• U.S.

The Press: Childs to the Tribune Tower Came

2 minute read

Few interviewers have been admitted in recent months to the walnut-paneled office of Colonel Robert Rutherford McCormick. But last week the tall, testy, taciturn publisher of the Chicago Tribune (circ. 925,000) consented to receive one. The lucky fellow was suave Columnist Marquis W. Childs (circ. 7,500,000), who has succeeded the late Raymond Clapper in 108 newspapers (187 took Clapper). Next day in Chicago’s tabloid Daily Times Colonel McCormick could read Childs’s bread-&-butter letter. It was a Childs-like appraisal of “one of the major myths of our times.”

“The Colonel’s build-up has been terrific. You get the impression out this way that he is a superman, barking orders to the Middle West from the top of Tribune Tower. . . . The reality is simpler. . . . The Colonel doesn’t like what is happening in the world. Instead of looking forward to a new solution, he wants to go back to a time when, as he sees it, everything was clear and simple and good. . . .”

Outlander’s Resentment. “What surprised me most . . . was the way he talked about New York . . . the city of bankers. The boards of directors met there. They ran America. The Communists were there, too. And now the Communists and the bankers were in agreement. Part of this had a familiar ring—the resentment of the outlander over the fact that his choices in life seemed to be controlled by another world a long way off. … It is the root—this resentment and frustration —of all the radical movements that have had origin in the Middle West from the Populists down to the Coughlinites. It would serve as the mainspring of our ‘National Socialism’ if an economic collapse should open the way to such a calamity.”

Childs found the Colonel’s political views “orthodox . . . [he was] for any good [Republican] who can be elected.” (Colonel McCormick again denied reports that he had put up sizable sums for a MacArthur-for-President movement.) Childs summed up: “The influence of the Tribune in politics is largely negative. [The Colonel] shows no signs of being an ogre. It is silly to build him into a super-Führer. To find security he is marching backward into the past.”

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