I’d like to thank Jimmy C. for donating the following article to my archive. Years before the National Enquirer, eons before TMZ, we had Confidential. Time Magazine lamented:
In a little more than two years, a 25¢ magazine called “Confidential”, based on the proposition that millions like to wallow in scurrility, has become the biggest newsstand seller in the U.S. Newsmen have called Confidential (“Tells the Facts and Names the Names”) everything from “scrawling on privy walls” to a “sewer sheet of supercharged sex.” But with each bimonthly issue, printed on cheap paper and crammed with splashy pictures, Confidential’s sale has grown even faster than its journalistic reputation has fallen.
Undoubtedly, Henry Luce and his upper-crusty pals from Yale must have been pissing their jodhpurs with envy! No scandal rag before or since captivated the salacious imagination of America like Confidential. At its peak, the magazine had a circulation of several million readers.
So when they ran a two-page spread on yours truly, I was honored but alarmed. Until then, J.X. Williams mostly operated under the radar. Not long before, I had gotten into a tiff with Freddy O. over a botched surveillance operation he hired me to shoot. As Confidential’s #1 LA informant, it didn’t take a detective to find his fingerprints all over the article. Roy Cohn confirmed my theory (via Howard Rushmore) decades later. Roy also told me that the story got J. Edgar Hoover’s bowels in an uproar. You see, the old girl had assigned two G-Men to scan and index every issue in search of juicy tidbits for inclusion within his private files. His pal Walter Winchell already tipped him off on the choice scandals so there wasn’t much dirt to glom from the publication. But after my exposé, he put another agent on the Confidential detail just to make sure nothing fell between the cracks again.
Roy told me Edgar would literally salivate at the mention of my name. “A commie smut-peddler,” he gushed, foaming at the mouth with hateful glee. “It’s almost too good to be true!” I don’t know how the LA SAC managed to keep him at bay. I wouldn’t do fed time for at least another five years.