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What do Dr. Robert Schuller, Zig Ziglar, John Walsh, Elizabeth Dole, and former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee have in common? A religious belief in the financially restorative powers of commodifying their own lives, apparently. On March 16, they will all be shilling for Peter Lowe’s Success 1999 (“America’s Most Popular Business Seminar”), telling a roomful of hopeless stiffs, “How much you earn is determined by how much you learn.”

Bradlee, an editor who has the good sense never to use the word “reporter” without using the word “goddamn” as a modifier, qualifies to deliver words to succeed by because he took a crappy, second-tier village newspaper and transformed it into a global information player by virtue of his alpha genius and his large balls (both of them—more on that later).

Bradlee nearly flunked out of Harvard, but his taste in tattoos as a collegiate demonstrates this is a man who recognized he was destined for greatness early on—it takes a special brand of narcissism to get your very own initials tattooed onto your very own right buttock. It was probably a good decision for the thrice-wed Bradlee to memorialize himself instead of a particular female. (No advance word on whether Success 1999 attendees will be able to get a peek at this particular brand of image enhancement.)

Bradlee will presumably leave most of the homilies to the Rev. Schuller, but a recent ad in the Post detailed Bradlee’s portion of the program. We scoured his tell-most biography A Good Life in search of tips he might share with Bradlee wannabes this March. —David Carr

E-mail Paper Trail at dcarr@washcp.com or call (202) 332-2100.