Endangered species

First it was the quirky “Cooking with Dexter,” by a food writer whose little son was rather weirdly obsessed with cooking – charmingly written, even some good recipes. No more.

Then today Virginia Heffernan, who writes delightfully about my favorite small things like TV shows and websites and blogs, announced unceremoniously that it’s her last column. And Randy Cohen, the Ethicist whose advice I often quite violently disagreed with, who tried but didn’t quite succeed to make his writing clever, is leaving too – but he’s apparently going to be doing a show (less clever, I hope, but I’m not holding my breath) on public radio. And at least they’re keeping the Ethicist column, which doesn’t seem to be the case for On Language. If they’d gotten rid of this when it was a barely-disguised platform for William Safire’s right wing screeds, I wouldn’t have minded. Ben Zimmer turned it back into a real On Language – but as of today, he and the column are leaving too.

And Deborah Solomon, who asked pretty stupid, sometimes insulting questions: she – and the only redeeming feature of her column, the full head-to-toe shots of her poor interviewees that floated in white space – gone too.

What’s going on, Gray Lady?

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