The Press: The Devil in Duval County

In Hawthorne's allegorical short story, Young Goodman Brown, the ingenuous Puritan wanders into the forest one dark night and catches all his friends, neighbors and saintly village elders in mortal sin—in this case devil worship. It might have been just a dream, but it made a lifelong cynic of young Brown. Much the same thing happened not long ago to a young reporter named Charley Thompson, who wandered into Jacksonville. Fla. The sin was not devil worship but pollution, a suitable modern equivalent. And it was no dream.

WJXT-TV in Jacksonville had a reputation for crusading. Last year when the station hired...

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