Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Two-Pulitzer Journalist
Makes One Real Strange Reply

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Senior Correspondent for Investigations has two Pulitzer's, a Sigma Delta Chi and gazillion other Journalism awards under his belt. But when it comes to e-mail replies he
  • has Seinfeld writers answering;
  • too many windows open on his PC desktop;
  • a runaway auto responder; or
  • may need a larger dose of Aricept.
Yesterday, via Google News, I read Andrew Schneider's interesting recollection of Julia Child in light of the mountain of WWII OSS files that the government just unsealed.

In the good old days of hot type, reporters launched their careers on newspaper "obit desks." I did. Today I proudly wear the mantle of one who (miraculously) never made an obit mistake. I always worried about published obit errors that could to re-annoy families for decades each time a scrap-booked, yellowing, clipped, error-containing obituary was reread at family events over the years.

So, fast-forward to Schneider's column about Julia Child and her OSS service. I liked it and sent one of my rare e-mail attaboys:
"Thanks for the Julia Child recollection. I’m not a CIA follower and had no idea she worked for Wild Bill Donovan. Closest I ever came to a spook in public was meeting Bill Colby in

Schneider's reply to me, too short for haiku, was Seinfeldian. Remember the episode where Jerry says, "You mean the panties your mother laid out for you?" Schneider's response to my laudatory comment was one short sentence:
"Does your mother know you talk that

I'm still scratching my head over Schneider's message and added his reply to the "No Good Deed Goes Unobfuscated" category.

P.S. I was in the Nassau Inn in Princeton in the 80's when I saw William Colby, the former DCI, who had gone to Princeton University before Columbia Law. Colby's successor at the CIA was George H.W. Bush. I recognized Colby in a heartbeat and while he went unnoticed by others I introduced myself and had a nice brief conversation with him. He died in a canoeing accident near his Maryland home in 1996.

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