Abe Rosenthal’s Way of Politely Saying No

When Abe Rosenthal stepped down as executive editor of the New York Times in 1988, I wrote him, asking if he’d be interested in writing a piece for the Washingtonian titled “If I Ran the Washington Post.”

Rosenthal had no love for Ben Bradlee, executive editor of the Post, and I thought maybe he’d take the opportunity to put the needle into Bradlee.

He sent back a hand-written note: “It’s an interesting idea but a little bird is telling me not to do it….”

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