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Kudos to Erik Wemple for his delightful profile of Don Phillips of the Washington Post and Don’s history with transportation issues in the Dept. of Media column (“Train in Vain,” 1/9).
I am a former head of Federal Aviation Administration public affairs and a former colleague of Don’s at United Press International who was a source for Don while I was at the FAA. His dedication is to the story and advancing the cause of safety, first and foremost. Wemple referenced, via Matt Wald of the New York Times, a story Don broke regarding insulation and Swissair. Don often would ring me up and let me know he had a story cold and all that was required of me was to provide his sources to him on the record. What a pro. After the Swissair story, neither Don nor his source nor I winked at one another at the press conference.
He will have a new life and do extremely well post Post. He, and many others at the Post who took the buyout, will be missed.