While he was not quite a man of the people, he was a man for the people - and he took pains to go beyond an editorialist's sentimentality in his attitude toward them, whoever they are. He set out to know them. While the legends of journalism were being ushered into the hideaways of the Capitol to have their importance proved to the on background, Fairlie was earnestly chatting about the issues of the day with interns and receptionists and bartenders (the ones foolish enough to let him open a tab). He hated the idea that he belonged to an elite. His attraction to the demos was virtually erotic. The capital never obscured the country, for him.
- Leon Wieseltier on Henry Fairlie