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Sad Day for Writers

It's a sad day in the kingdom of letters. Today's Times has obituaries of two of its longtime distinguished staff members, Ada Louise Huxtable and Harvey Shapiro. The paper generally does a good and thoughtful job assessing the lives of its contributors and editors, and today's obits are no exception. The paper's architecture and development reporter David Dunlap assesses Huxtable, who in 1963 was hired as the first full-time architecture critic at an American newspaper and in 1970 won the first Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism.

Dunlap provides some great quotes from her work,

A Scene-Piece Scandal?

We've gotten used to journalistic scandals: Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, Janet Cooke, Jonah Lehrer, and all the rest. The scenario is generally that some high-flyer is caught having committed plagiarism and/or fabrication, is duly dismissed and shamed, and then all is quiet till the next incident.

But the latest such episode, as described a couple of days ago by the New York Times, is a little different. The Times piece by Katharine Q. Seelye starts out this way:

HYANNIS, Mass. — When an editor at The Cape Cod Times was reading the newspaper last month, she thought an article about the