By Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
I have no idea if this will make it into the Post-Gazette because the editorial board might block it, as they block most things I write, so I'm also sending it to another reputable news source in the hope it gets printed.
This is an addendum to my review "Ronald Reagan takes note ... Dear Diary: Today I avoided World War III" (which I thought was a very pithy and funny title -- I came up with that one myself). The book is a compilation of Reagan diary entries. In the review as printed, a critical sentence was purposefully excised by the paper, and this edit made me sound like a left-wing nut.
In the review, I mentioned that Reagan "completely ignor[ed] the murderous legacy of military dictatorships" (I would add here: what's so bad about that?), and that to Reagan, Democrats "were almost as bad as the Russians" (I wholeheartedly agree, but can't say that out loud at the PG for fear of being garroted), and that Reagan punished even Republicans who refused to do his will (rightfully so, in my opinion). I threw in those things to give the appearance of being tough on Reagan, hoping the editorial board would conclude I passed their litmus test and quit reading right then and there.
The review also states the following: "If one aspect of Reagan's personality emerges from these rather oddly selected passages, it is his consistency. Or, to put it another way, his ideological rigidity." But this was supposed to be followed by the most critical sentence in the entire piece, which the paper's editorial board excised: "Of course, it was such rigidity that ultimately prompted even Ted Kennedy to declare that Reagan will be honored as the president who won the cold war."
Do you see the difference?
The paper's editorial board typically reviews every piece that references either Reagan or deceased restaurant critic Mike Kalina before it goes to print. That's the rule. In this case, they took a hatchet to my work. I'm writing this addendum because I am certain the edited product does not convey my deep love for arguably the twentieth century's greatest president. (I'm also using my actual photograph here, as opposed to the one the PG uses, which is not me -- it's ex-editor John Craig's brother-in-law.) But I'll bet you'll never see this addendum printed in the Post-Gazette.