Confidential: Tells the Facts and Names the Names
Prosecutors opened the case against Confidential and Whisper by charging that the magazines used prostitutes to lure movies stars into compromising situations and published the incidents in scandalous articles. The magazines, Publishers Distributing Corp. and Hollywood Research Inc. were charged with printing lewd, obscene materials and advertising abortions and male rejuvenation.
The first order of business for Assistant Atty. Gen. Clarence Linn and Deputy Dist. Atty. William L. Ritzi (who will be the judge in the Patty Hearst case) is to show the close financial ties between the magazines and Hollywood Research Inc., run by Fred and Marjorie Meade.
Noting that Marjorie Meade was the niece of Robert Harrison, the publisher of Confidential and Whisper, Linn said: "Records will show that they [the Meades] bought stories from people of the night life, questionable characters, private detectives."
Linn added: "We will show that the printed material was lewd and obscene, that it had a substantial tendency to corrupt and that an attempt was made to impeach the honesty and integrity of living persons. We will not attempt to turn this court into an animated Confidential."
Defense attorney Arthur J. Crowley replied: "The evidence will show that these stories are not innuendo but that the real stories behind the articles are far worse than the stories that are printed." Insisting that articles such as "Don't Take Those Abortion Pills" were a public service, Crowley said: "There was no intent here to crucify any individual for one slip off the straight and narrow. There was never any desire by Harrison or anyone else to injure anybody."
The American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, submitted a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to keep Atty. Gen. Pat Brown from barring distribution of the scandal magazines during the trial.
Attorney A.L. Wirin said that although the ACLU had no sympathy with Confidential or Whisper, "it does support the right of any publication to be free of censorship" until the prosecution of the magazines was finished, The Times said.
To be continued