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The general rule guiding the press and the offspring of a sitting President is hands-off unless the child has reached adulthood. Then everything is fair game, especially when it comes to that adult child’s chosen profession.
But the President is still a father, no? So, what happens when that fatherly instinct takes over? What happens when the President of the United States threatens a Washington Post columnist with physical harm?
What should you do with a President that is so unstable, so undeferential to the role of the free press in our society that he would have the temerity to write this to the columnist:
It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beef steak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
If you’re a Democrat you stand up and cheer. Wait … you don’t understand why the Democrats are cheering? Because the President I’m speaking about isn’t Donald Trump, it’s Harry Truman. The excerpt above is from a letter Truman wrote to Post music critic Paul Hume in 1950 after Hume reviewed Margaret Truman’s singing.
Margaret had a pleasant enough voice but tended to be a bit flat. Hume simply told the truth.
Amazingly, looking back at it from today’s perspective, Hume not only chose not to respond, The Post declined to publish the letter. It only came to light when Hume told a colleague about it, which he said he always regretted. Today it would dominate the news cycle for days.
Margaret continued singing throughout the 1950s with mixed success. She was a frequent guest on “The Big Show,” a 90-minute variety show that was NBC’s last gasp at keeping radio relevant in a television world. Its host, the actress Tallulah Bankhead, praised her performance skills. But, of course, they had a bit of “spiritual” connection, too. Her father, William Bankhead, was swept up in the Roosevelt tidal wave in 1933 and spent the remainder of his life representing the 7th District of Alabama, and for the last six as the 42nd Speaker of the House.
This morning, President Trump is taking heat for Tweeting about retailers severing ties with his daughter Ivanka and her clothing line. Now all we have to do is find out if Ivanka can sing.Published in