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At Christmas, I don’t think of frankincense. I ponder ‘Frankenstein’

If Mary Shelley’s powerful legend offers any thoughts for a holy season, they lie in the rituals associated with Advent and Epiphany, not the frantic intervening season of Christmas, which is rarely conducive to reflection. The Frankenstein parable casts its light on the two seasons of renewal – Advent, with its messianic prophecy, and Epiphany, the last of the days of Christmas and a customary time of renewal and resolve.


Attribution> Edwin Yoder,
Full Story> Yoder

Mystery artist solved? Maybe

Brady's art looks a lot like the Schenectady and Saratoga images, but so does Berryman's, and we have Berryman's signature on one of the Saratoga drawings. Might there have been different artists using similar styles to produce these images?

I don't know. I'd like to suggest that Berryman did all of them, but could one artist, who worked for the Washington Post from 1891 to 1907 and the Washington Star from 1907-1949, have done them all? It doesn't seem likely that he would have also done work for the Gazette, the Saratogian and the Post Star?

Attribution> Bill Buell,
Full story> Berryman

Gail Campbell Woolley Book "Soar" Being Published Posthumously

After battling sickle cell anemia, a rare, painful, and misunderstood blood disease that affects mostly people of color, Gail Campbell Woolley died on March 16, 2015.

Woolley’s powerful story sheds light on the suffering from this horrific illness, and raises awareness of this overlooked disease that affects the African American community. It lacks proper treatment and funding for research. In sharing her story, Woolley hoped to change the quality of care for those suffering and living with this illness, and to pursue a cure for this genetic condition that affects an estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. alone.

Written in engaging, direct no-nonsense prose that reflects her many years in journalism (Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, Washington Star), SOAR chronicles Gail’s life from diagnosis to death and shows how certain aspects of her disease helped shape her indomitable spirit in ways that can inspire each of us – even if death does not lurk in our blood cells.

Attribution> Penny Jordan,
Full Story>  SOAR

Bruce Rader, Carol Hudson, Jim Ducibella are Media Hall of Fame finalists

Jim Ducibella, who was a sports writer at the Washington Star and Virginian-Pilot for three decades, is also a finalist. He is already a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Duce, as he is known, because of his Italian heritage, now writes for William and Mary's office of university relations.

Attribution - Harry Minium,
Full Story - Media Hall of Fame

Baltimore Sun cartoonist Kevin 'KAL' Kallaugher wins National Press Foundation's Berryman Award

The Berryman Award, which was funded by former Washington Star art critic Florence Berryman in 1989 in memory of her father and brother, who were both Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists, will be presented to KAL with a $2,500 prize at the press foundation’s annual awards dinner in February.

Attribution - Brittany Britto, The Baltimore Sun
Full story - Berryman Award 2017

Collection address delivered by Barbara Cochran ‘67 during this year’s Alumni Weekend and her 50th Reunion

Barbara Cochran ‘67 is the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and director of the school’s Washington program. She has held executive positions in newspapers, radio, television and the non-profit sector. She was managing editor of the Washington Star, vice president for news at NPR, where she directed the creation of NPR’s Morning Edition, was executive producer of NBC’s Meet the Press and then vice president and Washington bureau chief of CBS News–the first woman to head a network bureau in Washington. Cochran served for 12 years as president of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Full story: Barbara Cochran

Wash Post Busted Pressmen’s Union in 1975 Strike. Why It Still Matters Today.

Attribution: The Washington Post
The day after the strike began, another friend and fellow publisher, Arthur Sulzberger of The New York Times, was in D.C. having lunch with Joe Allbritton, the publisher of the Washington Star, the Post’s only major competitor. Sulzberger denied he was in D.C. to pressure Allbritton to join forces with the Post crush the pressmen by printing the Post on the Star’s presses.

“Of course, I didn’t advise Mr. Allbritton what to do. He didn’t ask my advice… and I’m not in any position to give advice,” Sulzberger told a reporter. It was just a friendly lunch, the day after the strike began, and the Times publisher just happened to bring up the following: “I told him about the New York situation in which the unions learned to whipsaw the papers until they [the papers’ owners] learned to work together.”

While Sulzberger denied pressing Allbritton, Graham didn’t. “On the morning of October 2, Mark [Meagher] and I went to see Joe Allbritton to propose the idea that the Star print the Post on its presses, which would, of course, have resulted in that paper’s being shut down, too,” Graham wrote.

Had the Star printed the Post, the Star’s pressmen were expected to strike in solidarity with the Post pressmen. And a stoppage could have put the Star, which was facing financial difficulties, out of business.

Still, Times columnist James Reston thought the Star should print the Post “even if they had to go down together.” Allbritton, however, thought differently and continued publishing only the Star.

Attribution: Pete Tucker -
Full story: 1975 Strike

Gloria Borger Wiki

Gloria Borger’s years of experience made her a noteworthy political pundit in the media. She grew up in New Rochelle, New York, where her father ran an electrical appliances distributorship called Borgers. After graduating from Colgate University in 1974, she worked as a journalist, columnist, and political analyst.
She began her career as a political reporter for The Washington Star. In her early broadcast career, she worked on CNBC’s Capital Report as a co-anchor. She even made appearances on CBS’ 60 Minutes II and Face the Nation. She was also a contributor and columnist for US News and World Report magazine. She joined CNN in 2007, where her work was recognized with several honors and awards.

Attribution>  Caroline John -
Full Story> Borger

The Health Of The Community Newspaper

The Evening Star appeared downtown in 1852 and, renamed the Washington Star, lasted until 1981, when its final parent (my then-employer) Time Incorporated shuttered it. (Today Time is confronting its own digital-age survival challenges.)

The Post (where I did two stints) arrived in 1877 as a “four-page organ of the Democratic Party,” the Britannica says. It was joined in the 20th century by the original Washington Times, the Times-Herald and Washington Daily News.

Attribution:Charlie Clark -
Full story: Our man in Arlington

Six Days in July: The 1967 Detroit Riots

Haynes Johnson of the Washington Star Syndicate asked about the chances of similar riots across the country.
Cavanagh said that Congress was indifferent to the issues that many Americans faced. “What will it profit this country if we, say, put a man on the moon by 1970 and at the same time you can’t walk down Woodward Avenue in this city without some fear of violence,” Cavanagh said. “We may be able to pacify every village in Vietnam over a period of years but what good does it do if we can’t pacify the American cities.”

Full article: Detroit

Newspaper legacy, journalist Barbara DeWitt Smith returns to Wyoming Valley

When I was a young girl, I used to walk the four-mile round trip from our house on Shrine View to the library on Main Street in Dallas to get my Nancy Drew books. After reading the first one, I remember standing in my bedroom and saying out loud: “I’m going to write a book!”

And so all these years later, I have.

In May, my first book was published. “Home At Last” is a memoir that tells all the family secrets of growing up in a privileged but nutty, colorful household. My father used to write the Little Studies column in the Times Leader about his trials and tribulations of dealing with his five daughters and their antics. And everyone would say, “Oh, that Smith family is so colorful!”

My four sisters and I all went to the Day School and then went away to boarding school (where I used my middle name and became known as DeWitt Smith because there were four other Barbaras in my class). I was the only Smith sister who returned to the Back Mountain to live, back in 1979, for a year, before moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the Washington Star.

Attribution:Barbara DeWitt Smith - For Times Leader
Full Story: Home At Last

A court term ends, a career change begins - Lyle Denniston Retiring

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., on Friday morning announced that the Supreme Court will issue the remaining decisions for the current term on Monday morning.  That also will mean that I am winding up my active, daily writing for Constitution Daily, and concluding my career as a “regular” on the court beat, after 58 years, and as a working journalist, after 69 years.

My wife and I have been discussing retirement for some time, and now seems to be a good time to try it out.  I hope to do some occasional writing for Constitution Daily in coming months.  My current assignment will be to continue to follow the news and write for the Daily through the end of July.

I have some teaching commitments at the University of Baltimore School of Law for the fall semester, but my plans beyond that are indefinite.

In the past, Denniston has written for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, the American Lawyer, the Washington Star, the Nebraska City News-Press, and the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal.  His commentary has also been featured on National Public Radio.

Attribution: Lyle Denniston
Full story: Retirement

100 years after Katharine Graham’s birth, The Post holds on to her fearlessness

Katharine Graham shortly after becoming publisher
of The Washington Post. (The Washington Post)
In her Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Personal History,” Mrs. Graham recalled how years of inaction from the Washington Star — the region’s “self-satisfied and complacent” market leader — ultimately led to its downfall, even after heroic efforts to save it. I can’t help but imagine that memory running in the back of her mind when The Post took its first steps into the digital era with the launch in 1995 of Digital Ink, a predecessor to

Attribution: Frederick J. Ryan Jr.,
Full article: Graham Opinion

As Frank Lloyd Wright Turns 150, A ‘Small Jewel’ In Virginia Shares Lessons In Simplicity

Loren Pope and Steven Reiss. (Courtesy Steven Reiss)
A solution came through Pope’s employer, the Washington Evening Star.

The newspaper had just started program where they were actually loaning employees money to build a house which was quite amazing when you think about it today, but they were encouraging employees to stay in the area and they wanted them to live in houses of they could afford it. So the Washington Star loaned Loren enough of the money, in addition to a small down payment that Loren had saved, to begin construction of the house. Loren signed an agreement that he would pay back that loan at $25 a month. It was for approximately $5000 at that point. So really without the Washington Evening Star’s program in loaning money, the house probably would not have been built.

Attribution: Catherine Komp,
Full Story: Pope-Leighey House

Lyle Denniston - A lesson from 1981

Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s Supreme Court correspondent, recalls a 1981 case that sped through the court in 21 days.  This post is based on his own files while covering that case, Dames v. Moore v. Regan, for the Washington Star newspaper and on internal court documents now found in various archives of the Justices’ papers.

Legendary journalist Lyle Denniston is Constitution Daily’s Supreme Court correspondent. Denniston has written for us as a contributor since June 2011 and has covered the Supreme Court since 1958. His work also appears on

"It might be that Burger decided that, at age 57, Rehnquist was young enough and fast enough to handle the onerous chore of turning out a big opinion quickly.   And it might have been that, knowing how Rehnquist had felt about the case, he might be trusted to write the narrowest opinion possible to dispose of the case quickly.

Whatever Burger had had in mind, the result was the court working at one of the fastest paces ever.  It apparently can be done."

Attribution: Lyly Denniston,
Full Story: SCOTUS

Jerry Oppenheimer EXCLUSIVE: Lordy! James Comey set for $10 million payday

Jerry Oppenheimer covered the Justice Department and the FBI for the Washington Star. A New York Times bestselling author, his latest book, The Kardashians: An American Drama, will be published in September.

"According to the publishing executives interviewed by Daily Mail, the proposed book would deal with Comey's entire life, from his New Jersey childhood up to the intrigue and drama of his Washington years, including the Hillary email fiasco and of course his dealings with Trump.

Attribution: Jerry Oppenheimer,

Full article: Comey Payday

Before He Brought Down Nixon, Carl Bernstein Was A Far-Out Rock And Roll Writer

And while Bernstein was using his out-there-est prose to warn readers that they were about to be hit by something totally new and different and utterly fabulous—all of which holds up just swell—the Sgt. Pepper write-up that ran in the Post’s rival daily, the Washington Star, now shows us how much growing up the rock criticism field still had to do a half-century ago:

Attribution: Dave McKenna,
Full article: Before Watergate


“[Star Wars is] a disarmingly merry and technically unforgettable picture, light years in advance of any English-language movie that has opened in Washington during my tenure as a movie rater. The thing works superlatively well as comedy, suspense story and parodic commentary on the nostalgic aspects of film history. As a stunning spectacle of sound, color and technical imagination, Star Wars is a non-pareil, a movie that would merit universal attendance even if it had nothing else going for it.” — Tom Dowling, The Washington Star

Attribution: Michael Coate,
Full story: Star Wars