I can see him with a phone to each ear. He’s typing with his toes. He’s whirling like a dervish between keyboards, creating three stories and a column simultaneously — less TR now, more like … John Henry, steel drivin’ man. Fighting with a frenzy to hold “progress” at bay and save the soul of his trade. But wielding a steno pad, not the spike hammer of legend. I’m afraid he’s overexerting himself. Don’t die with that notebook in your hand, old friend!

By the way, in order to keep his job and go on making a difference, Joel agreed to pay more for medical insurance and forego a sizeable severance package. P-I readers are lucky to have him. But let’s pray that Hearst finds the key to making serious money online. It can’t provide journalism that is consistently inspired, thorough, or comprehensive with a skeleton staff—even with Teddy Roosevelt and John Henry in the bullpen.

Christopher Hanson is a contributing editor of CJR.