Horatio

Horatio
[Photo by Jacquelyn Griffin)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Some Call it Slander, I Call it Getting Paid."

That's Jimmy Breslin as I remember him. Cranky, funny, blunt. A real authentic New York sensibility, and attitude. He was funny, he was scabrous, he vented. Not a corporate guy, not smooth.

He died today:
Jimmy Breslin, the New York City newspaper columnist and best-selling author who leveled the powerful and elevated the powerless for more than 50 years with brick-hard words and a jagged-glass wit, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 88, and until very recently, was still pushing somebody’s buttons with two-finger jabs at his keyboard.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Ronnie Eldridge, a prominent Manhattan Democrat. Mr. Breslin had been recovering from pneumonia.

With prose that was savagely funny, deceptively simple and poorly imitated, Mr. Breslin created his own distinct rhythm in the hurly-burly music of newspapers. ...Poetic and profane, softhearted and unforgiving, Mr. Breslin inspired every emotion but indifference; letters from outraged readers gladdened his heart. He often went after his own, from Irish-Americans with “shopping center faces” who had forgotten their hardscrabble roots to the Roman Catholic Church, whose sex scandals prompted him to write an angry book called “The Church That Forgot Christ,” published in 2004. It ends with his cheeky vow to start a new church that would demand more low-income housing and better posture.
In our time of access journalism and "both sidesism", not to mention outright propaganda, Breslin was an old-school journalist who kept it truthful and real, careful to delineate fact from opinion.

Also, he was a great example of King Kaiser's dictum: "You don't cut funny."

2 comments:

Denis Murphy said...

I have always reveled in the art of the great journalists of our youth: Hamill, Royko, Kempton, and of course, the greatest of them all, Breslin.
Read his columns on the Howard Beach incident and his novel Table Money.

The Anglocat lives forever.

Anglocat said...

They were all great, but Breslin was my favorite of the pack...and many thanks!