Annals of Asking Someone Important to Come Over to Your Table to Impress Your Guest

How the Professionals Do It

Comedian Don Rickles, who died yesterday at the age of 90, was on the Johnny Carson Show in 1976 with Frank Sinatra and Sinatra told this classic Rickles story.

How the Amateurs Do It

In the fall of 1979, The Washingtonian was sold to Phil Merrill, a former State Department official turned publisher. I had been editing the magazine for ten years and Phil seemed comfortable keeping me on but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let him know I was connected in Washington.

Bill Walsh’s Favorite Quotes About Editing and Writing

Bill Walsh, a much-admired Washington Post copy editor who died March 15, wrote three books about his craft. The one he published in 2004, The Elephants of Style, starts each chapter with a sentence or two about editing and writing that he particularly liked. Many editors have wanted to quote the last one to many writers.

Who needs action when you’ve got words?

—The Meat Puppets
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I just sit at the typewriter and curse a bit.

—P.G. Woodhouse on his writing technique
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A burro is an ass. A burrow is a hole in the ground. As a journalist you are expected to know the difference.

David Bradley Says the Atlantic Is Profitable—Mischievous Media Critic Says Open Your Books

Shafer to Bradley: “Let’s see the books.”

The Washington Post’s Thomas Heath had an upbeat weekend piece on Atlantic owner David Bradley:

After enduring more than $100 million in losses over a decade, Bradley has secured the future of the Atlantic, the 160-year-old monthly magazine that positions him at the commanding heights of the national conversation.

He expects to make back his investment in Atlantic Media when he finds a new owner for it in six to ten years. “I want to find somebody who will love it as much as I’ve loved it,” he said.

When Print Journalism Came to a Crossroads and Went the Wrong Way

“Our massive mistake when the Internet started with journalism—why it was given away for free,” says Frey. “It’s not a public resource. It costs a lot of money to do good journalism.”

—Hillary Frey speaking this week at the Columbia School of Journalism

In 1995, big newspapers decided they should make digital readers pay for a newspaper’s news. James O’Shea, former editor of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, described what then happened in his book, The Deal From Hell.

Play Lots of Golf, Mr. President—It’s Good for You and the Country

Updates: Here’s a good Los Angeles Times piece, by veteran DC reporter Doyle McManus, on why you should relax about President Trump playing so much golf. And here are two good Associated Press stories: Golfing With Trump: Better Leave Your Ego at the Clubhouse, and That Time I Played Golf With the Future President.
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By Jack Limpert

Judging from Twitter, many journalists dislike golf. They see it as a game played mostly by rich people at country clubs.

Judging from Twitter, many journalists dislike President Trump.

Put the two together and you get a Twitter feed full of President Trump playing too much golf.

The Shooting of the President:1981

Secret Service agents help the wounded President into his car—taking him directly to GW Hospital saved his life.

Thirty-six years ago, Ronald Reagan, 69 days into his presidency, was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel after speaking to the Building and Construction Workers Union of the AFL-CIO when John Hinckley Jr., standing 10 feet from the President and armed with a .22 revolver, began shooting. Hinckley’s first shot hit press secretary James Brady and other shots wounded a DC police officer, Thomas Delahanty,  and a Secret Service agent, Timothy McCarthy. The final shot hit Reagan’s car and ricocheted into the President’s chest.

“That they may be encouraged not to pollute their presses and disgrace their profession”

By Barnard Law Collier

Ben Franklin was a genius in many ways, one of them newspapering.

He took his brother James’s then-controversial idea of setting print for literate people as a news paper (The New England Courant) and within a decade turned his own newspaper, Poor Richard’s almanack, into a communications system that made him rich by his early forties and gave him time to pursue one of the most interesting lives America ever produced.

If you read his Autobiography, you will laugh at the truth of his words nearly 300 years after he penned them.

Sports and Journalism: Luke Maye as the Writer, Theo Pinson as the Editor

Luke Maye (center) was the hero, Theo Pinson (right) made it happen.

North Carolina won a great NCAA tournament game yesterday, beating Kentucky 75-73 on Luke Maye’s basket with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. Everyone mobbed Maye, and the news coverage was pretty much all Luke Maye.

Washington Post: It’s Maye Day

New York Daily News: Luke Maye hits game-winning jumper with .3 seconds left

Charlotte Observer: Maye’s shot gives UNC 75-73 win over Kentucky, last spot in Final Four

In DC, Clothes Don’t Make the Editor

Baron looks like he shops online at L.L. Bean.

Driving on a downtown DC street this week we waited at a stop sign for a pedestrian to cross in front of us. The man, looking in his 50s, had short gray hair and was wearing khaki trousers and black windbreaker jacket. Propelling him forward was a big black backpack that looked heavy enough to be carrying a couple of dozen books.

He looked like one of those middle-level staffers at one of the small think tanks in the Dupont Circle area. On second look, it was Marty Baron, moving as purposefully as you might expect from the hard-driving executive editor of the Washington Post.

Annals of Really Bad Media Relations: Durocher Got Mad at the AP Reporter and Flattened Him Three Times

Paul Dickson’s new book, Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son, is out this week to lively reviews. Publisher’s Weekly says: “The author often approaches his subject with tabloid fervor as he writes of the manager’s 1947 game suspension, his contested friendship with actor George Raft and his gangster buddies, his divorces (including from actress Loraine Day), and his feuds with Babe Ruth and Casey Stengel. Dickson’s entertaining book brings the rambunctious Hall of Famer and true sports original to life.”