Best piece I've seen yet on the Rick Bragg affair (the most insight with the least anti-NYT distortion) is Seth Mnookin's report on the uproar about Bragg among other New York Times national correspondents. They mostly loathed him and his methods, and also resented his perks. They won't miss him. The story notes, without fired-up gotcha tone, that of course stringers (and researchers and uncredited reporters) sometimes contribute to bylined stories. Often they aren't named -- just like the line editor, the copy editor, the headline writer and the news editor aren't. Bragg seems to have delegated more than most if not all at the NYT (and the LAT), but no one has alleged yet that even he didn't do the bulk of his own reporting on most stories. [Update: Howard Kurtz' story in the Washington Post is worth a read too -- that is, if you care about this Rick Bragg saga at all...]
L.A. writer Cathy Seipp, by the way, alludes on her blog to another of Bragg's anti-popularity stumbles, from his brief stay at the L.A. Times. He compared his writing style to Faulkner's, to a table full of Metro reporters primed to hate his pomposity. It worked.