The Corner

Something to Think About

The following is an excerpt of a piece about Kitty Kelley by Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard…..note Kelley’s previous fake letters she produced……….hmmmmm….and she was interviewing Bill Burkett…..makes you wonder if ol’ Kitty ever wandered by an Abilene Kinko’s….

“It was not always so. There was a brief window in Kitty Kelley’s career when respectability hovered within her grasp. His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra (1986), which among much else described Sinatra’s mother as an abortionist and depicted Ol’ Blue Eyes himself bellying up, so to speak, to a steak-and-egg breakfast served off the bosom of a Las Vegas prostitute, had been praised in most establishment circles. Then, in 1987, she announced that her next subject would be Nancy Reagan. Within months the Washington Post, whose proprietress Katharine Graham was close to Mrs. Reagan, ordered up the definitive profile of Kitty Kelley. Exhaustively reported and cheekily written by Gerri Hirshey, the story appeared in three installments in October 1988. It ran to over 25,000 words, a sordid tale of personal betrayals and professional malfeasance, and it established, beyond a reasonable doubt, that its subject was a bit of a head case.

The best source on that was Hirshey herself. “Shortly after I’d begun my research,” Hirshey wrote in the article’s first installment, “anonymous mail began to arrive.” There were anonymous phone calls, too, including one from an unnamed woman who shouted, “Do you DARE tell the truth about one of Washington’s most esteemed citizens?” But the letters were more frequent and more interesting. They “followed my investigations from Spokane [where Kitty grew up] to Georgetown to New York.” They carried various return addresses, some of them nonexistent, and “praised Kitty Kelley, limned her accomplishments, her kindnesses to small and crippled children.” Not all the notes were anonymous–some were signed by fabricated names–and not all were flattering; at least one contained a sinister tip about Kelley’s personal life, which, bizarrely, proved false. And most of the notes, according to a forensic analysis undertaken by the Post, were typed on typewriters known to have been used by Kitty Kelley for other business correspondence.


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