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

Yesterday 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