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

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 […]

Why all the old jokes about unlucky newspaper people being condemned to the obituary desk? I can understand when the job is simply one of mere hackery. But the best obituaries are like polished feature stories. Fascinated by the genre, I even began The Solomon Scandals with an obit mention. Not everyone makes the news […]

How did the sprawling Crystal City complex, near Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, get its name? In the 1960s, developer Robert H. Smith dressed up his first apartment building there with a chandelier in the lobby, and soon the name spread to other Smith properties. It was, as I see it, a perfect example of […]