Fisticuff in the Washington Post’s newsroom: And here you thought ‘Scandals’ was only a NOVEL?

image Henry Allen, a Pulitzer Prize winner in his late 60s, punched the face of feature writer Manuel Roig-Franzia—right there in the city room at the Washington Post.

Marcus Brauchli, the Post’s executive editor, is said to have separated Allen, an ex-Marine, from Roig-Franzia. Enjoy not-quite-ringside reports from The Washingtonian’s Harry JaffeFishBowlDC’s Matt Dornic, the Politico’s Michael Calderone, the Washington City Paper’s Erik Wemple and the Post’s own Gene Weingarten, as well as Huffington Post commentary.

No fist fights happen in the newsroom in The Solomon Scandals (not about the Post despite the joke in the headline). But other crazy things do. “Fisticuffs” take place elsewhere between the night metro editor and a 250-pound printer after the editor misses a deadline. Are the real Posties jealous of the fun at the imaginary Washington Telegram? Why are they trespassing on my territory as a novelist? This is completely outside the bounds of good sportsmanship, despite the unwitting boost it gives Scandals’s credibility. The good news, according to Weingarten’s write-up, is that modern newsrooms may still differ from insurance offices. Oh, the passion! The dispute was over the quality of a story about congressional ethics violations. “Oh, Henry,” Roig-Franzia is said to have provoked Allen, “don’t be such a cocks—–.”

Tip: The just-given Allen link goes to a Web site where he reveals himself to be a talented water colorist and more, and says he is “Intense. Mercurial. Bald. Bearded.” No doubt about the first two adjectives.

Image: Ricardo Dominguez vs. Rafael Ortiz (from Wikipedia).

Update, November 17, 2009: I originally didn’t think I had fisticuffs in Scandals, but sure enough, I do. So I’ve tweaked the above.

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David Rothman

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