An editorial dispute in the Washington Post newsroom devolved into fisticuffs last week. The item was for the Style section, a department long known for taking an anything-goes attitude toward its reporters. When the story crossed the desk of veteran editor Henry Allen—grumpy about his part-time work and the current state of journalism—he didn’t like what he saw, Washingtonian gossip guru Harry Jaffe reports.
“This is total crap,” Allen reportedly said, bringing a young writer to tears. “It’s the second worst story I have seen in Style in 43 years.” Another reporter on the story, veteran Manuel Roig-Franzia, took umbrage. “Oh, Henry,” witnesses say he told Allen, “don’t be such a cocksucker.” That apparently pushed the 70-year-old Vietnam vet over the edge, and he tackled Roig-Franzia. Executive editor Marcus Brauchli separated the two and had a talk with Allen, whose contract is up in a month. Writes Jaffe: "Few Style writers expect to see him again."