Am I Steve Guttenberg or Elizabeth McGovern?


Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:

Blaine Crabill, Baltimore: It's very possible that I am wrong, but it seems to me that many years ago I wrote to you. All I can remember is you looking out of a hotel window -- in Mount Vernon? -- and seeing someone trying to break into your car.

Is this possible?

COMMENT: Close. You are confusing my life and the movie "The Bedroom Window" shot in Baltimore and starring Steve Guttenberg, Elizabeth McGovern and some French starlet, whose name I remember less well than her nude scenes.

In the movie, Guttenberg's lover, who just happens to be his boss' wife, is looking out Guttenberg's window in Mount Vernon late one night and sees a women being attacked. (So the movie was true to life.)

The attacker gets scared off, but Guttenberg's lover is faced with a dilemma: If she goes to the police to identify the attacker, then her husband will know she was fooling around in Guttenberg's apartment.

So Guttenberg pretends that he saw the attacker and goes to the police and the plot thickens from there.

But here, Blaine, is where you got confused: The first column I ever did for The Sun was how, within hours of my moving to Baltimore, I looked out my Federal Hill apartment window to see two guys breaking into the trunk of my car.

I scared the guys off and called the police and a very bored cop showed up and sat in his car while I stood in the pouring rain telling him what had happened.

But how, Blaine, how did you confuse my life with the movie? Easy. When people see me on the street, a lot of them mistake me for Steve Guttenberg.

Then again, a lot of them mistake me for Elizabeth McGovern.


P. Card, Baltimore: Please read the piece in Forbes magazine of April 12 on the demise of the L.A. Times and Baltimore Sun and give us your cleverly written column on that. Like refuting the facts and refuting the reporters and editors of Forbes!

I'll be waiting for the bust and selling Times Mirror stock short!

COMMENT: What you do with your bust and your shorts is your business. But I would be glad to refute the Forbes article.

I have been reading doom and gloom stories for years about how city newspapers are dying because our cities are dying. But you know what? Cities are beginning to come out of the recession and boom once again and so are newspapers.

Besides, the Forbes piece did not predict the demise of either Times Mirror, which owns the Los Angeles Times and The Sun, or any of its newspapers.

"Times Mirror is nobody's basket case," the Forbes article said. "It has formidable assets."

What formidable assets? Well, me, for instance.

Besides, who cares what Forbes magazine says about anything? Forbes was founded by a goofy guy who flew around France in balloons and dated Elizabeth Taylor.

(Completely Uncalled For Elizabeth Taylor Joke: Elizabeth Taylor goes to Sea World and when Namu jumps out of the whale tank, Taylor says: "Do I get fries with that?")

But you think newspapers are dead? I'll tell you why they are not:

This summer, when flies and mosquitoes are buzzing around your head and spiders are crawling on your walls, try rolling up your TV set and swatting them. Go ahead, try.


Pamela Seng, Baltimore: I have just about had it with your constant criticism and negativity toward President Clinton.

I feel as if you are not giving the man a chance with your continual nitpicking. In today's column, for example, you picked apart his first press conference, while The Sun's lead editorial raved about Clinton's superb preparedness.

Give our new president a chance, Mr. Simon, he's the best chance our nation has had in a long, long time.

COMMENT: I wrote that Clinton "did very well" at his first formal press conference. The Sun's editorial said: "He came off as a combination of Jimmy Carter's knowledge and Ronald Reagan's personality. In other words, John F. Kennedy."

But even if we had outright disagreed, that would not be surprising. Columnists and editorial writers disagree all the time.

The way to figure out who is right is simply to remember that I am.

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