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Sherman H. Skolnick
Email: skolnick@ameritech.net

BIG CITY NEWSPAPERS AND THE MOB
An Example: The Chicago Tribune
by Sherman H. Skolnick, moderator/producer of Chicago public access Cable TV Show "Broadsides" since 1991, and chairman/founder since 1963, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts



The Chicago Tribune is not the only major newspapers with links to the criminal underworld. Several times the Tribune, for ulterior purpose, has run stories trying to dirty up the family of Richard M. Daley, since 1989 Mayor of Chicago. On Sunday, August 31, 1997, the Tribune ran a story, supposedly based on "FBI" documents, contending that Daley's late father, Richard J.Daley, himself Mayor for 21 years, was a "communist-sympathizer". This front page Sunday story ran in the same edition announcing the death[some now say murder]of Princess Diana and her intended new husband, an Arab.

We knew in advance about the Tribune's story and had documents showing the story was faked up. On the Thursday prior to the Tribune publication, August 28, 1997, a four person, heavily-armed, Gestapo-like force, AT GUNPOINT, forced their way into the residence of my TV Program associate, Joseph Andreuccetti. Without cause they then and there threatened to shoot his wife Noemi. WITHOUT A SEARCH WARRANT, they examined, plundered, grabbed, and carried away tapes, documents, and records we intended to use for then uncoming TV Shows. Among other things, we were preparing to show the Tribune was set to lie about the late Richard J.Daley, a devout Catholic, saying he was, according to the "FBI", a "communist-sympathizer", a blood libel as perceived by some.

[They also stole documents of a story we were working on regarding the U.S. Secret Service complicity in a plot to assassinate Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.] [The incident on August 28, 1997, is the subject of several pending lawsuits.]

From early in the 20th Century, the Chicago Tribune used know hoodlums for their Circulation Department. About 1910 was a circulation war among the then upwards of 10 Chicago newspapers, including the Tribune and a William Randolph Hearst paper. The circulation vehicles had onboard groups of shooters and sluggers and would shoot at nearby competing circulation vehicles and slug the occupants. Innocent bystanders were shot in the crossfire. To deal with the problem, the Tribune obtained the services of a known reputed gangster family, originally in the junkyard business, the Annenbergs. Using criminal muscle, the Annenbergs "solved" any Tribune problem in getting their paper delivered to newstands. Up to the present era, members of that family have continued to reportedly play some rolein the Chicago Tribune Circulation Department.

In the 1930s, with Tribune help, the Annenbergs got big in racetrack gambling newswire services, nationwide, becoming the largest user of long distance phone services in the U.S. The Annenberg racektrack tout sheet, the Daily Racing Form, was distributed through a Chicago south downtown facility. The Annenbergs eventually took over the Straus National Bank of Chicago. The name was changed to the American National Bank. The Bank was accused of massive swindling, in the millions of dollars, of numerous Chicagoans in the 1930s, with washed-out real estate "Gold Bonds". They were protected from federal government prosecution by the corrupt action of Joseph P. Kennedy, patriarch of that family, when he became the first head of the newly-formed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, about 1935.

By 1940, with Tribune financial clout, the Annenbergs became the major owner of the gangster money laundry, the American National Bank of Chicago. In later years, the Annenbergs, again with Tribune aid, inserted into the local TV one or more talking heads oblivious to the crimes of the Tribune jointly with the Annenbergs. When the Tribune was faced with a labor strike about 1930, they did what was natural for them: they brought in Chicago's major gangster, Al Capone, as a "labor consultant", to break the strike and terrorize the workers, and snuff out their aspirations for a higher wage and a better life.

The Chicago Tribune's largest stockholders, data required annually to be divulged by the U.S. Post Office, showed the following as major owners: members of the Rockefeller family; members of the Marshall Field family, some in England; members of the British royal family, amomg others.

By the late 1970s, some of the Tribune's newspaper distributors brought an action against the Tribune Company in Chicago U.S. District Court. The disributors claimed they were being eliminated by a Tribune scheme. The Tribune blackmailed the federal judge who had the case with unpublished data from the time the judge had been a mob mouthpiece.

Generally and specifically, no one can win a case against the Chicago Tribune in state or federal court. Why? Because the Tribune keeps detailed, unpublished dossiers on state and federal judges, threatening to run it if some judge thinks about ruling against the Tribune. The reputed son of a Chicago hoodlum, Don Reuben, for many years was Tribune attorney. Reuben, who had his birth certificate altered to conceal his past[we have a correct copy], was the Tribune's slugger and shooter. Those who he targeted truly believed he would have them dropped into a sewer if he could not blackmail a judge to favor Reuben. [Once while I was sitting in my wheelchair I confronted Reuben with a good detailed question: how he used blackmail to frame up his first wife so he could get rid of her in favor of another woman he wished to marry. Reuben threatened to slug me. I advised him that under the case law of assault and battery he might reconsider. He did.]

Reuben was also the attorney for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, largest in the U.S. To solve their legal problems, which sometimes interfaced with the mafia's problems, Reuben reportededly used his mobster muscle, at the same time keeping all mention out of the local press. Media experts considered the Tribune the orchestra leader for the whole area---radio, TV, and print media would not dare tangle with the Tribune. About 1984, the competing major paper in Chicago DID unwisely tangle with the Tribune. Chicago Sun-Times jokester/gossip peddler/feature writer Mike Royko left that paper for a more lucrative position with the Tribune. The Sun-Times sued, claiming contract violation. The Tribune knew, from their unpublished data, that the Judge with the case, Judge Anthony Scotillo,once President of the Illinois Judges Association, took bribes in other cases. The Tribune blackmailed a favorable ruling from Judge Scotillo and made a corrupt deal with the U.S. Prosecutor in Chicago not to nail Judge Scotillo as the prosecutors nailed some 20 other judges and 40 lawyers for bribery, 1983 to 1993, in "Operation Greylord"[touched off by our disclosures].

By about 1981, the major Tribune stockholders wanted out. So the company took the stock public, selling shares to a more diverse group. As a publicly traded firm, the Tribune tried to clean up their image as vicious bigots, having for previous years run infamous pictures and stories lambasting blacks and Jews. The Tribune specialty: if they ever ran a picture of a suspected or caught bankrobber, it was a picture doctored up to show a ferocious looking black. The Tribune did not see fit to run pictures, doctored up or not, of white bank robbers. Their real estate ads and sect ion had been clearly slanted against Jews.

By 1986, the Tribune profits were not suitably large enough for a publicly traded firm. The average wage of their unionized workers was then about $17.00 per hour. The Tribune vowed to smash their workers and get labor at half-price. By then, the Tribune had installed their new offset printing facility into a new group of buildings in an abandoned warehouse district. The Tribune called their new place the Freedom Center. After what happened to the workers later, it was called the Slavery Center.

Using mafia goons and attack dogs, the Tribune bosses one night about 1986 physically ripped the unionized workers away from the machinery. Brought in from the southern states, were offset press operators[or at least believed to be such]to work for $8.50 per hour. Technical difficulties occurred with the new labor. These scabs, housed in lower-priced hotels and such, broke the strike and enabled the Tribune to terrorize and impoverish their unemployed workers. When the unionized workers picketed the Slavery Center, the Tribune, naturally, went to court to get an injunction. Guess from who? Why that same blackmailable Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Anthony Scotillo, who else.

In their war against their unionized labor force, the Tribune used a southern law firm reportedly specializing in anti-labor terror tactics. Gangster-style methods that are natural for the supposedly "World's Greatest Newspaper"[they own a radio and a TV station for their propaganda with call letters WGN Radio and WGN TV. The TV station is a hang-out for military intelligence "spooks" who get a "leave of absence" when they are needed for U.S. Military/CIA operations overseas, such as combatting the "Red Brigades" in Italy in the 1980s. A joke, because the Italian "radicals" were an American CIA creation.]

The Tribune Company, parent firm of the media monster-mobster, was headed from time to time by someone who was also a top official of the Federal Reserve District Bank in Chicago. That guaranteed that no criticism would be published or aired about America's conspiratorial PRIVATE central bank which issues paper currency, called Federal Reserve Notes, masquerading as "U.S. money". The Feds unconstitutional money are backed by nothing, not gold, not silver, just hot air. [President John F. Kennedy wanted to bring back "Silver Certificate" money and genuine U.S. money, in opposition to the Federal Reserve. Come believe this was one reason for his assassination. His son, John F. Kennedy, Jr., likewise opposing the Fed, may have been assassinated by a bombed aircraft for this, among other reasons, such as Jr. secretly intended to run for President in 2000.]

In 1984, I was the first to make public statements about the massive run on the Continental Bank of Chicago. The principal owners, the Queen of England and the Vatican, had sold their shares some six weeks before the bank mess. Some 20 billion dollars had been given by Japanese criminals to the Continental's parent firm, a BANK HOLDING COMPANY, not subject to federal deposit insurance. The Japanese had fallen victim to false representations that their hot money was "deposited" in a "bank of deposit". In fact, the funds were given over to a BANK HOLDING COMPANY not covered by deposit insurance. A major owner of the BANK was the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, headquartered in Chicago and one step below the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Judge Walter Cummings, Jr., was a "man of trust" for the Vatican, trusted to handle secretly their funds. Editors in Italy had previously confronted the Pontiff that the Vatican was the major force in Continental Bank linked to worldwide criminals. See: it was one of the reasons for the political assassination of Pope John Paul 1st, who lasted only 33 days in office, having been poisoned. "In God's Name", by David Yallop, 1983.

The Chicago Tribune was tightly interwoven with Continental Bank and its criminal money laundry. Among other things, the Continental handled the Tribune's pension funds and other massive amounts. The Tribune in 1984, at the behest of their chief who was as stated also head of the Federal Reserve District Bank, finally ran an inside story on the run on the Continental Bank by the Japanese hot money crowd. The Tribune, of course, omitted from their stories that these were not just ANY Japanese. These were members of the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza. [See the book by Kaplan and Dubrow, "The Yakuza". On a radio show, the authors pointed out that in the 1980s, fifty percent of new buildings built downtown Chicago were owned by the Yakuza. Of course,the Tribune never mentioned THAT in their real estate sections.]

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Tribune used mafia-style types to strong=arm people to subcribe to the newspaper. The circulation went UP with the coercion, and then DOWN afterwards. Subscribers were also induced to pay monthly for an insurance policy sold by Tribune. Looking at the terms of the policy, critics called it "Steamboat and Jackass Insurance" Why? Well, you could only collect for injuries as follows:
1. If you were run over by a steamboat on Michigan Blvd. in front of Tribune Tower.[This description to typify the near impossibility of collecting under the policy.]
2. OR, if you were injured by being kicked in the head by a mule on a public highway, and had ten witnesses prepared to swear on oath to the truth of the same. [The Tribune insurance policy actually had such ridiculous terms.]

The Tribune aided the criminal Annenberg family to form "TV Guide" which became one of the largest circulation publications in the U.S. if not the world. Because of data released under Freedom of Information, government documents tend to show that the Annenberg were suspected of complicity in the assassination of President Kennedy. Naturally, the Tribune, pals of the Annenbergs, never saw fit to ever refer to such.

Albert Gore, Jr. is a known advocate of low-price electricity provided by government facilities, such as in his home-state of Tennessee. In Illinois, the electricity provider, Commonwealth Edison, charges some of the highest rates in the nation. A major owner of Edison is the absentee owner, the Vatican, through a Netherlands front, Robeco. The Tribune, interwoven with Edison, opposes Gore and Gore's supporters, the Daley family of Chicago. So it is no surprise the Tribune covered up the July 9, 1999 assassination attempt on Gore as his plane, Air Force Two, flew over Chicago. Mysteriously, three OTHER airplanes were vectored into the same airspace as Air Force Two, almost resulting in a crash. Aviation experts say if two or more OTHER planes are so directed, it must be intentional. A few days later, the former head of the FAA, an expert on Air Traffic Control was apparently murdered, Admiral Engen[he was also among the small group of flag officers that wanted to arrest Commander-in-Chief Clinton for treason with the Red Chinese.]

To seek to undermine Gore's supporters, the Tribune has run stories that the Chicago Mayor is giving city contracts to known mobsters.

In fact, it is the Chicago Tribune and the criminal cartel that have been in bed together for most of the 20th Century.

Some references: "Annenberg-A Biography of Power" by Gaeton Fonzi. "Al Capone" by Kibler (paperback)."Citizen Hearst" by W.A. Swanberg.




For a heavy packet of our printed stories, send $5.00[U.S. funds]plus a stamped, self-addressed BUSINESS SIZED envelope WITH THREE STAMPS ON IT, to Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, 9800 So. Oglesby Ave., Chicago IL 60617-4870. Office: 8 a.m. to midnight, 7 days: (773) 375-5741. Recorded phone message(regular call) [773] 731-1100. E-mail: skolnick@ameritech.net website: skolnicksreport.com [NOTE "s" after Skolnick.]

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