The Press: Flash

White House correspondents gave Presidential Secretary William D. Hassett a talking mynah for his 69th birthday present last year, and the black, orange-ruffed bird caught on fast. He learned to cock his head and cry: "What about the appropriation?" Hassett, an old newsman himself, soon taught the bird to squawk: "Flash! Get me the desk!" "Flash" became his name.

Each morning, as White House Messenger Robert M. Goodloe lifted the curtain from Flash's silvery, over-sized cage, the bird would greet him with a dulcet, patronizing "Hello, boy." As girl workers arrived, beady-eyed Flash greeted them with wolf calls. When crossed, which...

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