The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large

Everything inside me is hoping that no one attacks the towers of BRAC-133, aka the Quarter Pentagon (which unfortunately will house 6,400 defense workers just off the I-395 freeway in Alexandria, Virginia, rather inside a secure military base). But a “sustainable development” news release from a Los Angeles firm gives us an idea of who’d […]

Update: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the Indiana real estate developer's contributions were part of an arrangement by which the developer contributed to many people at once, apparently with an unrelated issue in mind. I appreciated the Moran response and will let readers judge for themselves.   […]

In character, one of Rob Pegoraro’s last “Faster Forward” columns for the Washington Post is on Digital Rights Management, aka “copy protection,” the scourge of e-book lovers for many reasons. DRMed books in the ePub format for iBooks—the Apple-created reading app for the iPad and related gizmos—are not readable on the Nook or on Sony […]

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Imagine working for a newspaper and vigorously knocking its iPhone app as a waste of money, even at $2 a year. That’s exactly what Rob Pegoraro, the Faster Forward columnist at the Washington Post, did without consequences—a good reflection on both him and his bosses. But it turns out that Rob is leaving the Post […]

For years, as founder and editor of TeleRead, I complained of e-book gouges by big publishers eager to protect their trade in paper books. My little publisher, Twilight Times Books, owned by the author-friendly Lida Quillen, listened. Last week with my blessing, Lida dropped the price of The Solomon Scandals on Amazon to 99 cents, […]

Update: The sale is still on through early April—Scandals’s rank went from the hundreds of thousands to 1K. I paid $1.50 a few weeks ago to take a WiFi-equipped bus down from Boston to Washington, D.C. On the way to the bus station, the taxi driver—from Nigeria, of all places—told me the fare was a […]

I’ll be back to the Scandals blog in time, but for now, more of my blogging is happening on the LibraryCity.org site—devoted to the K-12 benefits and other glories of a well-stocked national digital library system for the United States. Drop by and think about contributing your own essay on the need for one. If […]

For every two Jews, said David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel,  three opinions exist, and maybe when we’re talking about literary works, the number of viewpoints would be five or six. Jewcy is out with The 50 Most Essential Works of Jewish Fiction of the Last 100 years, as compiled by the […]

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New iPad paper has wow factor Rupert Murdoch’se iPad newspaper launched Wednesday, and judging from a YouTube, it has its share of knock-your-socks-off features—it can even read news to you. But for now at least, you won’t find me among the subscribers. I sold my iPad before prices dropped too much more as owners unloaded […]

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The “L” word was “Library,” and the place where I’ve been blogging lately is the new LibraryCity site, promoting the idea of a well-stocked national digital library system for the entire country, not just the elite. The site was in beta, but now librarian Tom Peters and I have officially unveiled it, aided by an […]

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Hints: I don’t mean “liberal.” Also, the topic is staid but rather important. Frequent visitors to the Solomon Scandals site may already know what I’m up to. For others, the fog will lift tomorrow or the day after. The State of the Union address just might make Issue X rather timely. Solomonscandals.com will continue, but […]

So how does it feel, Sarah Palin? You put gun sights on a map showing the congressional districts of Gabrielle Giffords and some others voting for the Obama healthcare legislation. And how about you, Sharon Angle? Didn’t you talk of “domestic enemies in Congress” and “Second Amendment remedies” against politicians like Harry Reid, your foe […]

In The Solomon Scandals,  my Washington novel, a reporter says he became one so he wouldn’t have to strangle in a necktie. So what’s the reality in D.C. today? Alas, even among many members of the Fourth Estate,  the tie is hardy dead—and, worse,  the real power people won’t even think of going tie-less on […]

With so many local libraries facing cutbacks, the case for a well-stocked national digital library system grows stronger each day. At TheAtlantic.com  I’ve written of the possibility of a decentralized public library system existing within the Library of Congress but run by librarians in many cities, so that Washington does not dictate to America what […]

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Revenge of the copy editors? Laid off from the Winston-Salem Journal, which sent their jobs out of town, 18 copy editors bemoaned their plight. Poignant videos reminded us of the victims’ familiarity with their community—of their awareness that “Robinhood” rather than “Robin Hood” is the correct name of a road there.  So here’s a modest […]

Something bizarre is happening at Politics and Prose, and perhaps a few other bookstores in the Washington area—and therein may lie a lesson for the Washington Post. These booksellers are prospering, even as many others across the nation are closing or cutting back. Sales at Politics and Prose have zoomed from $3 million two years […]

Does the Washington Post want to be an opinion rag for the rich or serve Washingtonians and Americans as a whole? Never mind the old adage that newspapers should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Here’s one indication that the Post is already a right-wing house organ on certain occasions. The Post published wacky […]

Of course. ”The wrong Edwards ran for president.” Elizabeth Edwards abounded with the positives, especially moral ones, that I found wanting in her husband, who often reminded me of the slick Southern lawyer in the movie version of The Devil’s Advocate. The real tragedy isn’t just her fatal cancer or John’s infidelity. Rather it’s that […]

Do Ben Bradlee and other Washington Post luminaries actually use the iPad app they touted in one hoot of a promo video? I suspect so.  What’s more, since my mostly favorable review of November 9, I’ve usually read the Post via the app. I have even accustomed myself to the vertical swiping needed to see […]

The new Google eBookstore, a rival to the Kindle Store, didn’t disappoint me when I tried it just now. Books display on PCs, Macs, iPads, nooks and other gadgets (although not the Kindle), even offline—and you can adjust the type size and style, line spacing, and other variables. More info here. Also see Google Blog. […]

Groucho Marx once said any club that would admit him wasn’t worth joining. Marx was Jewish, of course, as am I, along with many of the characters in my novel, The Solomon Scandals; and I’m curious if the same logic might be behind rabbis’ traditional reluctance to convert nonJews without sufficient preparation to join our […]

Update: Sunbury and Patrick Quere parted ways in August 2011. – D.R. I hate censorship and would not want Amazon to ban the novel Grognard despite the grotesque violence, racism, anti-Semitism and other offensiveness.  Would I myself have published it? My first reaction was, No. But I may have figured out how Patrick Quere could […]

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Update: Patrick Quere and his publisher parted ways in August 2011. – D.R. Nancy Bruneau’s killer cracked open her skull, sliced her up, and scattered brain and liver fragments in her front yard in Hollywood, Florida. Her wacko son, Beau, 29, now faces first-degree murder charges. Was the killing of Ms. Bruneau, a popular bartender […]

For The Solomon Scandals I created a fictitious Virginia county with fictitious crooks. Across the Potomac River in Maryland, I didn’t bother with all the niceties. I just called the county by its real name of “Prince George’s,” and my reporter-narrator told of driving past “row after row of grubby garden apartments—the legacy of developers […]