Michael Evans, outgoing chief White House photographer, was miffed...

By HELEN THOMAS, UPI White House Reporter

WASHINGTON -- Michael Evans, outgoing chief White House photographer, was miffed that one of the cameramen in the White House photographic office was not named to succeed him.

Instead, chief of staff Donald Regan decided that the White House photographers would be on a par and none would be the first among equals. In other words, none would be designated as President Reagan's official photographer.


Evans thought that was downgrading the job that he had held for four years, and fired off a complaining telegram to Regan.

'I made the decision and that's final,' Regan shot back in a telegram to Evans.

Evans was a Time magazine photographer covering Reagan's 1980 campaign when the president handpicked him to join his White House staff.

He has recently published a book about photographers of White House officialdom and other Washington personalities.

Reporters recently detected Nancy Reagan prompting her husband when he was asked whether the CIA had helped airlift Ethiopian Jews out of the Sudan to Israel.


'I don't know,' the first lady was heard to whisper.

'No comment,' Reagan replied.

Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig made what he called a nostalgic homecoming to the Old Executive Office Building to address an 'outreach conference' on Central America. He thanked presidential assistant Faith Whittlesey for a glowing introduction 'of the kind I am so unaccustomed to in this building.'

He also referred to his running feud with White House chief of staff James Baker, now treasury secretary, that culminated in his stormy resignation as secretary of state in June 1983.

'It is a nostalgic experience and it isn't because Jim Baker's gone and Al Haig's back,' he quipped.

Haig, who served as Henry Kissinger's right-hand man at the National Security Council in the White House basement during the Nixon administration, also told a Kissinger story, complete with Kissinger's German accent.

During the Vietnam War, he recalled, 'I burst into his office and said 'Henry, you're overdue at the EOB to give an address to a very distinguished audience about the state of the world.'

'Well, Henry had one of those Germanic tantrums of his, accusing me of failing to give him enough time to prepare, and in an effort to calm him down, I said, 'Relax Henry. You can tell them all you know on the subject in just 15 minutes.


'Well, Henry's eyes narrowed and he looked at me and said, 'Al, I can tell them all we both know, and it won't take a second longer.'

Haig was updating an old quote from the pages of history.

Jerry S. Parr, the Secret Service agent who pushed President Reagan to safety during the attempt on his life in 1981, has been named vice president of the Penn Central Technical Security Co. Parr recently retired after 22 years with the Secret Service, having served as chief of the White House detail and later as assistant director of protective research.

Larry Speakes, deputy press secretary, is experiencing a mass exodus from his office. One deputy, Marlin Fitzwater, will become Vice President George Bush's press secretary. Assistant press secretary Anson Franklin will be the spokesman for the Energy Department, and Robert Gray will join the intergovernmental relations department at the Energy Department.

Speakes is left with two deputies, Peter Roussel and Robert Sims. Also in his press office are three young women: Jeannie Winnick, Sandy Sidey and Florence Taussig. Sidey is going to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Taussig is job hunting in the Los Angeles area in the movie management field.


The word is that Speakes does not like internal promotions and looks for replacements elsewhere.

Secretary of State George Shultz is trying to protect his rear. He does not want to happen to him what has happened to some of his predecessors who havebeen undercut by the national security affairs adviser.

Shultz works well with NSC adviser Robert McFarlane, who does not try to steal the limelight in foreign policy, although he might easily do so by means of his close proximity to the Oval Office.

But Shultz apparently has blocked Vernon Walters, the U.N. ambassador designate, from being a member of the powerful NSC, and Walters is not happy about that.

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