Arthur Brisbane left his job as the public editor of the New York Times this past week, deciding before leaving to double the degree of damage he has done to that institution -- and to the newspaper business itself, of which the Times is the unchallenged leader.
After 23 years of subservience to the borough's powerful ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes announced the indictment of four men for attempting to silence an alleged victim of sexual abuse.
January has not been a good month for media ombudsmen, as the in-house press analysts at our two leading newspapers have both come under attack for writing lazy, ill-considered commentaries that seemed to confirm the views of their most strident critics.
Let January 12, 2012, be marked as the date when the New York Times confessed, in an oblique but nonetheless conclusive way, that it theretofore had not been terribly concerned with discerning and reporting the truth.
The ideal of freedom of the press, so crucial to democracy, is upheld only when its practitioners willingly challenge the so-called "facts" of the powerful. Give us a watchdog press willing to bite the hand that feeds it, not a lapdog that snaps up all the little treats fed to it by its masters.