Just as one tires of Sam Zell's schtick-the 66-year-old newspaper proprietor's folksy pep talks to Tribune newsrooms have become sadistic rituals-there comes a useful reminder of the alternative, the pompous grandees of journalism who used to run the newspapers. Six former editors of Zell's Los Angeles Times have spoken up, in the manner of retired generals opposing the war in Iraq, with generally unhelpful suggestions for the former real-estate magnate. Worst of the bunch is Dean Baquet, now Washington, DC bureau chief for the New York Times. Zell's threat to dismantle the Tribune newspapers' national and foreign coverage is not merely shocking, or stupid-according to Baquet, it's no less than "unpatriotic".