Irish America's best journalists
2. Jimmy Breslin
Jimmy Breslin, who was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York, was a legendary New York newspaperman in the traditional sense: hard-drinking, rabble rousing and scrappy. He was a columnist with Newsday for many years, until his retirement in 2004.The author of many novels, he had also published several works of non-fiction, including "The Church that Forgot Christ," about the child abuse scandals that shook the American Catholic Church.
"Rage is the only quality that has kept me, or anybody I ever studied, writing newspaper columns. I can control the rage in my writing, which is what I get paid for. I do not control it when I'm shouting off the written record."
"When you stop drinking, you have to deal with this marvelous personality that started you drinking in the first place."
On the presidency:
The office of the President is such a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy, that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
3. Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill’s parents emigrated from Belfast to New York in the 1920s, and later, as a journalist he would report on The Troubles in Northern Ireland. When Hamill worked for the New York Post in the 1960s, pre-Rupert Murdoch, it was one of the city’s great liberal papers, and indeed Hamill describes himself as a “liberal Irish-American.” Like Jimmy Breslin, Hamill is also an accomplished novelist.
On his parents' new life in the U.S.:
"Both of them, particularly my mother, were determined never to do to anybody in this country what had been done to them in Northern Island, so bigotry was a worse sin to them than self-pity."
On hearing that Steve Dunleavy, right-wing columnist with the New York Post, had gotten his foot run over by a snowplow:
"I hope it was his writing foot."
On being a journalist:
"Certainly the best newspapermen I know are those most thrilled by the daily pump of city room excitements; they long fondly for a ''good murder''; they pray that assassinations, wars, catastrophes break on their editions. Their personal lives are usually a mess."
On having a Jesuit education:
"They’ve probably created more atheists than communism ever did."
4. Alexander Cockburn
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