Page:The International Jew - Volume 2.djvu/114

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the criminal proceedings had against a certain member of the Trust. The magistrate did not seem to want to hear what Fiske based his statements upon. There was a serious shooting scrape involving a woman, but the magistrate did not want to hear about it. There was even considerable difficulty on the part of Fiske’s lawyer in procuring the attendance of Abraham L. Erlanger at court, although he was one of the complainants.

All the important questions asked of Klaw were overruled.

As to Al Hayman, the court overruled all questions relating to his real name and the circumstances under which he left Australia. The facts were not brought out in this hearing, but the whole character of the hearing was made known to the public. Fiske was bound over to the Grand Jury, with $300 bail in every allegation of libel.

The Grand Jury lost no time in dismissing all the complaints against Fiske. The Trust members had come off badly because of their evident unwillingness to meet the case. They were revealed to be a much lower type of men than the American public had supposed was in charge of the American theater. They were shown to be a type that would not even stop at demanding the discharge of a local newspaper reporter whose critique of their plays did not please them.

The fight of the dramatic critics first against the bribery and then against the bludgeoning of the Theatrical Trust makes a story of which echoes have frequently come to the American public through the press. Conciliatory at first, with managers, actors, playwrights and critics, the Trust, as soon as it gained power, showed the claws beneath the velvet. It had the millions of dollars of the public coming its way, why should it care?

Whenever a critic opposed its methods or pointed out the inferior, coarse and degrading character of the Trust productions, he was ordered barred from the Trust’s theaters, and local managers were instructed to demand his discharge from his newspaper. It is with mingled feelings that an American is compelled to relate that in many, many cases the demand was complied with, the papers being threatened with the