Dean Baquet's defense of news values against the bean counters — and his November ouster from the LAT — has won him the New York Observer's fourth annual Media Mensch of the Year award. They call him the Spartacus of editors and offer Baquet $100 cash to go with the honor: "If you pick it up, you would be the first." The latest newsroom buzz on Baquet's future is that he's discussing two possible posts at the New York Times, his former paper: editor in charge of investigations and projects or Washington bureau chief.
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Illustration: Philip Burke in the New York Observer