No, I am not selling this blog to AOL for $100 million. But I am told it is true that I was in a 'Jeopardy' question last night. I never realized so many of my friends and relatives watch that show. I got a note from one who wrote,
Just wanted to give you a heads up that you were in a Jeopardy question tonight. And it was a Daily Double in the second round. Here's the question, from the category, "Si, Parlo Italiano":
"This word for a disastrous failure is the title of Thomas Ricks' book about the American military in Iraq"
The guy bet $2,600. He didn't know the answer.
Tom again: Meanwhile, old Jamie McIntyre reports that one of the memos that former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has posted ranks Pentagon reporters. I appear to be at the bottom of his list. Judging by the date and title of the memo, my guess is that he is summarizing what he thought Ken Bacon, the spokesman for the preceding Pentagon regime, told him about the media. Ken, who is now dead, was always very impressed with Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, but at the time had a somewhat contentious relationship with me, I think in part because before he went over to the dark side he had been a colleague of mine at the Wall Street Journal. We made up when he went back to civilian life.
A year later, Rumsfeld's opinion of my reporting abilities apparently had risen, as he wrote in a memo on Sept. 16, 2002, that:
I think what I ought to do is open the meeting by pointing out that the last time we met in classified session, within 23 hours Tom Ricks called the Pentagon and quoted things to me I had said in the meeting.
(HTs to JW, JEM, MT, JM, FXD, DP, HM, etc.)
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.