally, moves by Stalin to call a conference in the Western Hemisphere are denounced as an attempt to whip up support against the United States. Further moves by the "Red Dean" are followed, such as visits to Communist Party Headquarters.
December 24, 1948
Counterattack retracts its statement that Howard Teichmann supports communist fronts, its first such move. A series of accidents that cut off anti-communist speeches at the Commonwealth Club in California are scrutinized as is the alleged support of Eagle Lion Films for the communist Fifth Column.
December 31, 1948
Communist efforts among Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland are noted. The trade journal "Billboard," the newly-formed Liberty Book Club, and "The Big Yankee" (a biography of Brigadier General Evans Carlson) are the targets of this weeks attacks on communism. The Daily Worker is attacked for giving a new, self-serving definition of patriotism, while the newsletter urges strong support for our nation, despite the setbacks in China. The Communist Party policy of self-determination for Negroes in the South is denounced as a plan to tear our nation apart. The paper also attempts to destroy the stereotypes of communists, because too many people do not take the threat seriously.
January 7, 1949
Federal Judge Leon Yankwich is censured for a recent pro-communist decision, for lecturing at a Communist school, and accused of conflicting interests, due to his friendship with several communists. The words of the "most popular author in the world," i.e. Stalin, are scrutinized, especially his calls to revolution. Counterattack also accuses the Civil Rights Congress of being a communist front for its actions against HUAC and its attacks against the trial of the Communist leadership.
January 14, 1949
The appointment of Dean Acheson to Secretary of State under Truman is attacked, due to his past support for appeasement and Alger Hiss. The newsletter goes through a long explanation of his past actions, especially towards Donald Hiss and his less than avid support of anti-communism. It also notes that he has had speaking occasions with the "Red Dean" and that he was a fundamental figure in the betrayal of Poland. The result of appeasement will be defeat and the betrayal of Asia to Stalin. The author also discusses Paul Draper, Larry Adler, and their subversive activities.
January 21, 1949
Potential riots against the commencement of the trial of the top Communist Party leaders in the United States were preempted by a strong show of police force. The actions of former Secretary of State Edward Stettinius are criticized, and claims are made that his speeches were written by a Fifth Columnist, Dalton Trumbo. Acheson, the "Dean of Appeasement" is again attacked, as is Federal Judge Yankwich. The testimony of Lester Cole in front of the House Committee is printed, in an attempt to show his elusive conduct. The further weakening of the Communist Party in labor unions is noted, as well.
February 25, 1949
The World Congress of Intellectuals, convening at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, will serve as a front to promote the communist agenda. Counterattack urges immediate action against the meeting to prevent communist leaders from entering the United States. The newsletter also reports on Agnes Smedley, an author accused of spying for Stalin in Japan. The author also details the results of a survey that indicates a large majority of Americans believe that communists should be fired. It again denounces Judge Yankwich for having taught at a communist school and also former Governor Wallgren of Washington for having been too soft on communists.
March 4, 1949
The refusal of communists to support their countries across Western Europe is echoed in the United States by leaders such as William Z. Foster, while Counterattack demands the extirpation of these subversive elements. The case of General Henry Clay Newcomer, a defender of communism, is used to show that communists can come from any background. Religious persecution in Bulgaria, demands for a 30 hour week at 40 hour pay, and an oppressive "progressive" labor regime in Romania are also noted.
March 18, 1949
This edition begins with a purported attempt by the Communist Party to influence the United States policy on the Chinese Nationalists. The author also appeals to Attorney General Tom Clark to put the fronts which are involved in this effort on the list of subversive organizations. Counterattack also contends that some state officials, such as New York State Commissioner of Education Francis T. Spaulding, are aiding communist fronts, like the International Workers Order. The efforts of non-communist unions against the leadership of the United Packinghouse Workers are also documented, as are attempts to use Mexican-American grievances to gain ground for communism.
Supplemental: March 18, 1949
The communist leadership of the World Congress of Intellectuals is elucidated by showing the subversive fronts to which many of the members belong.
March 25, 1949
The directive of the Communist Party to greet an upcoming visit of Winston Churchill to MIT with boos is recorded. This serves as a segue to criticize Professor Struik of MIT for his communist leanings. The State Department's inability to forge a consistently anti-communist admission policy comes under fire. The communist disdain for the Atlantic Pact is also a central theme. Counterattack particularly contends against the prevalent catchphrase "guilt by association," which obscures the fact that communists support totalitarianism.
April 4, 1949
Counterattack begins by discussing Stalin's plans to create a global communist front aimed at "peace." The United States version, the "Cultural and Scientific Committee for World Peace," is only in the planning stages, but it will only serve to propagate Stalin's message, as did other peace fronts in the 1930s. Communist plans to take over the city government of Los Angeles are reported, as are efforts to organize the unemployed and demand higher wages. Problems between the CIO and communist locals and their leaders are discussed, as is the picketing of the British Foreign Secretary. Also, the continuing communist campaign against NATO is mentioned.
May 16, 1958
This edition of Counterattack begins with a description of a recent awards luncheon for those who combat communism, hosted by the American Jewish League Against Communism. George Sokolsky, Roy Cohn, Senator Styles Bridges, and Fulton Lewis, Jr. are among those who attended the meal. The communist reaction against "Masters of Deceit," a book by J. Edgar Hoover about communists, is described. Remarks by Cyrus Eaton about communism and the threat that it doe not pose to the United States are criticized as well.
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