Herbert resigns as New York Times columnist

Romenesko Memos
Bob Herbert writes in his resignation letter: “I have been writing a column for 25 years, nearly 18 at The New York Times. The deadlines and demands were a useful discipline but for some time now I have grown eager to move beyond the constriction of the column format, with its rigid 800-word limit, in favor of broader and more versatile efforts.” He says he’s writing a book about “some of the great challenges facing the United States.” Two memos after the jump.

Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal’s memo:

To the Times Staff:

It is with great regret that we have accepted Bob Herbert’s resignation from The Times.

His columns over the years have been extraordinary, from his crucial series on the false arrests and imprisonment of dozens of innocent people in Tulia, Texas, to his profiles of soldiers wounded in combat, to his recent work on the individuals and families devastated by the Great Recession and its aftermath.

He was often called “the conscience of The Times” and will take his place in the long, proud history of Times op-ed columnists.

We will miss him and wish him the best in his new endeavors.

Andy Rosenthal

Herbert’s note

I have been writing a column for 25 years, nearly 18 at The New York Times. The deadlines and demands were a useful discipline but for some time now I have grown eager to move beyond the constriction of the column format, with its rigid 800-word limit, in favor of broader and more versatile efforts. So I am leaving The New York Times and the rewards and rigors of daily journalism with the intent of writing more expansively and more aggressively about the injustices visited on working people, the poor and the many others in our society who find themselves on the wrong side of power.

I am writing a book called “Wounded Colossus” about some of the great challenges facing the United States and will be part of a new, soon-to-be-announced effort to help bolster progressive journalism in the cause of a more generous and just America.

My years at The Times have been wonderful and I will miss working for the greatest newspaper in the world. But sometimes a mission presents itself, and I could not look in the mirror if I did not respond.

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  • Anonymous

    Opinion writers are supposed to have a point of view @smarterthanlibs. That’s the “point”. Read all points of view and you might get a full picture of what the US is thinking….maybe. The right wing journalists almost always have a right wing point of view in all their regular reporting which taints it.. I expect them to have a bias in their opinion reporting and I want that. I can figure out the difference between the two types of reporting. Apparently you can’t. That makes this lib smarter than you!

  • Anonymous

    Does this mean that George Soros bought him so he could work on the new assault on Fox News.

  • Anonymous

    Why do you put value to something people have no control over like their race or gender? Are you a racist, a sexist? Color diversity is meaningless because opinions aren’t dependent on skin color, they are dependent on point of view. One thousand people all of the same opinion is NOT diversity even if each one had his own unique skin color.

  • Anonymous

    So you flag a guy’s post and include his flagged post in your’s… BRILLIANT! /sarc

    Sarcasm is permitted by the censors isn’t it?

  • Anonymous

    “I am writing a book called “Wounded Colossus” about some of the great challenges facing the United States and will be part of a new, soon-to-be-announced effort to help bolster progressive journalism in the cause of a more generous and just America.”

    “Progressive journalism”? Journalists are supposed to report objective facts not push an agenda. Good riddance. The NYT should replace him with a real journalist, they might sell a paper or two.

  • Anonymous

    “I am writing a book called “Wounded Colossus” about some of the great challenges facing the United States and will be part of a new, soon-to-be-announced effort to help bolster progressive journalism in the cause of a more generous and just America.”

    “Progressive journalism”? Journalists are supposed to report objective facts not push an agenda. Good riddance. The NYT should replace him with a real journalist, they might sell a paper or two.

  • Anonymous

    Why would you care about this? Do you have to hear from a rainbow coalition to understand anything?

  • http://profiles.google.com/danbloom Dan Bloom

    @daveinboca, re “This guy was a double-digit IQ affirmative-action filler in the Op-Ed universe at the NYT.” your comment has been flagged and should be removed. Whatever happened to civility online. Your comment was out of line and very unAmerican, sir. Shame on you. Racism has no place here.

  • daveinboca

    This guy was a double-digit IQ affirmative-action filler in the Op-Ed universe at the NYT. His departure along that of Rich’s cannot help raise the level of discourse on the Op-Ed.

  • Anonymous

    Some of the best writing in all newspaperdom… first Frank Rich, now Bob Herbert. Grey days for a Grey Lady.

  • http://twitter.com/vince33x vincent

    Good riddance to the Liberal scumbag.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kehutchinson Kate Hutchinson

    Great… there goes the color diversity of the Times’ opinion pages. It took forever to get a second woman, I can’t imagine how long it will take them to hire another African-American. Or go for a Latin or Asian American.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1409402268 Trudy Ring

    Herbert is a great writer who says things that need to be said. I hope books will expand his platform for doing so.