Former Washington Post executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee, who died Tuesday at age 93, had a reputation for speaking truth to power. He also had a reputation for speaking truth to spin doctors, powerful or not.
Mary Hadar, former editor of The Post's Style section, held on to a reply that Bradlee sent more than two decades ago to a pestering flack. As Hadar recalls, someone was retiring from the circus — a lion tamer? — and the circus's press agent wrote to Bradlee to complain when the Style section wouldn't run a profile.
Here, in tribute to an iconic voice in journalism, is Bradlee's response: