For the past three years, my assignment has been to try to help this newspaper live up to its own high journalistic standards as it covered a historic presidential election, two wars, the Great Recession, violence in the Middle East and more. I have deplored the overuse of anonymous sources, warned against the creep of opinion into news analysis and worried about the preservation of Times quality on the Internet. But, in truth, I have sometimes felt less like a keeper of the flame and more like an internal affairs cop. "What did I do now?" a reporter asked with a sigh when I called recently.