Chris Lamb’s ‘Putdowns’ Book Includes Journalism-Related Content

By: Dave Astor

Journalism-related content is among the material in the new book “I’ll Be Sober in the Morning: Great Political Comebacks, Putdowns & Ripostes.”

The 195-page paperback is edited by Chris Lamb, whose other books include “Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons.” The communication professor at South Carolina’s College of Charleston has also been a staff reporter and freelance contributor for newspapers.

Among the passages in Lamb’s book:

— In the course of a conversation, a congressman told newspaper editor Horace Greeley that he was a self-made man. “That, sir,” Greeley replied, “relieves the Almighty of a great responsibility.”

— As a rookie reporter for the New York World, Heywood Broun was told to interview Utah Senator Reed Smoot. “I have nothing to say,” Smoot told Broun. “I know,” replied Broun. “Now let’s get down to the interview.”

— After Calvin Coolidge announced he did not choose to run for a second term, reporters pressed him for a more detailed statement. “Exactly, why don’t you want to be president again, Mr. Coolidge?” one reporter insisted. “Because there’s no chance for advancement,” Coolidge explained.

— When reporters asked President George Herbert Walker Bush to display the middle finger from which he was about to have a cyst removed, Bush replied, “Don’t tempt me.”

The book, from Frontline Press in Charleston, is illustrated by Steve Stegelin.

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