The Press: Horselaughs in the Times

"On the Times, overt display of a sense of humor provokes the sort of suspicion a sex deviate can expect at a policemen's ball." Thus New York Timesman Russell Baker, 36, once explained why he covered Washington with appropriate solemnity. In time, the solemn rounds began to pall; Baker was about to join another paper when the Times suddenly gave him a chance to stray. By last week, calling himself "Observer," Baker was solidly ensconced as the Times's editorial-page satirist.

As a reporter, Baker had been solemn and respect f til about the New Frontier; as a columnist, he gives it the...

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