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Russell Baker Quotes
Letter writing was clearly important to Reagan. Even as president he kept dashing off letters to friends, pen pals, media people, statesmen, critics, and the kind of people who write to presidents never expecting a reply.
Like all young reporters - brilliant or hopelessly incompetent - I dreamed of the glamorous life of the foreign correspondent: prowling Vienna in a Burberry trench coat, speaking a dozen languages to dangerous women, narrowly escaping Sardinian bandits - the usual stuff that newspaper dreams are made of.
My natural instinct after doing something shameful is not to rush into the street boasting about it but to put on dark glasses and head for the next county, hoping nobody notices I've been in the neighborhood.
Roosevelt's declaration that Americans had 'nothing to fear but fear itself' was a glorious piece of inspirational rhetoric and just as gloriously wrong.
Situation comedy on television has thrived for years on 'canned' laughter, grafted by gaglines by technicians using records of guffawing audiences that have been dead for years.
Strategic thinkers were naturally rattled to find this outsider fooling around with their work. They had been thinking strategically when Reagan was just another movie actor playing opposite a chimpanzee, for heaven's sake. They think Reagan is too naive, too innocent, to grasp the intellectual complexities of cold war strategy.
The best discussion of trouble in boardroom and business office is found in newspapers' own financial pages and speeches by journalists in management jobs.
The early commentators who put down the pre-presidential Roosevelt as an empty-headed young lightweight, all ambition and no talent, now seem comically wrong to a modern book-reading, movie-going, television-watching, legend-loving American public conditioned to think of him as one of the presidential giants on the order of Washington and Lincoln.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
There is a growing literature about the multitude of journalism's problems, but most of it is concerned with the editorial side of the business, possibly because most people competent to write about journalism are not comfortable writing about finance.
What the New Yorker calls home would seem like a couple of closets to most Americans, yet he manages not only to live there but also to grow trees and cockroaches right on the premises.
When sudden death takes a president, opportunities for new beginnings flourish among the ambitious and the tensions among such people can be dramatic, as they were when President Kennedy was killed.
You can always tell folks from nonfolks. Folks like to feel good, like to smile for the camera when there's a big photo opportunity for a really good cause.
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