Getting the Massa Debate Story Right

Reader Elmer sends this morning's Corning Leader, which carries two Kuhl/Massa stories.  One is a State-of-the-Union reaction piece.  The second is a story headlined "Massa Challenges Kuhl to Debate", which is based on a letter that Massa wrote to Kuhl challenging him to a debate on S-CHIP.  Here's the beginning of both stories [pdf] and the jump [pdf].

As a bonus, Margaret Truman Daniel's obit is on the jump.  It alludes to a famous story about Harry Truman's anger when Margaret's singing got a bad review.  The New York Times obit has the full story, which is a great one, and you can read it after the jump:

Mrs. Daniel thought her performance at Constitution Hall to be one of her better ones.

But Paul Hume, the music critic of The Washington Post, while praising her personality, wrote that “she cannot sing very well.” “She is flat a good deal of the time,” Mr. Hume added, concluding that she had no “professional finish.”

Incensed, President Truman dispatched a combative note to Mr. Hume, who released it to the press.

“I have just read your lousy review,” it said, adding, “I have never met you, but if I do, you’ll need a new nose.”

In the ensuing uproar, reporters pressed Mrs. Daniel for her reaction to her father’s letter. “I’m glad to see that chivalry is not dead,” she told them.

In a revealing biography, “Harry S. Truman” (William Morrow, 1973), Mrs. Daniel wrote: “Dad discussed the letter with his aides and was annoyed to find that they all thought it was a mistake. They felt that it damaged his image as president and would only add to his political difficulties. ‘Wait till the mail comes in,’ Dad said. ‘I’ll make you a bet that 80 percent of it is on my side of the argument.’

"A week later, after a staff meeting, Dad ordered everybody to follow him, and they marched to the mail room,” Mrs. Daniel continued. “The clerks had stacked up thousands of ‘Hume’ letters received in piles and made up a chart showing the percentages for and against the president. Slightly over 80 percent favored Dad’s defense of me. Most of the letter writers were mothers who said they understood exactly how Dad felt and would have expected their husbands to defend their daughters the same way.

“‘The trouble with you guys is,’ Dad said to the staff as he strode back to work, ‘you just don’t understand human nature.’ ”