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

Ever wonder why our politicians, business leaders, and media figures so often disappoint us, and what happens after the scandals? The Solomon Scandals is not only about the original chicanery and related crimes but also their ripples—right up to the late 21st century. It mixes suspense, tragedy, and satire in an edgy look at Washington […]

Robert H. Smith, philanthropist and Crystal City developer, gets another paean today from the Washington Post—this time an editorial, which follows an obituary of more than 1,100 words. The Post appropriately notes Smith’s donations of “hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, the arts, historic sites and civic activities.” Given his significance, then, perhaps the […]

Jonathan Stone, the reporter in The Solomon Scandals, grilled me for this Q. & A.—uncut. STONE: Why’s Scandals copyrighted in your name? Those are my newspaper memoirs. ROTHMAN: Er, faux memoirs. Without me, you wouldn’t even have been born…or have worked for the Washington Telegram…or have struggled to avert an IRS-CIA building collapse…or lived through […]

Categories: Politicians | 1 Comment

Both are self-made men from Chicago—intellectual politicians with law degrees. And like me, both are on the liberal side. No doubt, a few superficial parallels exist between my fictitious Eddy Bullard and President-elect Barack Obama. And it isn’t even deliberate. Thirty years ago when I conceived The Solomon Scandals, President Bullard held a law degree […]

A friend and I had just seen a movie with a soft-spoken and obscenity-free editor, a balding Boy Scout of the city room. Now she wondered if my novel hadn’t sinned in making such a wild character out of George McWilliams, editor at the fictitious Washington Telegram. Her message couldn’t have been clearer. Ben Bradlee, […]

Sy Solomon, the real estate millionaire in The Solomon Scandals, never existed. Like many of the characters in my novel, he is a composite. The late Charles E. Smith, however, the founder of the construction company of the same name, would have been the most like Solomon. He and associates controlled at least $150 million […]

Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, the late Connecticut senator who also served in President John F. Kennedy’s cabinet, secretly held a $20,000 investment in a GSA-leased building that the CIA moved into. My story for States News Service, reproduced below, appeared in the New Haven Register on May 29, 1975, and later made the NBC Nightly News. […]