the last day or so, you have perhaps noticed Frumgate a mini-scandal,
or non-scandal, really, involving David Frum.
Who is David
Frum? Well, to begin with, he is a friend and colleague of mine,
for which I couldn't be more grateful. He's a Renaissance man of
a writer, responsible for hundreds of essays, a syndicated column,
and at least two famous books: Dead
Right and How
We Got Here: The 70's.
For the past
year since roughly Inauguration Day he has been serving
President Bush as a speechwriter. His departure from the White House
has just been announced.
where the -gate comes in: Shortly after the State of the Union address,
something lousy happened to David. His wife, the author Danielle
Crittenden, sent an e-mail to family and friends saying that she
couldn't help taking "wifely pride" in David's authorship
of a particular passage. That e-mail was given to the press; embarrassing
Now that David
is leaving, a link has been made: The e-mail and the subsequent
news stories angered the president or the White House in
general and David has been forced out as a result. David
has protested that, well before the State of the Union address and
the ensuing flap, he was planning to leave the White House
to leave it, in fact, about now, late February.
And that, sports
fans, is absolutely true. How do I know for sure? Well, aside from
the not inconsiderable fact that Frum is an honest man, David told
me (and others) about his intended departure before the State
of the Union address. If anything, he hesitated to leave when he
was planning to, for fear that people would make an erroneous link.
That such a link could be imagined is understandable; but it is
As a reporter
or general journalist, it's so rare that you really know
something for sure, for sure. Of course, you can think you
know, or trust certain sources, or be virtually sure. But really
to know something, beyond a doubt like your own middle
name or favorite singer is not so common, in this business.
So, we have
good news and bad news. The bad news is that George W. Bush has
lost David Frum as a speechwriter; the good news is that we have
regained him as a public writer.
Look for him
everywhere. And David: I know you're a Standardite, chiefly,
but can humble ol' NR get some of you too?