Category Archives: Virtual Front Page

Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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You haven’t had one of these lately, and it’s a newsy day locally, so here you go:

1. Metts resigns, agrees to plead guilty (thestate.com) — Thus ends 42 years as Lexington County sheriff. Here’s a copy of the plea deal, and here’s his resignation letter to Gov. Haley.

 

2. Taliban attack at Pakistan school kills at least 141 (WashPost) — And Pakistan retaliates by striking at Taliban (which would make the average, naive person ask, Why weren’t they doing that already?)

3. Apple wins $1bn iTunes court case (BBC) — The odd thing is that this is about Apple only allowing music it sells to be played on iPods. And Apple is about to quit making iPods. This case stems from events in 2006. Sort of shows that our court system is ill-equipped to make relevant, timely decisions on fast-changing technology.

4. Jeb Bush says he is ‘actively exploring’ run for presidency in 2016 (The Guardian) — I thought I’d go with the Guardian version because you just know they’ve gotta be thrilled at the idea of another Bush in the White House.

5. Columbia police chemist who was forced out fires back at city (thestate.com) — She’s sued the city for $3 million, and now she’s speaking out, among other things saying that her departure from her job is “absolutely” “about race.” That, and retribution.

6. Man breaks teacher’s arm in classroom (AP) — This happened in Orangeburg, in front of her 4th-grade pupils.

Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Just because you haven’t had one in awhile, and I felt like it would do you good:

  1. Harrell pleads guilty, looks toward future as informant (thestate.com) — Yeah, this has already been covered, but it’s still today’s lede story.
  2. Both Ebola nurses now doing much better (People, Yahoo) — Some of this is a day or two old, but I haven’t seen it on any front pages, and it seems like high-interest news to me. Nina Pham’s condition has been upgraded from “fair” to “good,” while Amber Vinson has actually been declared free of the disease! Seems like this isn’t getting the play that their initial infection got. Meanwhile, a doctor has been hospitalized in New York with Ebola-like symptoms.
  3. Evidence shows Islamic State used chlorine gas (WashPost) — Until now, this was one atrocity that they apparently had not yet committed.
  4. Canadian Police Say Ottawa Attack Was by Lone Gunman (NYT) — We’re used to “lone gunmen” in this country, but it seems like that’s one American cultural import Canada could have done without.
  5. Dogs helped stop White House jumper (WashPost) — Maybe they should put a dog in charge of the Secret Service.
  6. Dreher, Camden banned from football playoffs (thestate.com) — Not Earth-shattering, perhaps, but it seemed like a good local talker. This is because of a postgame fight between the two schools last Friday.
Hurricane, left, and Jordan -- the dogs who got the job done, protecting the White House.

Hurricane, left, and Jordan — the dogs who got the job done, protecting the White House.

Open Thread for Monday, October 13, 2014

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First, happy birthday to my Uncle Woody.

Now, here are some possible topics:

  1. CDC: Unclear how many in Dallas were exposed to Ebola — First, we heard about how this got out of control in Africa because those poor, benighted folk lack the medical care we have in the developed world. Then, we tsk-tsked about how Spain couldn’t even protect its health care workers. Now, it turns out we can’t, either.
  2. Vatican Signals More Lenient Stance on Gays and Divorce — I read this, but didn’t see any news in it. I think this, and the Pope’s previous comments, seem like big news to people who didn’t understand the Church to start with. It’s all a matter of emphasis. I applaud what Pope Francis has chosen to emphasize, but it’s no radical departure.
  3. Kim Jong-un reappears after absence — Oh, well. It was too much of a good thing to last.

I tried to find something local, but I didn’t see much but crime and sports. But maybe there’s something good that I missed. In any case, y’all talk about what interests you

Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, September 4, 2014

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I’m giving you this VFP not because it’s a very newsy day (it isn’t), because it’s been awhile, and gosh darn it, y’all deserve one:

  1. West signals more Russia sanctions (BBC) — This is ahead of cease-fire talks expected tomorrow. And a day after POTUS draws a line in the Baltics. This is really kind of a jumbled story, but it’s the most important thing I see out there, so it leads…
  2. BP’s ‘reckless conduct’ caused spill (The Guardian) — We could be talking up to 18 billion more in fines. Which, you know, is more than I make in a year!
  3. McDONNELLS GUILTYEx-governor, wife convicted of corruption (WashPost) — Don’t know if you’ve been following this, but today’s the big day on it. The Post, the NYT and the WSJ are all leading with it. Which is why I turned to British outlets for my own lede and second story. ‘Cause you know, I don’t live in Virginia. And those of us who don’t are mere voyeurs on a story such as this.
  4. Johnson & Johnson Pushes Ahead With Ebola Vaccine (NPR) — Here’s hoping they can get it out into the field quickly — and it works.
  5. Joan Rivers dead at 81 (LAT) — For those of you interested, I figured L.A. would have the most complete coverage.
  6. Two gubernatorial debates set (thestate.com) — Not necessarily front-page material, but I was hard-up for something local.

Your Virtual Front Page, Friday, July 18, 2014

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Surprise! We haven’t had one of these in a while. Y’all seemed to like Open Threads more, and they were less work, so I went along with you. But lately, you’ve seemed less enchanted with the open threads, and I like VFPs (they appeal more to my compulsion to try to make sense of the news), so here you go:

  1. U.S.: Missile was Russian-made (WashPost) — Now this is a lede story worthy of the term. The WSJ, the NYT and the WashPost are all going multi-column on their headlines on this one. You may of may not have noticed, but normally a lede on those sites is held to one column. Since the headline on this could well include the words “Cold War Redux,” this is heavy news, indeed.
  2. SIDEBAR: Indiana University student athlete killed in crash – She was Dutch. There was one U.S. citizen: Quinn Lucas Schansman.
  3. SIDEBAR: Obama says ‘near 100’ AIDS workers killed. Is it true? — The number remains uncertain, but the NYT has identified at least one top researcher killed in the shootdown.
  4. Netanyahu Warns of Wider Israel Operation in Gaza (NYT) — The story that would be the lede most days. The world is an extraordinarily dangerous place these days, as the U.S. slouches toward greater isolationism.
  5. Obama opens Eastern Seaboard to oil exploration (AP) — A story with implications for SC. The exploration involves something called “sonic cannon,” which lets the women of the world know right off that this is something a guy is responsible for thinking up.
  6. SC jobless rate held steady in June (thestate.com) — The rate has stayed stagnant since April, after a year of sharp declines.

Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, May 1, 2014

Do y’all like these better, or the Open Threads? In any case, here’s your news for May Day! May Day! May Day!

  1. Sheheen accuses Haley of interfering with child-death panel (thestate.com) — He said in a letter to John Courson, “It has become increasingly clear that Gov. Haley and her administration have stonewalled the investigation into children’s endangerment from within DSS, and even used the power of the Governor’s office to try to cover-up the problem through pressure and intimidation.”
  2. Putin Tells Ukraine to Withdraw Troops in East (WSJ) — Ukraine continues to have a lot of trouble defending its territory.
  3. Defying U.S., tech firms alert users to data demands (WashPost) — And so our ability to defend ourselves gets a little weaker.
  4. U.S. Urges Privacy Protections for Data Held by Companies (NYT) — It’s good to see the administration focus for a change on the folks who actually do intrude on private citizens’ privacy — the private sector.
  5. Hearing Friday in Harrell’s effort to dump Wilson from probe (thestate.com) — Normally I don’t play up advance stories, but given the way this originally was being kept secret…
  6. ‘Spider-Man 2’ isn’t amazing enough (WashPost) — Maybe that’s why my spidey sense isn’t tingling.

Your Virtual Front Page, Monday, March 31, 2014

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Not a huge news day, but just to acknowledge what’s going on out there:

  1. Russia in ‘partial’ border pullout (BBC) — So… what’s he leaving in place? I’ll bet it’s still a threat to Ukraine.
  2. Health Website Failures Impede Signup Surge as Deadline Nears (NYT) — A blast from the past on Obamacare’s big day — more website trouble.
  3. U.S. considers release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard (WashPost) — I generally try to keep up with espionage news, but I still have trouble understanding why we were holding someone who spied for an ally in prison. Edward Snowden is still running around loose (sort of) and making appearances at SXSW, and this guy’s been in prison for 27 years? Something is askew here.
  4. Koreas Trade Fire Amid North’s Drills (WSJ) — All we need…
  5. Suspect arrested in Five Points shooting (thestate.com) — What are we going to do about this stuff, folks?
  6. Guinea faces huge Ebola epidemic (The Guardian) — News to shudder at. Even a tiny Ebola outbreak should be enough to send chills down the spine.Just in case the Ukraine and Korea stories didn’t worry you enough…

Your Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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Just a quick overview:

  1. Ukraine to Pull All Its Military From Crimea, Conceding Loss (NYT) — I was in a meeting with someone who, on a work-related subject, said, “The heavy-handed approach never works.” I pointed out that it has worked quite amazingly well for Putin.
  2. Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe, FAA Team Concludes (NPR) — Which is good news for SC, since we want to keep on making ‘em.
  3. Lourie, Sheheen want DSS chief to go (thestate.com) — This comes “after hearing testimony alleging fear and intimidation at the state agency and concerns from coroners overseeing child-death investigations.”
  4. FBI ‘aids search for missing plane’ (BBC) — The BBC is funny about putting quotation marks around things they have every reason to believe are true. They trust no one, and therefore attribute everything.
  5. Scientists find freakish, 11-foot birdlike dinosaur (WashPost) — It’s been dubbed the “chicken from hell.” Somebody really screwed up not getting that into the headline.
  6. Lots of tea party candidates are running. But, they’re not winning. (The Fix) — Interesting. A poll shows the Tea Party having lower approval ratings than everyone but Vladimir Putin. But you know, it’s not about charming a minority — it’s just about being able to raise hell in GOP primaries. So it seems soon to count out these fringe folk yet.

Your Virtual Front Page, Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014

And you thought I wasn’t going to post today. It’s kind of a weird news day today. The WSJ, the NYT, the BBC and the WashPost all have wildly different lede stories at this hour (respectively, they led with Obamacare, HIV babies, Ukraine and the SAT). There’s a lot going on, but everything seems to be of about equal weight. In my book, the Beeb got it right. Here ya go:

  1. ‘Tough’ Ukraine talks to continue after Paris summit (BBC) — Meanwhile, the EU offers up $15 billion to help.
  2. SLED Report: Santiago didn’t tell investigators everything (thestate.com) — I tell you what — this CPD thing is getting to be about as hard to follow as the hacking scandal in Britain.
  3. Report: Marine to become 1st South Carolinian to receive Medal of Honor since Vietnam (thestate,com) — Something for SC to be proud of.
  4. Obama Gives Health Plans Added 2-Year Reprieve (WSJ) — OK, how many reprieves is that now? Anyone keeping score?
  5. SAT to lower top score to 1600 in revised test (WashPost) — The Post is actually leading with this at the moment.
  6. Second Success Raises Hope for a Way to Rid Babies of H.I.V. (NYT) — This is wonderful, but I find it hard to read — even thinking about babies being in such a horrific predicament.

Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, February 27, 2014

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Here’s what we have going at this hour:

  1. West warns Russia amid Crimea threat (BBC) — Ukraine isn’t sorted out; not by a long shot.
  2. No bond for teen facing murder charge in Dutch Fork student’s death (thestate.com) — As mentioned previously, attorney Todd Rutherford said his client will seek to invoke South Carolina’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
  3. Chairman of Richland’s election board gives up seat (thestate.com) — In that he won’t seek re-election to the post. Not normally front-page fodder, but with the way things are going with this group… Meanwhile, lawmakers are seeking candidates for two open seats. Hey! Where’d everybody go…?
  4. British Spies Reaped Millions of Webcam Images, Some of Sex (NYT) — Apparently, James Bond’s sex life has now been reduced to watching other people on webcams.
  5. After shutdown, lawmakers donated more than $465K (WashPost) — I thought you could use a sorta, kinda feelgood story about members of Congress. Of course, they CAUSED the mess to begin with, so this could sort of go under the heading of purchasing indulgences…
  6. First lady unveils food label reforms (The Guardian) — The thing I like about this is that serving sizes will be adjusted upward, to reflect how much we actually eat (really, who eats only half a cup of ice cream?). So we’ll see how many calories we’re really getting.

Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Just a quick one:

  1. US plans full Afghanistan pullout (BBC) — Interestingly, both the Beeb and The Guardian are leading with this, but U.S. outlets are not…
  2. No charges in Columbia police probe (thestate.com) — But will we ever know what happened between those top cops?
  3. House GOP tax plan would lower rates but add surtax (WashPost) — MEGO, but I suppose it’s important.
  4. Infighting Hurts Ukraine Efforts to Form a Government (NYT) — Man, it sure would be nice if things would settle down over there. And in Venezuela. And in Thailand, where my daughter is
  5. Bitcoin Site Mt. Gox Halts Transactions (WSJ) — You know, I’d ‘splain this to y’all, but first I’d have to be surer than I am that I understand what bitcoin is and how it works. Money, of course, is an abstraction based on aggregations of belief regarding value. Bitcoin seems to be more so. But I get lost after that…
  6. Bill blocking abortions after 20 weeks heads to SC House (thestate.com) — So I guess we’re headed for a big Kulturkampf fray.

Your Virtual Front Page, Monday, February 17, 2014

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It’s a slow news day, so it’s tough to come up with a whole (virtual) page of worthy items (how boring is it? the WSJ is leading with the Libor probe), but I haven’t given y’all anything all day, so here you go:

  1. U.N.: North Korean abuses ‘unparalleled’ (The Guardian) — The human rights report says North Korea is “committing systematic and appalling human rights abuses against its own citizens on a scale unparalleled in the modern world, crimes against humanity with strong resemblances to those committed by the Nazis.” So, pretty harsh.
  2. The hijacker was (allegedly) the co-pilot (BBC) — You know, I don’t think arming the crew would have helped on this one.
  3. Richland robber attacks pregnant woman with Mace, steals purse (thestate.com) — Yeah, I realize this is a relatively minor crime, but come on, man — Mace, on a pregnant woman? That should definitely count as an aggravating circumstance.
  4. Think pieces about the GOP (NYT, WashPost) — Both of these venerable papers are leading with thumb-suckers about what the Republicans are up to. Here’s the NYT version, and here’s the one from the Post. Personally, I was most interested in George Will’s column late last week about why the GOP is ditching immigration reform — because apparently the party doesn’t think it has enough time on its busy Obamacare-hating schedule. It’s like it can’t chew gum and reform immigration at the same time.
  5. There was a reason ABBA dressed like that (The Guardian) — Apparently, the pop quartet wore those ridiculous costumes for tax reasons. I told you it was a slow news day.
  6. U.S. wins first ice dance title — ever (WashPost) — No I mean, really, really slow…

I would have included something about the spat on Columbia City Council over hiring a new police chief, but that was in the paper this morning, and that just made it too old.

Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Since I’ve been a bit out of pocket lately, I felt like I owed y’all one of these:

  1. House approves ‘clean’ debt-limit bill (WashPost) — Weird how easy that was, after all the previous instances in which “principle” supposedly made this impossible. Not that I’m complaining; it’s just weird.
  2. Midlands braces for double-whammy ice storm (thestate.com) — SNL is no doubt gearing up for a return of Buford Calloway, Sethory. Here’s hoping it’s just a laughing matter. I hear that SCE&G is warning folks this one is going to be worse than a couple of weeks ago.
  3. Shirley Temple Dies (NPR) — I find that headline hard to take in. I heard a quote on NPR today — can’t seem to find it at the moment — in which FDR said that as long as we had Shirley Temple, America was going to be all right. And now we don’t have her.
  4. French and US ‘trust restored’ (BBC) — However, the trust of the French first lady? Not so much…
  5. Bing censoring Chinese search results for US users (The Guardian) — Apparently, The Guardian has found someone on the Web to worry about that doesn’t involve the NSA.
  6. Gov. Haley backs bill to allow carrying of firearms without permits, training (thestate.com) — Because the guns-in-bars bill she signed today just doesn’t go far enough, I suppose.

Your Virtual Front Page, Friday, January 10, 2014

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A sort of middling news day:

  1. Just as Hopes Were Lifting, a Meager Growth in Payrolls (NYT) — I went with this version because the headline best explained the stakes.
  2. U.S. to dump HealthCare.gov contractor (WashPost) — CGI Federal will be replaced by Accenture.
  3. Target Says 70 Million Individuals’ Data May Have Been Stolen (NPR) — But wait — the NYT says it’s more like 110 million.
  4. CAR resignation brings joy and fear (The Guardian) — The continuing unholy mess in Central Africa.
  5. N.J. Lawmakers Release New Bridge-Lane Closure Records (WSJ) — It sucks to be Chris Christie this week.
  6. Hollande attacks report of affair (BBC) — He indicates he may sue. But I wonder: Is this sort of thing even considered defamatory in France?

Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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The first VFP of the year! I know y’all are thrilled. Here are your headlines:

  1. First chemical weapons leave Syria (BBC) — Meanwhile, as this cabaret distracts us, the killing continues, and spills into neighboring countries.
  2. In memoir, Gates issues harsh Obama critique (WashPost) — But I told you about that earlier.
  3. Bone-Chilling Cold Snap Envelops Eastern U.S. (WSJ) — You knew this already, but it is a big part of what’s happening today.
  4. Blankets, fosters needed at Pets Inc. shelter, where heat is out (thestate.com) — Hey, my daughter is already fostering three of their dogs, so my family is doing its bit, but some of the rest of y’all may want to help out the critters…
  5. Jobless Benefit Bill Clears One Hurdle, but More Remain (NYT) — Democrats dodge a filibuster in the Senate, take up their bill by a 60 to 37 vote.
  6. JPMorgan Chase To Pay $1.7 Billion To Madoff Victims (NPR) — This is getting a little old, but it seems front-worthy…
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More cute than you can handle: That’s my grandson with one of the puppies my daughter is fostering.

Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Since I’ve been lax about posting today, and you haven’t had one of these lately:

  1. Nelson Mandela, Peaceful Liberator, Dies (NYT) — This was the breaking news that made me think, “I should do a Virtual Front Page.” He was 95.
  2. France takes military action in CAR (BBC) — While people in this country were yammering about Sarah Palin and some guy named Martin Bashir, 100 people were dying in the Central African Republic. France is going in to try to stop it. Because France does stuff like that nowadays, unlike certain other countries that could be mentioned. Ahem. But in our defense: The UN Security Council unanimously approved French action, which is something it doesn’t do for us.
  3. Pope to Set Up Commission on Clerical Child Abuse (NYT) — The new broom gets set to do some more sweeping.
  4. Stolen cobalt-60 found; thieves likely dead or dying (WashPost) — This takes the “Dumb Crook News” meme to a new level.
  5. GOP Family Feud: ‘Showboat’ DeMint Takes on ‘Tyrant’ McConnell (NPR) — In case you wondered what our boy was up to lately.
  6. Taboo, X-rated shop, announces it is closing (The State) — Oh, no! So where am I going to buy dirty stuff if I need some? Oh, year, the internet. In fact, why was there a shop for this in 2013 anyway? Showrooming?

Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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Just because I haven’t given you one of these lately:

  1. Typhoon deaths ‘fewer than feared’ (BBC) — Relatively good news, since the numbers we were hearing yesterday were four times as high.
  2. New guidelines urge wider use of cholesterol drugs (WashPost) — This is supposed to be a major change, but frankly, I had trouble following the stories. That may be because I wasn’t that hip to the old guidelines. By the way, U.S. sites were leading with this, instead of the typhoon. Which reminds me of this.
  3. China Vows ‘Decisive’ Role for Markets (WSJ) — Not that they’re giving up central control of the economy or anything, but I thought this worth playing bigger than most news sources were playing it.
  4. Bill Clinton Urges Obama to Allow Fix to Health Care Law (NYT) — Because, you know, POTUS loves it when his favorite predecessor “helps” him this way…
  5. Former USC football player Kenny Miles shot himself, sheriff says (thestate.com) — Today’s talker. Meanwhile, speaking of the sheriff — the city of Columbia has opened a nationwide search for a new police chief.
  6. Airlines Reach Deal Over Merger (WSJ) — to create world’s largest airline.

Your Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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Just a quick one, to make up for a pathetic paucity of posts today:

  1. Kerry Tries to Reassure Israel and Saudis on Mideast Policy (NYT) — That’s gonna be a tough sell. Have you read what the Saudis are saying about us? Prince Turki al Faisal, the former Saudi ambassador in Washington, said this recently: “The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious, and designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down, but also to help Assad butcher his people.” Whoa.
  2. Obama Tells Merkel That U.S. Is Not Tapping Her Phone (NYT) — The Germans are not pleased.
  3. Vatican suspends ‘bishop of bling’ (BBC) — Broad-minded as he is, Pope Francis can only take so much…
  4. Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll (NPR) — Amazingly, this guy was 40, not 14…
  5. Man arrested for stealing Chihuahua from Pets Inc. (thestate.com) — It was kind of a slow news day locally.
  6. Post-shutdown, Cruz returns to Texas a hero (WashPost) — The Post is leading with this at the moment. I guess this is more of a shock to people in Washington than to us in South Carolina.

We’ve lost Lee Bandy, the dean of SC political journalists

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The word went out Thursday afternoon that our old and dear friend Lee Bandy was on life support in intensive care at Palmetto Health Baptist. His family was gathering.

Within an hour or two, his other family — the one that had had the privilege of working with him during his long career as South Carolina’s pre-eminent political writer — had started gathering in a message thread on Facebook.

By the time the inevitable word came this afternoon that Lee had passed away, that exchange of memories had turned into a virtual wake among 248 people who treasured his acquaintance. It included current and former alumni of The State, veterans of the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, family members, and many others he had touched along the way.

For those of you who didn’t know him, let me try briefly to explain…

Leland Bandy first went to Washington during the Kennedy administration. Early in his career, he did some radio reporting — he had the voice for it — but he was primarily known for his 40 years with The State, most of it as the newspaper’s Washington correspondent.

After Knight Ridder bought The State in the late 80s, Lee officially became part of the KR Washington Bureau, but he never gave up his prestigious desk in the Senate gallery. He was a rare asset for the bureau, and not just because he was one of the only two or three people in the bureau who got tickets to the Gridiron show (he was a regular performer in the shows, as well as a loyal member of his church choir). Lee Bandy had access to people that no one else had. I remember in particular the way editors in the bureau hung on every word he had to share, after he and I had been over to Lee Atwater’s office at the RNC on one of my trips to Washington.

When Atwater was dying, Lee was the only journalist he or his family would have anything to do with. It was a pattern we’d see repeated when Carroll Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and when when Strom Thurmond died.

Everybody, including the politicos who despised all other journalists, loved and trusted Lee Bandy. Why? For the simplest of reasons. He was a good man. He treated everyone not only with fairness, but with kindness and generosity. It was quite a potent formula. More journalists should try it.

As his editor for a brief portion of his career — 1987-1991 — I have my own Lee Bandy stories to tell. But I was deeply impressed by some of those told in the outpouring of love on Facebook.

Here’s a sampling…

From Aaron Gould Sheinin, formerly of The State, now with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and here’s something Aaron wrote about Lee for The State):

I’ll go then. During the 2004 presidential campaign John Kerry came for an Ed board meeting. After Brad and Cindi and Mike and Warren finished their wonk nerd questions there was a pause. And Bandy pipes up, “So, John did you get Botox?” Kerry, his face devoid of emotion, says, “No, Lee, I didn’t.”…

Same year. Lee and I are at Crawford Cooks house to meet Bill Richardson, then governor of New Mexico who is thinking of running for president. Just the four of us. Richardson gives his opening spiel. Bandy clears his throat and says “So, I hear you got a bimbo problem.” Richardson, his face impassive, says “No, Lee, I don’t.”

Neither became president….

Oh man. So Bandy is at the Gridiron in 2001. Bush’s first year. Lee Makes his way up to the head table. Bush sees him and says Bandy! Like everyone does. Bush says I want your speaker of the house to be my ambassador to Chile.

bandy says ok. And comes back and tells the editors

He calls David Wilkins the speaker who denies all knowledge. We decide that since the gridiron is supposed to be off the record that Lee needs to call the White House press office

Lee calls and tells them what he’s writing. They get all indignant. No way. Who’s your source?

Bandy: Your boss.

The press aide: Ari Fleishcer?

Bandy: No the president.

Press aide: oh.

Long story: Wilkins turned down the job an later took the canada job.

Angelia Herrin, who represented the Wichita Eagle (which was where I first worked with her, before I knew Lee) in the KR bureau:

We are so sad, reading this and yet, George turned to me and said, can’t you hear just lee bandy laugh? And we both laughed and cried a little. Because my god, Lee Bandy could make you laugh when you were just in the middle of the worst stupid day in Washington. Because really– that’s just the right reaction on the worst stupid day on Capitol Hill.

Jeff Miller, formerly of The State and now with an advocacy group in Washington:

I cut my teeth covering politics during the 1988 GOP presidential primary, the first to come right before Super Tuesday, and Poppy Bush needed to win. I was so far out of my comfort zone that crazy month. In hindsight, I needn’t have worried. I had… Bandy, who knew everything and everybody, to coach me through it. Greatest professional experience of my life. Bless you Lee. A legion of young, impressionable reporters owe you so much.

Megan Sexton, formerly of The State, now working at USC:

My favorite: Bandy interviewing Strom Thurmond Bandy: “Strom, have you tried that Viagra yet?” Strom: “Bandy, I don’t need it.”

Wayne Washington, formerly of The State, now of the AJC:

Lee, who was a reporting giant when I was in elementary school, was the first person to call me and tell me how much he was looking forward to working with me when I was hired by The State. I was speechless. Great sense of humor. Great generosity. Class.

Kay Packett, a sometime commenter on this blog, who explains in her stories how she knew Lee:

I am heartbroken. I met Lee when I was a brand-new press secretary in Washington and I avoided him assiduously because my previous boss — Mont Morton at the SC Department of Education for you old-timers — had told me Lee would have me for lunch. Then he called one day at the end of a very bad day and suggested a Bloody Mary, and I have loved him every minute since. He taught me everything I know about working with a real reporter, and he made me learn it the hard way! But we had a lot of fun along the way. My thoughts are with his family and I am so sad for all is us who loved him….

That truly was Lee’s gift — doing his job well and fairly and keeping his friends at the same time. I remember once when Carroll Campbell had instructed me to yell at Lee over an unflattering column, and I called to tell him I had to yell at him, and he said, “Good. Meet me at Yolanda’s.” So we had a couple of scotches and laughed. I wonder what questions he’s asking Campbell now.

There is a hole in my heart. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your memories.

Doug Pardue, formerly of The State, now with the Charleston Post and Courier:

A true journalist’s journalist, hard-hitting, and a truly nice guy. I remember when one young reporter from The State went to Washington and got in a cab. The driver asked him where he was from and he replied South Carolina. The cabbie then asked him, “Do you know Lee Bandy?”

Valerie Bauerlein Jackson, who used to sit next to Lee in The State‘s newsroom and went on to work for The Wall Street Journal:

I could not guess how many stories Bandy wrote about Carroll Campbell and Strom Thurmond–hundreds, maybe, and many, many of them critical. I think Bandy was the first to question whether Thurmond was still fit to hold office, and he certainly broke the story that Strom was living at Walter Reed. But when the Campbells were ready to let the world know that the governor had early-onset Alzheimer’s, they called Bandy. And when Strom died, the Thurmonds called Bandy….

… he also said, “In many of our newsrooms today, we have too many people living a life of journalism for journalism. There’s nothing else. Well, I would like to suggest there is something else. That there is something more to life than being a journalist. And that is being a human being.”

Bandy was one of the best human beings I’ve ever known.

Michelle Davis, formerly of The State:

He was the only person from The State to ever come visit me in the far-flung Camden bureau when I was 23 years old. He treated me to lunch at The Paddock and actually took me seriously when I said I wanted to go to Washington someday like he did. And then he helped me get there.

Danny Flanders, formerly of The State:

I’ve been reading this all day, and it didn’t hit me until tonight when I first truly encountered Lee. As a new night editor at The State in 1990ish, one of my Friday night duties was helping with weekend copy. (Unless, of course, someone set fire to Rockaways) On my first Friday night on the job, I was told to “keep an eye out” for Lee’s Sunday column when it came in. Oh, God, no. I would be charged (in my early 30s) with editing Bandy, whom I read for years? So when he called me to tell me he’d filed (Remember all of that?) he introduced himself and we chatted for an hour about life, not the business, before he said, “Change anything you like, Danny.” I thought, Was he buttering me up to protect his copy, was he calling from a phone booth at happy hour, or is this guy really that nice? Yikes!. So I made a few nips and tucks, then held my breath as I called him to read it back to him, and he thanked me profusely for, he said, making him “look better”. Whew!…

thanks for the vote of confidence, Lee. Godspeed.

Brigid Schulte, whom I hired to “replace” Lee when he moved from Washington to the Columbia office in the early 90s. She is now with The Washington Post:

Lee Bandy. You can’t say the name without a smile. And perhaps a bit of a chuckle, remembering something he said, or did, hearing his own frequent chuckle after saying something a tad irreverent but always spot on. I had the great, wondrous and intimidating privilege to follow Lee Bandy as the State’s reporter in Washington after his long, illustrious stint when he’d decided it was time to go home. Bandy ferried me around the Capitol, expertly ducking in and out of offices, secret passageways, waving to just about everybody along the way. He was gracious, generous, supportive, hilarious, kind and just great fun to be with. He even snuck me into a Grid Iron rehearsal after we’d had a long, breezy, gossipy lunch that stretched into the late afternoon. We both giggled at the thought of Strom Thurmond referring to me as “that nice little girl from the State Newspaper.” My heart goes out to his family. I wish him not just peace, but dearly hope he’s sitting somewhere with his feet up, celestial newspaper open, a tinkling glass by his side, regaling fellow angels with irreverent, and spot on commentary on the doings in the world below. He was a peach of a man. He’ll, no doubt, make one hell of an angel.

Joseph Scott Stroud, formerly of The State, now political editor with The Tennessean:

Thanks to all for the sustaining thoughts through all this. Lee’s life showed us, and has reminded me this weekend, that you can be a constructive critic and observer of public life and still have a generous heart. Mary, I hope you and the family are blessed with a sense of why Lee is so loved by the rest of us — because of his good, kind heart and buoyant spirit. He won’t be replaced, but we all carry him with us in our hearts

And finally, one more from Valerie Bauerlein:

I love you, Lee Bandy.

She is far from alone in that.

Your Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just a quick overview:

  1. House GOP Won’t Block Bill to End Shutdown (WSJ) — That’s big of them. So, after all their “we’re going to bring the world down around our own heads to make a point” theatrics, they end up with a handful of nothin’, as Dragline would say. As the WSJ also says, “Cruz Comes Up Empty-Handed.” And the NYT says, “At 11th Hour, G.O.P. Blinks in Standoff.” The WashPost says, “Measure leaves Obamacare almost completely untouched.”
  2. City, sheriff, USC police, solicitor meet to discuss Five Points (thestate.com) — I don’t know what all is coming out of this meeting, but this is the biggest story going locally.
  3. Reps. Kirkman Finlay, Leon Howard call for bond reform for violent crimes (thestate.com) — Related to above.
  4. Lott apologizes for deputy who abused female Fort Jackson soldier (thestate.com) — Sheriff says “I wish I could strangle him.” Here’s the video of the incident.
  5. Hagel apologizes to Medal of Honor recipient (WashPost) — For the failure to provide air and artillery support when Capt. Swenson and his buddies needed it.
  6. Afghans Fend Off Taliban Threat in Pivotal Year (NYT) — Security forces rising to challenge, U.S. officials say.