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A Letter from Ginsberg
actually by Tony Lazenka '03

Dear Record,

I have tried without resolution to expose the revisionist editing of the Yale Daily News (see my Mar. 3 YDN article: A Wonderful Experience), and so now turn to you. First, please read the botched-up article of mine run in the Dec. 12 YDN, and then compare it to what I had intended them to print (enclosed). The difference is startling; and deserves print on your website.

Sincerely, Brian Ginsberg '04

Dear Brian,
Unfortunately, we are in agreement with the
YDN's editorial stance. In order to publish your story, we have re-revised it.

First: The revised article:

Beinecke thefts total $2 million

Second: The re-revised article:

Ghost of Daniel Webster Now Haunts Beinecke
by Brian Ginsberg '04

Though the climb to the employee lounge from the mezzanine of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is usually an agreeable one, today curator Robert Babcock doesn't like what he sees. Tossed among the stacks of the manuscripts section this morning is a heap of rare documents, some, like Henry Clay's secret correspondences with Caroline Webster, tear-stained and torn, and others, like Andrew Jackson's Tennessee speeches, incorrectly shoved into the pages Anne Bradstreet's A Dialogue Between Queen Elizabeth and the Ladyes of New England. HIST 436b, JACKSONIAN DEMOCRACY student that I am, I cleverly remark that this might be the work of the mischievous Daniel Webster, and warn Babcock that a Bank of America heist may be next. Fortunately cataloguing nearby is Americana curator Patricia Willis, and we two are soon into hysterics, but there stands snooty Babcock, his grave features sharpening even finer into a sepulcher. This is too good Patricia giggles into my ear, and now her mind's on Andrew Jackson's famous kitchen cabinet speech, the one where he reiterates, stone-faced, they aren't for making coffee, except Patricia has made coffee, and now her poor stomach, jittered with the mix of arabica and metaphors, gives out. Respecting Miss Willis's wishes, your reporter refuses to give any more details, but it's enough to write that I owe Babcock a new suit, and Beinecke a new first edition Leaves of Grass.

A few minutes later Patricia feels better enough to give me the goods. Turns out Babcock's suspicions for yesterday's Beinecke desecration are on Daniel Webster, but that that's not all the ex-ex-senator has been up to. Supposedly stall two of Beinecke's public restroom is haunted by eerie tirades against protective tariffs (which I imagine must constrict conservative Babcock's sphincter even tighter with fear); and, better, all one hundred and twenty members of the Whig party now apparently infest the snacks in the downstairs vending machine. "That's absurd," I tell Patricia, "No one believes in protective tariffs anymore." But the plot thickens when, from her manuscript-sized purse, she produces a secret intra-office memo detailing Beinecke's yearly "Whig Party", where in a single irresponsible evening, Beinecke employees smuggle out a dozen documents written by a member of that frivolous political party, and, with a book collector's care, proceed cutting them into rolling paper, all to reach a compromise with the "plantation system" that Arts and Sciences registrar Barry Kane has growing cannabis in his office closet. And this year's honored politician is Daniel Webster. Ridiculous stuff, but obviously Barry S. Kane is the man I should go see.

"I hear the big story now is the 1.5 million budget error," says Kane, glinting nervously as he slips a cool five hundred dollar bill, and academic transcript, into my left hand. Recently Kane has become notorious advising Daily News reporters to transfer out of New England, but now the solemn weariness that attends his gesture makes one suspect Kane has considered the move, as well. "Yeah, Barry, let's hope you don't run our nest egg that way," flutters his ditzy receptionist, and we all laugh. Your reporter pauses to wonder what relation this may hold with sleazy Beinecke parties and ghost sightings, but is reluctant to ask, given that today Kane looks pretty ghost-like himself, as if the ivory carvings adorning his office wall were the sole earthly things preventing his departure into the woodwork. Kane wishes me luck on my story, remarking that Stanford has a fine student newspaper. Yeah, I say to myself, for lining birdcages.

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