The Press: Volunteer Mencken

"Newspapers," said the New York Herald Tribune's John Campbell Crosby last week, "need another H. L. Mencken."

With that, John Crosby, an urbanely acerbic 48, unabashedly volunteered for the job. He ended a 14-year career in which he had become the nation's best-known syndicated radio and television columnist—and announced that henceforth he would be a critic of all U.S. society. His parting shot at TV: "This great medium of information and education is totally dedicated to utter vacuity."

Fledgling Pundit Crosby, an alumnus of Exeter and Yale, says: "I am a reformer, a moralist by nature. The new column will have a strong...

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