The Washington Post

Sometimes a cigar is just a distractio­n

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While I was intently reading the July 7 news article “Former White House counsel Cipollone to testify before Jan. 6 committee,” perhaps to learn whether former White House counsel Pat Cipollone might “tell all,” my attention was drawn away by a bit of inexplicab­le informatio­n. Embedded in this story was a personal attribute of Cipollone’s that is more often found in stories about women where there are comments about how they are dressed that have no bearing on the content other than it happens to involve a woman. In this case, as I was taking in the story of his upcoming testimony, I suddenly happened upon a paragraph beginning with “A cigar smoker with deep ties in the Federalist Society, Cipollone has kept a relatively low profile.” Am I ignorant about the relevance of cigar smoking as one of the habits of federalist­s? (I admit I don’t always understand George F. Will.) The cigar smoking in that context stopped my flow of informatio­n.

I think rather than my not understand­ing, the author of the article was just dying to reveal the cigar smoking tidbit, no matter what; so he did. I lost my interest in the upcoming hearing and what might be revealed. Suddenly I began to reflect on the forgotten aroma of a good cigar. I wondered: How often does Cipollone smoke cigars? Is it only when he’s stressed? Does he share them? What kind, stogies or slim — surely not Cuban?

I was distracted by trivia! Well, at least I did not have to look up any of the words the writer used.

Jacksie Chatlas, Washington

 ?? JABIN Botsford/the Washington Post ?? Then-white House Counsel Pat Cipollone in the Rose Garden on July 29, 2019.
JABIN Botsford/the Washington Post Then-white House Counsel Pat Cipollone in the Rose Garden on July 29, 2019.

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