When President Harry S. Truman threatened in December 1950 to punch out a Washington Post music critic who had panned his daughter’s singing, he wrote the letter in his own hand, affixed his own postage stamp, and did not make it public. Neither did the Post.
But America knew all about it once it had leaked to the Washington News.
“It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful,” the president wrote …”Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens, you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”
Public reaction was divided. Some people, Republicans especially, said that what Truman did was terrible. Others, fathers especially, applauded him for sticking up for his daughter.
Actually, the critic, Paul Hume, was a young man, 34, only three years into what became a long and acclaimed career at the Post. When they finally did meet, years later at Truman’s home in Independence, Missouri, they played the piano together.
Truman’s outburst comes to mind with the news of the very public way in which Donald Trump and his shrill White House shill, Kellyanne Conway, reacted to news of a department store chain, Nordstrom, dropping Ivanka Trump‘s branded merchandise.
The so-called president used his personal and White House Twitter accounts to denounce the company for treating his daughter “unfairly.” Conway was on Fox “News” the next day urging people to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.
“I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today everybody, you can find it online,” Conway said.
That goes way, way beyond what Truman did, and is far, far worse. Truman involved public resources only to the extent that he was living in the White House when he wrote the letter, and he did not