Take It As Red

Friday, January 11, 2008


Founded in 1924, the Daily Worker – which ceased to be a daily 50 years ago – was the de facto house organ of American Communism. Historian Vernon Pedersen says the paper was strident and ideological, yes, but also an important cultural artifact.

Comments [7]

doris lubelfeld from NYC

In one of your interviews about the Daily Worker,
you referred to Harvey Kurtzman (founder of Mad Magazine) as having a cartoon in th DW called "Little
Lefty". Not so, but where did this come from?
Thanks for any information you can give me.
doris lubelfeld

Jan. 17 2008 02:16 PM

The Daily Worker was "strident and ideological", that’s a nice euphemism for describing Joe Stalin’s covert mouthpiece in the US media.

Jan. 17 2008 11:52 AM
Terrie Albano from Chicago

I happened to be in Tucson, driving to my sister's house, when I heard the "Read the Daily Worker" jingle to "All Around the Mulberry Bush." I pulled the car over so I could listen to it all. I was surprised, but glad to hear the piece. I am the editor of the People's Weekly World - the newspaper that proudly carries on the Daily Worker's fighting tradition (www.pww.org).

I'd be glad to be interviewed, since in your piece our history ended in 1950s. But we've been publishing through the rest of the 50s into the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and the new century.

Jan. 16 2008 08:42 PM
andrea devine from boston MA

Informative. It was important. Hadn't heard the song before. Other information. Thanks! :)

Jan. 13 2008 10:55 PM
James Stouder from San Diego, CA. (KPBS)

Virtually every TV news program in America showed (what was reported to be) a video of tiny Iranian speed boats apparently taunting America's gigantic war ships in the Persian Gulf. It contained audio supposedly of Iranians on these boats warning of impending attacks or explosions.
No one in the Media asked how this tape was obtained, who made it, and was it authentic. Within days, the U.S. Navy officially disconnected itself from authenticating the tape and its audio. Now there is serious questions that it was a hoax.
The last time Americans were given a hoax, it was about weapons of mass destruction existing in Iraq, and came from our own political leadership. And we are still losing troops and billions of dollars every month in our many-years occupation of Iraq.
When will be, as citizens, hold our Media accountable for presenting the truth as news--instead of entertainment, speculation, and hoaxes? Until we do that, we can hardly call ourselves a Democracy--since a fundamental prerequisite for that requires an accurately informed electorate.
James Stouder
PS. I fought long and hard to get you a decent time-slot on our very popular station here, KPBS. Yours is one of the best all-around analysis of what's happening in the entire nation. Check the "NAVY TIMES" Sunday to see the details on this potential, Iranian boat HOAX. But will we see retractions on our TV screens. Don't hold your breath.

Jan. 13 2008 03:10 PM
Bryan Curry from Phoenix, AZ

Listening to your story reminded me of the old joke: How do you tell the difference between a Commie and a Fellow Traveler? Easy, the Fellow Traveler is the one that doesn't have the Daily Worker under his arm.

As for the tone of the story, I heard nothing inappropriate. Hatred of Communism is all well and good; however, freedom of speech is not only for those points of view with which we agree. McCarthy trampled on that freedom in a way that still resonates today. To this day, opponents of universal health care do not hesitate to refer to it as "socialized medicine." This is enough to make many throw up their hands in horror. In my opinion, the ghost of McCarthy largely responsible for the fact that we have entered the 21st century with tens of millions of residents with little or no access to health care.

Jan. 12 2008 03:24 PM
P Polivko from NYC

Listening to your program this morning with the usual hopes of being provoked to thought I found myself so by your closing piece. Provoked to being appalled that is by the light and almost jocular tone of the history of the communist newspaper The Daily Worker. It may come as some surprise that such treatments are as horrific to some of your listeners as any such a treatment of fascism and its perpetrators in the press may be. Perhaps it is the object of hate and the realm of its victims that eludes the producer of such a piece but I seriously doubt that such a story on The Spotlight would have been treated to the same wry and semi-laudatory manner. While no fan of McCarthy’s assaults on freedoms the critique shouldn’t be confused with critic in all cases.

Jan. 12 2008 08:37 AM

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