Source: Salt Lake Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Unfortunate Czolgosz”
City of publication: Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of publication: 25 June 1907
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
|“The Unfortunate Czolgosz.” Salt Lake Herald 25 June 1907: p. 4.|
|Michael Czolgosz; Czolgosz family.|
|Leon Czolgosz; Michael Czolgosz (brother); William McKinley.|
The Unfortunate Czolgosz
A Cleveland dispatch says that Michael Czolgosz,
the brother of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley, visited a
Cleveland newspaper office the other day and threatened to slaughter the city
editor and the entire staff of reporters unless the paper refrained from continually
putting him in the limelight as the brother of an assassin. There is nothing
in the records to show that Michael Czolgosz is not a decent, reputable citizen.
It was his great misfortune, and by no means his fault, that his brother was
It must be said that he adopted a violent method of expressing his disapproval of the publicity given him. It is a method that usually results in more publicity, for the average newspaper man is so accustomed to demonstrations of that kind that he pays no attention whatever to them. But some allowance must be made for Czolgosz’s exasperation. Wholly without fault on his part, if we read the record right, he was being subjected to what can only be described as persecution by the newspaper he visited. Czolgosz should have made his request in a more reasonable manner, but for all we know he has made reasonable protests.
He is without recourse in law. If a newspaper wants to mention his name every day, and to say every day that he is the brother of a man who was electrocuted for assassinating a president of the United States, he cannot sue the paper for libel, for the statement is true. The man’s very helplessness should appeal to the newspapers. Should he be made a vicarious sacrifice for his brother’s crime, especially as the brother long since paid the penalty? We think not.
The old, old law, says that the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children, and it is just as true that when one member of a family becomes a criminal all the members of his family, however innocent, are doomed to suffer. Michael Czolgosz is one of these innocent victims. In common decency he ought to be left to suffer, as suffer he always must, outside of the fierce light of publicity. As long as he is obedient to the laws of the land, as long as he remains a decent citizen, he is at least entitled to the rights usually accorded to other citizens.