Longtime Slate Today's Papers columnist Scott Shuger died Saturday in a scuba diving accident at age 50. Shuger, like A.J. Liebling, was a journalist who became better known for reading newspapers than for writing in them. In his morning review of the country's five major dailies, Shuger viewed the press with a skeptical intelligence that was objective and contrarian.
He was also great at finding gems that might otherwise be overlooked, like this item from his last Today's Papers column on Oct. 10, 2001:
"The WSJ passes along a dust-up in Great Britain: An hour after the Sept. 11 attacks, a top aide to Britain's transportation secretary sent out an e-mail to colleagues advising, 'It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.'"