Today in Texas History – June 28

John Henry Faulk: used books, rare books and new books ...

From the Annals of the Red Scare –  In 1962, John Henry Faulk was awarded a $3.5 million libel judgment against AWARE, Inc. for branding him as a communist.   AWARE was a for-profit corporation which purportedly offered a “clearance” service to advertisers, and radio and television networks.  AWARE would supposedly investigate entertainers for signs of Communist sympathy or affiliation.  In reality, AWARE was but a tactical arm for notorious scumbag Sen. Joe McCarthy and provided another way to promote his Red Scare agenda.

Faulk’s “mistake” occurred when he and other members wrested control of  The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists away from officers backed by AWARE.  With no evidence, AWARE labeled Faulk as a Communist. Faulk soon discovered that AWARE was keeping its radio station clients from hiring him.  Faulk sued with the back of other radio entertainers and CBS News vice-president Edward R. Murrow. Faulk hired famed New York attorney Louis Nizer.  AWARE engaged notorious scumbag attorney Roy Cohn (later the attorney for Trumpf – The Insult Comic President).  After many delays instigated Cohn’s tactics for AWARE, the case went to trial and the jury found for Faulk awarding him more damages than he had sought in his petition. had determined that Faulk should receive more compensation than he sought in his original petition. The $3.5 million was the largest ever in a libel case at that point.  On appeal, the damages were reduced to $500,000.   After paying legal fees and accumulated debts, Faulk received about $75,000.  Faulk’s book, Fear on Trial, published in 1963, tells the story of the experience.

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