Final Deadline

David Burgin is legendary as a rough-and-tumble newspaper editor. But the legend is full of astonishing contradictions, and its last chapter may include the outcome of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by one of his proteges at the Oakland Tribune.

A few months ago, Ben Bradlee, the famous former editor of the Washington Post, came to town for a brunch gathering at Moose's. David Burgin sat at his table. At one point during the meal, Burgin turned to Bradlee, saying something to the effect that the Post should have hired Burgin because he had had the audacity to try and hire away Carl Bernstein at the height of the Watergate scandal.

"Not with your baggage," Bradlee replied.
Overhearing the conversation was legendary eavesdropper Herb Caen, who wrote up the exchange in his column as an embarrassing aside.

"He got it wrong," says Burgin. "Bradlee said it in a funny way. He's not mad. He still needles me about things like that. He's always been nice and respectful to me. He actually wrote a very nice thing in his memoir for me. It was very personal and dear and complimentary."

Asked what Bradlee wrote, Burgin declines to share the inscription, saying, "That's not class.

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