• U.S.

The Press: Ribber

2 minute read

Monday mornings, the 2,000,000-odd readers of Joe Patterson’s New York Daily News start the week with a good slug of anti-New Dealism called Capitol Stuff. Its author is the News’s sardonic, dapper, Roosevelt-baiting Washington correspondent John O’Donnell. Last week Ribber O’Donnell was in fine choleric fettle.

His subject was OWI’s proposed budget of $100,000,000 — “a tidy sum which should make us an arsenal of adjectives, producing an abundance of words and phrases for domestic consumption, with a mighty surplus for lend-lease to the Allies.” What really inspired him, though, was a new opportunity to rib “Brother” Archibald MacLeish—”bereaved parent of the always late and never lamented Office of Facts and Figures.”

Describing a “pep talk” given by MacLeish to OWI field officers at Washington’s swank Carlton Hotel, O’Donnell printed in full the $6-a-plate menu, smacked his lips over “a bar with Martini, Manhattan and Daiquiri cocktails, plus scotch highballs for a starter, a dry white wine with the fish, a sturdy burgundy with the meat and all topped off with coffee and liqueurs, cigars and cigarets.” Afterwards a “visiting fireman of war information” remarked: “And now I’m supposed to go back home and tell them we all must sacrifice and reduce our standard of living. I never ate like this before in my life.”

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