Ombudsmen are the flavor of the month in American journalism. On any given Sunday, they now can be found in newspapers across the country scolding, explaining, pointing fingers and soothing ruffled sensibilities. Some do a better job than others; all are in the service of a deeply mistaken notion that editors can outsource responsibility.
Not all change is reform, and in this case the Times has merely surrendered to fashion.
Okrent's lengthy disclosure of his background and biases also pushed Rutten's buttons.
Confession of this sort may be good for the soul, as in the confessional, or for the psyche, as on the therapist's couch. There is no evidence that it's good for journalism other than the Fox News variety, which holds that it isn't the existence of bias itself that's objectionable, but the expression of bias other than one's own.