The wisdom of the pack—of journalists, that is—has decreed that this story is off limits for whatever reason. Lardner moves way beyond the “he said/she said” paradigm and shows what a little basic and original reporting can do to make a piece zing. Perhaps he will be the leader of a new pack that actually pays attention to this issue.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.