Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where's Whitewater in L.J. Davis obit?

Posted By on Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

The New York Times carried a fairly lengthy obituary today on a relatively obscure "journalist and novelist" named L.J. Davis, who'd written for the Times among others. The Times failed to note one of Davis' most famous works — a tale headlined "The Name of the Rose". It was written for the New Republic. I believe this is a copy of his account of Rose Law Firm, Stephens family and related skulduggery in darkest Arkansas.

Davis, Whitewater buffs will recall, is the writer who claimed he was cold-cocked by an intruder at the Hotel Sam Peck while on the trail of Bill Clinton crimes during his investigations for the story in 1994. The episode gave rise, along with other Wall Street Journal editorial page inventions, to the Journal's branding of Arkansas as a "congenitally violent place."

A more serious reporter working for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette discovered that Davis might well have been cold-cocked, but it was more likely from martinis he had downed in the Sam Peck cocktail lounge at the time the supposed attack took place.

The New York Times, with plenty of Whitewater blood on its own hands, perhaps didn't want to dredge up this memorable L.J. Davis anecdote for his obit. It stayed with a warmer, but perhaps appropriate tone.

Mr. Davis was known among friends and editors as affable and voluble, a man who arrived at every personal encounter equipped with a capacious store of unusual facts and anecdotes he was prepared to dispense at the slightest provocation.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Architecture lecture: Sheila Kennedy on "soft" design

    Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
  • Petition calls for Jason Rapert Sewage Tanks in Conway

    A tribute is proposed for Conway's state senator Jason Rapert: naming the city's sewage sludge tanks for him. Petitioners see a similarity.
  • Health agency socked with big verdict, Sen. Hutchinson faulted for legal work

    A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
  • Religious right group calls for compromise on damage lawsuit amendment

    The Family Council, the religious right political lobby, has issued a statement urging its followers to oppose the so-called tort reform amendment to limit attorney fees and awards in damage lawsuits.
  • Constituents go Cotton pickin' at Springdale town hall

    Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation