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

Ohio National Guardmen killed Bill Schroeder, an ex-Eagle Scout, 46 years ago today, at Kent State University. As a reporter for The Lorain Journal, his hometown daily, I covered the death of this ROTC cadet. Do you realize what America was like back then? People actually phoned up our factory-town newspaper and praised the guardsmen […]

Tax dollars at work, GSA style Angry taxpayers are buzzing over the organizational “culture” at the General Services Administration, the federal procurement agency. I don’t mean Chaucer, Mozart or Van Gogh. Enjoy this spoof video for a GSA conference—rudely picked up by ABC News and others. Hey, you helped pay for it. GSA was supposed […]

Categories: Media | 8 Comments

Standard & Poor’s is right about the US. political process, even if the financial downgrade was crap. The process is kaput, Reason One for the budget debacle. Broken, too, are the mainstream news organizations  whose brainlessness and wimpiness helped the Tea Party outFox the somewhat less insane. Here’s my general rule about the Fourth Estate […]

Terrorists must love the Quarter Pentagon, aka BRAC-133, just off I-395 here in Alexandria, Virginia. We’re talking about 6,400 defense workers destined for an unsecured location, perfect for a drive-by missile shooting—and let’s not forget, either, the idiocy of the Army Corps of Engineer in bragging about its high-profile target. The geniuses even managed to […]

Did Harry Truman really say, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog”? Or maybe “buy a dog”? In The Solomon Scandals, an eloquent Afghan named Thackeray II quotes that line in a Truman act at the Cosmos Club. But he gets corrected by Prof. Rebecca Kitiona-Fenton, author of the foreword and afterword […]

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 […]

Daniel Schorr’s acuity seemed to grow with age, perhaps because he had that much extra history stored in his brain to compare with the news of the day. Sympathy to his family and friends. The photo is of Mr. Schorr with Scott Simon, his colleague at National Public Radio. Now a question for the media. […]

Washington is full of people telling others how to live their lives or at least wishing they could. Same for the media world. I call it the Mink Stole Ladies Syndrome, based on a party scene in The Solomon Scandals from the D.C. of several decades ago. Sally Sterling Quinn, with her judgmental dissections of […]

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 […]

Sy Solomon the imaginary real estate tycoon is pals with the imaginary George McWilliams, executive editor of the imaginary Washington Telegram. Along the way, Sy is also one of the Telegram’s biggest advertisers. But at the very least the newspaper in The Solomon Scandals cares about the appearance of a wall between the editorial and […]

It’s alchemy. Take a middle-class or moderately wealthy politician and send him or her to Washington long enough. Presto! Suddenly his wealth may not be so moderate anymore, thanks to the right friends; and The Solomon Scandals is partly about the golden futures of certain public servants. The latest defense scandals may have arisen from […]