"I think it must be terrible to hate as many things as Mr. [Westbrook] Pegler hates, and I would be unhappy I think and therefore I'm afraid that he's unhappy and I'm sorry for him because after all we all grow older and we all have to live with ourselves and I think that must sometimes be difficult for Mr. Pegler." --Eleanor Roosevelt to Mike Wallace, Nov. 23, 1957, "The Mike Wallace Interview." "I don't think architecture is for the mob. It certainly isn't for education.
On a warm Saturday in early July, an employee at the Maryland Historical Society placed a call to the police. He had noticed two visitors behaving strangely—a young, tall, handsome man with high cheekbones and full lips and a much older, heavier man, with dark, lank hair and a patchy, graying beard. The older man had called in advance to give the librarians a list of boxes of documents he wanted to see, saying that he was researching a book. At some point during their visit, the employee saw the younger man slip a document into a folder.
Let's talk about Bill O'Reilly and his show's charming practice of stalking people who, for whatever reason, have annoyed the bold, fresh piece of humanity. Certainly, I find the practice unnerving. Whatever your politics, can you imagine being accosted while waiting for a bus or buying a Slim Jim at the local Gas N' Gulp by a couple of pushy young guys barking in-your-face questions? That said, the m.o. itself isn't exactly beyond the pale.
The difference between a veteran tennis player in a major tournament and a veteran journalist on serious assignment appears to be that the tennis player has to perform at least adequately or he'll be ridiculed off the court. I'm thinking of course of the recent performances of Andre Agassi and contrasting them with 1) Mike Wallace's recent interview with President Ahmadineijad of Iran and 2) Brian Williams' end of August interview with President Bush.