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Molly Ivins Did Say That

No doubt we'll have a few things here today about Molly Ivins; after all, Schutze and I worked with her at the Dallas Times Herald, Jim much longer and closer than I, and he has the anecdotes to prove it. Most of mine have to do with smoking -- as in, every time Molly came to Dallas from Austin, she'd hunker down in the Times Herald's smoking room, and even non-smokers would grab a fresh pack and jostle for one of the free terminals so they could work next to The Great Molly Ivins. In a moment, the beginning of Jim's trip down Amnesia Lane, but till then, read The New York Times' obit, which includes this bit of local media history:

She quit The Times in 1982 after The Dallas Times Herald offered to make her a columnist. She took the job even though she loathed Dallas, once describing it as the kind of town ''that would have rooted for Goliath to beat David.''

But the newspaper, she said, promised to let her write whatever she wanted. When she declared of a congressman, ''If his I.Q. slips any lower, we'll have to water him twice a day,'' many readers were appalled, and several advertisers boycotted the paper. In her defense, her editors rented billboards that read: ''Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?'' The slogan became the title of the first of her six books.

Like I said, Jim's on deck. --Robert Wilonsky

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