Well, I think I've stopped laughing by now. I only hope Dick Dingman will soon stop moping. He says maybe in a while--as soon as his ears cease to be the color of strawberry jam.

All these chuckles, frowns and embarrassments have to do with a published error. But what an error!

It appeared in the March 26 edition of BULLETIN!, a newsletter produced by the Republican Study Committee, Richard B. Dingman, executive director.

Under the heading, "President Practices What He Preaches," a two-paragraph news item reported that Ronald Reagan had given $250 to help send the bands from Washington's Eastern High School to a festival in Florida.

The piece said the president had sent his check to some Washington Post scribe who "devotes much of his local affairs column to drumming up private sector support for worthwhile projects."

And who might that scribe be?

"Bob Levey, a local communist," the story said.

No sooner had the March 26 issue hit the stands than Dick was on the phone, offering "sincere apologies." And in the April 1 issue of BULLETIN!, under the heading "We Really Goofed!," amends were made officially and publicly.

All I can offer Dick and the staff of the newsletter is my sympathy, and the assurance that I don't take it personally--or literally. After all, the phrase that Sen. Joseph McCarthy helped make famous certainly applies to me:

I am not now, nor have I ever been.