The Times, they have a-changed
November 26, 2011 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Tom Wicker, Times Journalist, Dies at 85 (obvious NYT link), best known and most often noted for covering the assassination of President Kennedy, but also a columnist for 25 years and 6 Presidents as contrasted with today's NYT columnists by the always-critical NYTimes eXaminer.
posted by oneswellfoop (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Renoroc at 7:03 AM on November 26, 2011

Yikes what an obituary. Includes:

His most notable involvement took place during the uprising by 1,300 inmates who seized 38 guards and workers at the Attica prison in upstate New York in September 1971. Having written a sympathetic column on the death of the black militant George Jackson at San Quentin, Mr. Wicker was asked by Attica’s rebels to join a group of outsiders to inspect prison conditions and monitor negotiations between inmates and officials. The radical lawyer William M. Kunstler and Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party, also went in, and the observers took on the role of mediators.

Imagine Tom Friedman doing that today and my mind boggles.
posted by bukvich at 8:18 AM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Radicalism has been marginalized by the left.

posted by yarly at 8:42 AM on November 26, 2011

Marie Burns blogs at and until recently was a popular commenter [sic] on New York Times op-ed columns. A short time ago, she began boycotting the Times because of a change in Times policies that stratifies “trusted” and “mistrusted” commenters.

Oh, THAT's who that is. Good riddance, spammer.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:20 AM on November 26, 2011

All things considered, these days it's the New York Times "trusted" commenters that are far more spammy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:37 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

At a 1971 Harvard teach-in against the Vietnam War, he urged students to “engage in civil disobedience…. We got one president out, and perhaps we can do it again.” ... Another of Wicker’s journalistic credos:

We stand against privilege and we must question power.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:40 PM on November 26, 2011

[Wicker, age 37,] was riding in the presidential motorcade as it wound through downtown Dallas, the lone Times reporter on a routine political trip to Texas.

The searing images of that day ... were dictated by Mr. Wicker from a phone booth in stark, detailed prose drawn from notes scribbled on a White House itinerary sheet. It filled two front-page columns and the entire second page, and vaulted the writer to journalistic prominence overnight. — From the linked NYT obit.
No email, no iPhone; just pencil, paper, and a pay phone. An experienced and dedicated reporter somehow managed to find, among the chaos, details to fill a page plus two columns.

The links are to PDFs of the NYTimes, Nov. 23, 1963.
posted by exphysicist345 at 1:10 PM on November 26, 2011

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