I.e., back in the good old days, when it was a "writer's paper." And writers were given...latitude to ply their craft.
Can someone remind me why this guy is presented as an expert on the Globe's alleged decline under New York Times Co. ownership? After all, it's hard to imagine a more biased source.
BTW, if you think Barnicle's description of the Times Co. as "journalistic car strippers" sounds familiar, you're right: he used that phrase in May 2008. At the time, he also accused the Times Co. of turning the Globe into "the Herald with more people"--a charge that didn't make it into Eagan's column.