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One media personality is still on her beat since I first arrived in Washington DC in late 1978. She is National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg, who just celebrated her 78th birthday. The Washington and New York media axis has celebrated her intrepid coverage of politics and the secretive Supreme Court for more than 50 years. A “founding mother” of NPR, she’s called.
If you’ve listened to taxpayer-funded NPR at anytime over the past 40 or so years, you’ve heard her. Her first big story after arriving in Washington was a profile on the then-76-year-old Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover. It reportedly enraged him. It used to be that taking on powerful insider Washington establishment figures was The Ticket to stardom. Those were the days.
She was once fired for plagiarism (she has that in common with the President of the United States). She attended but apparently never graduated from Boston University. BU graduate and US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), famed Economics major, at least matriculated. Despite being a legal affairs correspondent, Totenberg has no formal legal training (she studied Journalism at BU, which appears on par with their Economics program, based on AOC’s vaunted policy pronouncements and work).