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Matt Carolan, R.I.P.


Matt Carolan, our colleague during the Nineties, has passed away — too soon, too soon. I cannot resist telling the story of his most extraordinary deed at NR.

Matt was the straightest of straight arrows, in every regard, from faith — devout Catholic — to dress — the invariable white long sleeve shirt. Imagine our surprise when we found that NR was hosting a small, in-house reception for Gennifer Flowers — and that the instigator of this scheme was Matt. I understood his reasoning — the Clinton hurricane was blowing, she was one of the president’s many embarrassments, “Thou hast set our secret sins before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” Still it was startling.

Ed Capano, our publisher at the time, refused to attend. John O’Sullivan, our editor, was (conveniently) out of town. The duties of host fell on me. Ms. Flowers showed up, with her husband, who was named Finis Shellnut. She was in her element, Matt manned the bar, the rest of us made awkward conversation.

It was an archetypal ’90s moment — thank you Matt, for that, and for everything. R.I.P.


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