The personal foibles of politicians and the press have been making news in Washington ever since the city first rose from the swamps - as these bits and pieces drawn from the last hundred years amply demonstrate.

One of Washington's hottest invesitgative reporters is a 36-year-old devout Mormon named Jack Anderson who is in line to take over Drew Pearson's spicy "Washington Merry-Go-Round" column when Pearson retires.

It was Anderson who recently broke the story of Boston industrialist Bernard Goldfine, whose problems with the FTC and friendship with President Eisenhower's chief of staff, Sherman Adams, are allegedly related. A House committee is preparing to determine if gifts (including a vicuna coat and the payment of hotel bills) from Goldfine to Adams led to favorable treatment from regulatory agencies investigating Goldfine's business practices. Both men deny the charge and President Eisenhower terms Adams "an invaluable public servant." Vice President Richard Nixon told a meeting of Republican state chairmen not to panic in the face of the investigation: "The trouble with Republicans," he said, "is that when they get in trouble, they start acting like a bunch of cannibals."

When Goldfine arrived in Washington recently, federal investigators reserved a room next to his at the downtown Sheraton-Carlton Hotel and installed listening equipment. They invited Jack Anderson to join them. One afternoon, when his wife came to pick him up at the room, Anderson opened the door just as several of Goldfine's associates were walking down the hall. They spotted the electronic devices, summoned other reporters, and banged on the hotel room door until the investigators appeared. Sources say Goldfine's attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, intends to use the surveillance to his advantage in upcoming legal action.

"The newspapers inaccurately reported that the surveillance was a joint venture," says Anderson, who said he only visited the room for an hour at a time. And he says all he overheard was a discussion between Goldfine and his wife about another woman.

Anderson, who began working for Pearson in 1947, served as a war correspondent behind enemy lines in China under the sponsorship of the Deseret News until the end of World War II. He shuns Washington's party circuit. His byline appears on the Pearson column only when his boss is away and his salary is hardly munificent, but should 60-year-old Pearson retire, Anderson's wait may pay off.