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It is Bill Safire, believe me

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In today’s Your Tech column, I make reference to William (Bill) Safire, the great New York Times columnist who won a Pulitzer in 1976 and who had an earlier career in politics. From two different sides of the country, I’ve been asked if “nattering nabobs of negativism” wasn’t, in fact, then-Vice President Spiro T. Agnew’s line.

It was said by Agnew, yes. But it was Safire who coined it, a fact widely acknowledged in history and even online, as this Boston Globe story (see the last paragraph there) would indicate). A Google search of “Safire, Agnew, nabobs” pulls it up in about, oh, five seconds.

Sic transit gloria, as the saying goes. It seems the speechwriter often goes unappreciated, and now unremembered. That’s something those vying for the speechifying posts in the next administration might want to bear in mind.

And, Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. Safire!

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About the Author

M. Kellner

Mark A. Kellner is a religion columnist.

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