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

The Charles E. Smith family built the giant Crystal City complex near Ronald Reagan National Airport and donated hundreds of millions to good causes, most of them probably in and near Washington. Names from the family went on the Charles E. Smith Athletic Center at George Washington University, the Robert H. Smith School of Business […]

The Schmidoffs’ windmill burned down in 1908 in Lipnick, Russia. An upshot was a real estate empire half a planet away, including Crystal City, the huge office and residential complex across the highway from Reagan National Airport. How did it happen? A rabbi saw the fire and other events as signs for the Schmidoffs to […]

Good news: Editor & Publisher, the bible of the newspaper business, is back from the dead and will be published by Duncan McIntosh. Mark Fitzgerald, an E&P veteran, is the new top editor. Online reporting has resumed, and a February issue will appear. Duncan McIntosh is  a boating magazine publisher—it also organizes boat shows. Separately […]

The review of Conversations with Papa Charlie is still set for this week—most likely Thursday or Friday—along with some related observations on charity, one of the topics of the book. I wanted to run it earlier but was unavoidably delayed. Memo to self: Remember the Jefferson quote. At least from afar, it would appear to […]

“Google neighbors”—is there such a thing? Perhaps. The Solomon Scandals Web site uses the words “David Bruce Smith” only once. He’s simply the son of the late Robert H. Smith and the grandson of Charles E. Smith, the builder whose life partly inspired my novel. A rather tenuous connection in many respects. But some Googlers […]