Unless you follow the ins and outs of politics along the Bayou, you probably missed this week's resignation of Jim Letten, the longest-serving US attorney in the country.
Why did he resign? "Beginning last spring", The New York Times informs us, "a series of legal motions had revealed that Mr Letten's senior prosecutors had been making provocative, even pugnacious comments about active criminal matters and other subjects under aliases at nola.com, the website of The Times-Picayune newspaper."
Mr Letten, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, was widely respected for his vigilance in rooting out public corruption. That he was brought down by his staff's inability to resist joining internet comment threads would hardly have surprised the journalists of a century ago, who fought for the right to sign their articles precisely to preserve the integrity of their words. They understood the dangers of anonymity. We have forgotten.
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