Fare thee well, Daniel Okrent, the Times Op-Ed columnists will miss you

Doc Ok g'bye.pngYesterday was NYT public editor Daniel Okrent’s final column, and he took full advantage of the platform to cover any bases he might have missed, publishing a handy list of a lucky thirteen topics that demanded his attention.

He weighs in one last time on anonymous sourcing via a discussion of First Amendment protection:

But I would love to see journalists justify their work not by wrapping themselves in the cloak of the law, but by invoking more persuasive defenses: accuracy, for instance, and fairness

and takes a sweet parting shot (which we knew he was waiting for) at the Times op-ed slate, accusing Paul Krugman of “shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers” and digs at Maureen Dowd for irresponsible reporting and the departed William Safire for unsubstantiated claims, summing up neatly:

I didn’t give Krugman, Dowd or Safire the chance to respond before writing the last two paragraphs. I decided to impersonate an opinion columnist.

He also blasts Alessandra Stanley for her now-infamous Katie Couric hatchet job, the under-the-radar travel sections for unseemly gushing, sketchy freelancers, and selective, wanton labelling of conservatives and liberals (including bashing his own “Is the Times a Liberal Paper?” column. Doc Ok is nothing if not fair). He also lauds the Culture Section for no longer sucking.

And then that’s it. Eighteen months of a job that he reminds himself (and all of us) is a “walk in the park” compared to being a correspondent in Baghdad or Jerusalem. With a tip of his hat to the loyalty of the readers (and a reminder to naysayers that anything he wrote came from the same place), he is gone, off to be a sketchy freelancer himself. Take it away, Barney!** We’re sure this walk in the park won’t be stressful at all.

13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did [NYT]

**Looks like he already has