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Ford's Answer To Snarky Reporters

His most famous boss has passed on, but former White House Press Secretary Ron Nessen is still hot under the collar about stories portraying President Ford as a bumbler and stumbler. Nessen says that the story line very likely started during a trip to Vienna.

He recalls that Ford slipped on the last two rain-slicked steps while getting off Air Force One. It got worse with Chevy Chase's skits on Saturday Night Live. Ford didn't gripe much until the media ribbed him for falling while skiing. "Finally," Nessen recalls, "he said to me, 'Ron, why do they do this stuff? Don't you know most reporters get their exercise sitting on a bar stool?' "

By Paul Bedard