I was saddened to hear that Elissa Silverman left the Washington City Paper recently and will no longer write its enlightening and fascinating Loose Lips column.
As a person interested in the programs and problems of D.C. government, I eagerly look forward to reading that popular weekly feature. For the past several weeks, however, I have really missed reading Silverman’s weekly masterpiece, which was such a reliable source of inside knowledge of D.C. government and political events, both good and bad.
Reporting on government and politics, especially in the nation’s capital, is very difficult and challenging. Silverman handled the responsibility very effectively, even brilliantly. Not only was her knowledge of legislative and political activities remarkable; she also wrote clear and honest prose with a fierce devotion to the truth. Her courage and independence became legendary, and not one person ever questioned her integrity.
Many years ago, one of America’s finest poets, James Russell Lowell, wrote about the importance of truth: “[U]pward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth,” he wrote in “The Present Crisis.” Lowell would never have to exhort Silverman, because the truth was always her policy. Her bright and shining record show absolute evidence of that. The poet would have admired and loved her.
I don’t know why Silverman left the City Paper, but I know that the public’s quest for knowledge and truth will suffer because of her departure. Regardless of where she goes and what she does, she will do what she has always done: what is right and also write the truth. She has done that with excellence in the past and will no doubt continue to in the future. Above all, she is fair.
Elissa Silverman contributed to good government through honesty and brave and inspiring reporting. She has earned our enduring appreciation and best wishes.