Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stale Obits?

A box in the March 20 Metro section described the reorganization of the section and stated that "obituaries will remain an important part of our report."


I read the obits every day to make sure I am not among the departed but also to note the passing of those more newsworthy. In the March 22 Metro section there was a Los Angeles Times wire service story reporting the death of the Rev. Earl Stallings. The Rev. Stallings was a white Protestant minister who supported Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights struggle in Alabama. The report was informative and carried details of this courageous man's life. It also carried the date of his death: Feb. 23!

If The Post is going to take the trouble to run the obituary of a noteworthy individual, it should try to run it closer to the date of death. One month late is stale by anyone's definition.

-- Douglas Ochs Adler


Senators Turned Presidents

In the March 19 Outlook section, Mark Leibovich expresses doubt about Sen. John McCain's or Sen. Hillary Clinton's chances of being elected president based on a theory that Warren Harding and John Kennedy were the only senators in the 20th century to win the presidency. Hasn't Leibovich forgotten Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon?

All three were elected to the presidency after serving in the Senate. (Truman in 1948, Johnson in 1964, and Nixon in 1968.) They occupied the White House for a total of 21 years, (or one-fifth of the 20th century) .

Perhaps the fact that all three served as vice president (both Johnson and Truman first entered the White House through presidential succession) does not fit in the theory. Perhaps Clinton and McCain should run for vice president.

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