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photo by Neil Selkirk I.F. Stone continued when, at the age of 15, Stone became the protg of J. David Stern, a Philadelphia newspaper owner, and his wife. MacPherson generously acknowledges Stern’s fundamental influence on Stone’s life: “For the next fifteen years throughout the twenties, the New Deal, the Popular Front, and Spanish Civil War, the beginning rumblings of World War IIthe dynamic Stern was Izzy’s patron. He helped shape Izzy’s writing and gave him a powerful platform. Izzy became America’s chief editorial writer on a major newspaper, first with Stern’s Philadelphia Record and then with his New York Evening Post. “The team of Stern and Feinstein, as Izzy was known through most of his tenure with the publisher [he changed Feinstein to Stone in 1938], was as stormy as it was serendipitous. In that era of Coolidge conservatism, it was a miracle that Izzy found the one major publisher compatible with his beliefs, a man dedicated to liberal, fair reporting. But that did not stop Izzy. Their parting was so bitter that Stern excised Izzy from his autobiography, Memoirs of a Maverick Publisher.” It would be interesting to know exactly what MacPherson meant by “that did not stop Izzy.” And what she meant by Stone’s “tumultuous departure” from the Post, at that time New York’s leading liberal paper. Even to some of his admirers, Izzy was not known for being a team player, even when it was a first rate team. “Though capable of collecting friends of long standing, Stone’s pattern of ignoring colleagues angered many who felt he was a snob.” Other colleagues had other adjectives, such as “humorless sexist,” and “incredibly arro gant.” MacPherson says that while they continued to admire his work, “some talented and hardworking journalists and authors felt Stone, in his David-versus-Goliath mode, took cheap shots at their expense in his quest to prove his independence and their lack of it.” For the sake of full disclosure, I admit I am correctly identified by MacPherson as being among that group and am quoted as describing him as “a little shit,” while conceding that “it was hard to stay mad at Izzy” because he was “virtually always on the side of decency and fair play.” \(Shortly after moving to Washington, D.C., I worked for Stonefor three weeks, quitting after he rejected my piece that suggested Lyndon Johnson was mentally unbalanced. Stone’s reason: “Ah, we’re all a little crazy.” If I was wrong, I was in good company. In his 1988 book Remembering America, LBJ aide Richard Goodwin tells how he and Bill Moyers became so concerned in the summer of 1965 that they met every few days to discuss the “clearly visible signs of Johnson’s instability” and his “increasingly vehement and less rational outbursts.” Goodwin says they independently took their notes to two different psychiatrists” who confirmed “we were describing a textbook case of paranoid disintegration.” Jack Raymond, a veteran New York Times reporter who considered Stone a close friend, told MacPherson, “I was amazed one day to pick up his paper [the Weekly] and find an attack on a piece of mine. For all intents and purposes he asserted that I was handmaiden of the Pentagon. I was stunned that anyone could think that of me.” Later, at a dinner party, Raymond confronted Stone, who waved away his complaint: “Ohhhhhh, Jack! Why should you care about what I write in my little paper that few people see?” Raymond says, “On hearing that, my heart sank.” MacPherson adds, “Not only had Stone ignored the larger moral question of impugning Raymond’s writing, judgment, and integrity, he attempted to get off the hook by pretending that his little rag didn’t matter. Raymond knew as well as Stone that in their circle the Weekly was a prized read.” SEPTEMBER 8, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23