Once again the arrogance and hypocrisy of The New York Times astound. Only The Times could escape unscathed from such journalistic dishonesty.
Today's paper features -- on its front page, no less -- the news that WNBC's Sue Simmons is leaving the local news station.
"It was as if someone you had grown fond of, someone who had become as much a part of the cityscape as the buildings, was disappearing from you life," the Times reporter writes.
Let's concede that Simmons was, yes, a noted and appreciated presence on the local news scene.
But let's note this, too: This month marks the one-year anniverasry of the departure of Bob Herbert from the Op Ed pages of The Times.
For almost two decades, he had been the African-American voice on the opinion pages of The Times. He was also the only black face you'd regularly see on NY1's cable news program featuring Times writers.
To revisit the announcement of Herbert's farewell from The Times is to take a trip into the netherworld of journalism.
The circumstances of his leaving were thus: Herbert penned a column saying he'd be leaving The Times in a day or two to pursue other unspecified interests, among them being a book without a title (and without a topic he was willing to share, for that matter) and a chance to live out his dreams.
Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal issued a statement saying Herbert would be sorely, sorely missed and that his resignation was accepted.
Even Herbert's friends do not know what the hell really happened, why he decided to give up the job of his life.
All along there had been criticisms of Herbert's writing, considered bland by some. And the positions that he took were predictably and safely black -- the very kind, really, that The Times would have demanded of its standout African-American male.
Here's a sad truth. The likelihood of finding out much more about all this from Herbert is zero. He would have left the paper with a nice parachute and with non-disclosure forms assuring his silence on things critical of the newspaper.
You see, the paper or record is as good at keeping secrets as it is at printing the news.
A grand contradiction, yes.
We know there are some who are disturbed by such high-level duplicity, and there are ways of dealing with it, modest, soul-gratifying ways, for sure. Write on.
For those who would seek release in writing to the editorial pages of The New York Times, be aware of the words of the late, great (though, okay, racist) W. C. Fields. (For those who don't remember.)