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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 07, 1913, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-10-07/ed-1/seq-6/

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FLEMING SCORES NEWSPAPERS
IN ANNENBERC CASE
Assistant State's Attorney John
Fleming scored the-newspapers in his
opening address to tfie jury in the
trial of Max Annenberg today.
His speech referred to the manner
in which Annenberg shot down young
Belford because he imagined the
young man stood in the way of the
Tribune's plan to get a picture of an
alleged gambling house.
"A newspaper is not sacred, no
matter what newspaper owners may
think," said Fleming. "It is purely a
commercial proposition and its own
ers must respect the same rights and
laws that other people do.
"When the Tribune went out to
get that picture of the alleged gamb
ling they were trespassing. They un
derstood that and brought a body
guard with them to protect them
selves in the trouble they had antici
pated. "Any crowd that gathered in Max
well street after the flashlight ex
plosion was caused by the Tribune
men themselves. If they had not
been trespassing and causing need
less alarm, no crowd1 would have been
there.
"And even after that, if they really
expected trouble, why didn't they
continue going west after they had
gotten away for a flying start? An
nenberg tells you that people vrfce
coming from Newberry avenue and
he feared them. It doesn't stand to
reason that any crowd that may have
been in Newberry avenue had heard
the excitement in such a short time.
They had simply rushed in the direc
tion from which they had heard the
flashlight report.
"'The Tribune men didn't want to .
get away. They wanted trouble be
cause they wouldn't have gotten
enough credit if they had gone back
to their office and reported that it"
was an easy iob."
' "After three .years as boss of the I
.Tribune circulatiorrgang, Max An-t
nenberg was for the first time put in
the defendant's chair yesterday to
answer for shooting down Alexander
Belford.
Much information concerning An
nenberg personally was gathered
during the short period he was on the
stand. It became known that he is
probably the only circulation man
who was ever put in charge of a re
porter on an assignment. Most cir
culation men stay far away from the
editorial rooms.
Annenberg described himself as an
orator, using the auto as a rostrum,
begging the angry mob to desist.
The angry mob in this case being a
curiosity-stricken crowd of Maxwell
street residents, flocking around the
car.
Annenberg said he was 39 years
old; 13 years in Chicago and three
years circulation manager of the
Tribune.
On the night of the shooting, he1
said, he was asked by Walter Howey
to take charge of the expedition to
get a gambling house picture.
When asked why he directed the
driver of his auto to start back east
in Maxwell street after being free
from the crowd, he explained that he,
saw' a crowd in Newberry avenue, a
block west of Halsted street, and was
afraid they would start something:
He said that when the car came
back through the mob, they swarmed
about the machine, threateningly.
Some in the car shouted to Annen
berg, "liook out, they'll get the chauf
feur..' "That's all right," replied Annen
berg, "I can run the car." Annen
berg repeated this on the stand with
great amusement.
He declared that he shot, young
Belford in self-defense., that 'his vic
time was creeping towards the car
with his hand in his hip pocket and
suddenly dashed and hid behind a
newspaper stand. It was then An
nenberg fired.
"Why didn t you shoot him when,
he-'was'near the' car if you were
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