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When the Washington Post isn’t flipping the race card, it’s being flipped by it (Paper Trail, “Black and White Coverage,” 12/17/99). However, reporter Patrice Gaines is simply symptomatic of a much larger problem: the fact that the inmates are running the asylum on 15th Street. (Where are the fucking editors?) But your column is a very good start.

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The “Ima Nonesuch” story reminded me of one by longtime New York Times Editor Turner Catledge. He said that the only person he knew who read the Sunday Times cover to cover was a mental patient in the Midwest whose doctor had prescribed it as “therapy.” By the time the patient had gotten through it, the next week’s edition had arrived in the mail.

But even more mind-boggling than the Bradley series was the four-parter on chicken-pluckers on the Eastern Shore. Who the hell read that?

Now, when are you going to do a story on the biggest scandal of all: those crappy presses that the Post spent half a billion (or whatever) on?

Capitol Hill