Former Washington Post critic Tom Shales remembers editors he’s worked with.
For several what seemed like pleasant years, I was usually edited by a youngish man with whom I shared a variety of interests. That meant we could joke about the same things and he would come up with suitable, as opposed to idiotic, suggestions for things I couldn’t or shouldn’t say in a newspaper.
It seemed like a pretty good fit, and the editor appeared comfortable with the fact that my stories often came in perilously close to, or perilously after, the 6 o’clock deadline (which got earlier and earlier as the wonders of technology seeped into the newsroom). It seemed a minor sin because my pieces usually did not require a heavy edit.
I have forgotten now who broke the news to me, but after that editor had left the Post and I had been bounced around among others, someone gave me the 4-1-1: My friend the editor had HATED working with me. I was close to crushed. I was accustomed to being disliked, but not by someone I considered a kindred spirit and with whom I’d had a pleasant working relationship.