"Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"
When President Harry Truman picked up his "Washington Post" early on December 6, 1950, to read a review of his daughter Margaret Truman's singing performance, he was livid. Though conceding that Miss Truman was "extremely attractive," Paul Hume, the "Post's" music critic, stated bluntly that "Miss Truman cannot sing very well" and "has not improved" over the years. The president wrote the following letter to the 34-year old Hume, whom he compared to the columnist Westbrook Pegler ("a rat," in Truman's view).
THE WHITE HOUSE
I've just read your lousy review of Margaret's concert. I've come to the conclusion that you are an "eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay."
It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you're off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you'll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.