Editor Gets Punchy Over Article—Literally

'2nd worst story' ever pushes vet Post hand to violence
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2009 3:59 PM CST
The Washington Post building.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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." (Read more Washington Post stories.)