Mr. [Edward] Dmytryk's story was a searing indictment of the [Communist] party. He described being part of a conspiracy to break up the American Federation of Labor in Hollywood and to replacing it with unions controlled by communists. He revealed that the party bullied filmmakers into molding the editorial content of pictures in keeping with the party line.
He also said that the party had twisted his legal battle into a First Amendment issue so as to demonize congressional investigations. "It was like everything else the communists do," he told the Saturday Evening Post. "They would go into a lynching case, but instead of trying to help the Negroes, what they are really after is to use the incident to stir up still more trouble. The Negroes don't matter -- they're just a means to an end."
[Ronald] Reagan was emphatic that Mr. Dmytryk go public. When Mr. Dmytryk agreed, Reagan built a coalition of liberals and conservatives to champion him. The team purchased a full-page ad in the Hollywood Reporter. "The Communist Party is now trying to destroy Edward Dmytryk," it read. "We will be surprised if there are not other attacks by the Party on other former communists who have the guts to stand up and be counted and to tell the truth."
Reagan argued to friends and colleagues that Mr. Dmytryk ought to be embraced for breaking with the Stalinists. The Reagan team even vouched for Mr. Dmytryk when he applied for life insurance.