Origins of Associated Press


In the latter 19th century, besides the money monopoly, a new power group emerged: The Associated Press. “In an era of trusts, it was one of the nation’s most effective monopolies.” [1] Most Americans were “aghast,” writes J. Anthony Lukas in Big Trouble, “that a ‘great octopus’ like the AP could embrace eight hundred member papers.” Wrote one independent newspaper editor of the time, “Here is the most tremendous engine for Power that ever existed in this world. If you can conceive all that Power ever wielded by the great autocrats of history… to be massed together into one vast unit of Power, even this would be less than the power now wielded by the Associated Press.” [1]

The newspapers throughout the land began to be in large part mere rehashes of Associated Press reports. Still, the individual newspapers competed with each other for readers. About 100 years ago, there began to be “circulation wars.” Back “at the turn of the century there were fractured skulls and killings due to newspaper rivalries in what were called ‘circulation wars.'” [2]

Max Annenberg was circulation manager for Colonel Robert McCormick’s Chicago Tribune newspaper. [2] Moses (Moe) Annenberg (image top), brother of Max, was a rival circulation-war “general” for William Randolph Hearst. [3]

“The Annenbergs’ need of circulation-war soldiers first introduced them to the efficiencies offered by the gangsters.” Assisting Max Annenberg was the Al Capone mob. Moe Annenberg relied on “Bugs” Moran and his thugs. [3]

Al Capone later said, “Them circulation fights was murder. They knifed each other like hell… And who do you think settled all them strikes and fights? Me, I’m the guy that settled all their strikes and all their circulation raids.” [3]

Colonel Robert McCormick himself met with Capone, to personally thank him for his help. [3]

At various newsstands, not only newspapers were sold. You could also place bets.

Crucial to gambling operations was the race wire. Transmitted in coded form along telegraph wires was horse racing data, including results. These race wires were owned by different persons, and were named “General News Bureau”, “Nationwide News Service”, “Trans-America”, and such. The backbone of these variants of “Associated Press” was Western Union, owned by stellar blue-bloods and fancy lads such as Vincent Astor, Percy Rockefeller, Paul Warburg, William Vanderbilt, W.A. Harriman, and Jay Cooke. Founder of Western Union was one Ezra Cornell, connected with the prestigious Cornell University. [3]

Moe Annenberg eventually ran the Nationwide Racing Wire Service. His wealth growing enormously, Annenberg soon purchased the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper and other “news” outlets.

Critics charged Annenberg was using his newspapers to back local politicians who would close down rival bookmaking services and allow his illegal racing wire to operate without competition. Within a few years Annenberg had a nationwide monopoly. Annenberg’s Nationwide News Service and subsidiaries were servicing bookies in 223 cities, 39 states and three Canadian provinces. [4]

But Moe Annenberg’s sudden wealth aroused the ire of old-money fancy lads. They disdained nouveau riche upstarts. Elite blue-blood Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) sicced the IRS snoops on Annenberg. “I want him in jail,” commanded FDR to Attorney General Homer Cummings. Moe Annenberg was indicted for byzantine income tax complexities on August 11, 1939.

Today, it is the Associated Press which runs America, not talk radio. AP decides what is “news” and what is not. Politicians dance to whatever tune the AP decides is “hot news.” Back in 2008, for example, Senator John McCain said of the economy, “The fundamentals are sound.” The Associated Press pounced on McCain’s remark, and the hawkish senator fled like a dove from his earlier statement. McCain was out of step, but quickly hopped back to dance in time with the Associated Press tune.

(A version of the above first appeared at my Melchizedek Communique web site on April 5, 2009.)

——- Sources ——-
[1] Big  Trouble, by J. Anthony Lukas. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. ISBN: 0-684-80858-7.
[2] Illinois Crime, by Bill Nunes. Self-published, 2002.
[3] The Outfit, by Gus Russo. New York: Bloomsbury, 2001
[4] “President Ford’s Ties to the Jewish Mafia”,


About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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