Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oxymoronic? Or business as usual?

Patricia Sullivan wrote an obit that ran in the Washington Post May 7, 2006, for Herbert Burkholz, a mystery novelist who briefly was a speechwriter at the Food and Drug Administration in the 1990s.

Sullivan doesn't tell readers, "Isn't it ironic, dontcha think?" She deftly presents the facts of Burkholz' life so that additional commentary isn't necessary.

She writes: Burkholz wrote 10 novels and two nonfiction books, including "The FDA Follies" (1994), an attack on the FDA in the Reagan era that grew out of a series of health-related articles he wrote for the New York Times Magazine.

After the book was published, Burkholz was hired to write speeches for David Kessler, FDA commissioner in the Clinton administration.

The titles of Burkholz' commercially successfuly mysteries and a series that included "The Sensitives" (1987), "Strange Bedfellows" (1988) and "Brain Damage" (1992) add to the weirdness of it all.

It makes you wonder where our government officials find their speechwriters and what their motives are.

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