Jim McCartney called me to make a date -- for his farewell luncheon.
Ouch. We had pared back on correspondents' funds, and that included the meager amount we paid Jim each month. And he wasn’t going to let me off the hook that easily.
Jim is a veteran journalist -– from the “golden years,” as he told me over lunch. A retired national correspondent and Washington columnist for Knight Ridder, Jim has covered so much history and countless politicians. His portfolio includes the transitions of power to the Kennedy administration, the Nixon administration and the Carter administration.
For those of you who might not know Jim, his political leanings as a columnist sometimes redefine liberal. So he was only half-joking when he questioned why the ending of his Oct. 26 column in the Bradenton Herald had been cut. Even his conservative buddies noticed that the headline referred to Sen. John McCain as a “loose cannon,” but that Jim failed to state that in his column.
Well, it wasn’t a conservative plot. His column fell victim to our first week on a new system, and those paragraphs somehow became invisible on the printed page. They made it into our archives, and you can read the column in entirety here.
Reassured, Jim chuckled a bit as he made me an offer we couldn’t refuse: He’s going to keep writing for the Herald, and add the transition of power to the Obama administration to his portfolio.