The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large
Categories: Lorain, Ohio, Media | 2 Comments

How could I have written a newspaper novel like The Solomon Scandals without a chain-smoking editor? Kamikaze levels of tobacco and booze use helped certify newsroom denizens as manly risk-takers several decades ago, the time period of Scandals. Women were part of the scene by the 1970s, but they tended not to partake with such […]

Four Kent State University students—including Bill Schroeder, an ROTC cadet whose funeral I wrote up for the Lorain Journal—died 40 years ago on May 4, 1970. Nine suffered bullet wounds. The Ohio National Guard fired 67 rounds at a crowd no closer than 150 feet. Shot in the back while lying on the grass, young […]

The Molly Ivins play—remember, Molly was the uppity newspaper columnist with a dog named Shit and a sassy ‘tude to match—is a sure thing for Broadway if you go by the numbers from Philadelphia. Hey, brag, didn’t I think as much earlier? From March 19 through Sunday as reported by Michael Klein in the Philadelphia […]

Categories: Lorain, Ohio, Media | 4 Comments

I mourn the decline of traditional newspapers, like The Telegram in The Solomon Scandals, despite their many flaws. How many paper dailies—not just individual copies of them—will end up as trash? And, yes, as many in the industry believe, Google is responsible to a great extent, but not in the way you might think. Google’s […]

Related: Media critic James Fallows and Google News’ Josh Cohen will discuss digital-era journalism tomorrow, Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., in D.C. What if reporters didn’t take over from newspaper publishers, the tease I posted earlier? Suppose someone else did, Google. One old newspaper alum, Jeff Jarvis, has even written a book called What Would Google […]

A black mongrel dog scampers across the stage, “dragging a leash and a canoe paddle.” Her owner yells for the dog by her proper name, “Shit”—an ever-handy expletive for a Texas oilman’s red-headed daughter, grouchy about the status quo. This is the populist journalist Molly Ivins at home, in a new play by Margaret (Peggy) […]

The Solomon Scandals is a little like a novel that a 19th century writer might have written on whaling. In some ways it’s a tribute to a vanishing way of life—to the print culture as manifested in daily journalism. No, paper books are not disappearing tomorrow. But newspapers of a certain size are on the […]

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo. The owners of a newspaper where I worked in the 1970s, the Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio, the inspiration for “Marseilles, Ohio” in The Solomon Scandals, have just filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. Scandals isn’t merely about corruption in government and the press. It’s also about a much […]

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The Washington, D.C., area gets the most ink in The Solomon Scandals. But Scandals also contains flashbacks to the steel town of Marseilles, Ohio, a fictionalized version of Lorain, where I wrote features and worked the poverty and public housing beats for the Journal, the local daily. The phrase “factory town” applies. In Scandals even […]