A reader writes:

I cringed when I read what you wrote about Bob Herbert. You came across as mean and snotty. Why say anything ... ?

Another writes:

Long time reader and fan - but must disagree with your snarky dismissal of Bob Herbert. You wrote: "But such a boring, familiar voice. There was something about his writing that simply forced you to stop reading, even when his motives were obviously honorable, his compassion deep, and his solutions sincere, if invariably trite."

Fortunately for the people of Tulia, Texas, SOMEONE continued to read him, and paid attention to what he was saying:

In July 2000, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert launched a series of columns about the Tulia cases, the first of which was headlined “Kafka in Tulia.” Herbert’s columns, in Blakeslee’s view, shamed the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals normally hostile to habeas claims into sending four cases back to the trial court for evidentiary hearings.

I don't know your personal history - but for myself, I have done nothing that has had such a direct effect on undoing such an injustice, and helping strangers return to lives cruelly taken from them. Herbert could write nothing but pablum - and he would have my respect forever for his efforts on Tulia. I had never heard of this situation before his columns, and I will never forget them now.