Jason Schwartz has a good profile of Boston Newspaper Guild president Dan Totten, posted at Boston Magazine’s Web site. Totten and his members are the last remaining obstacle to the New York Times Co.’s plan to extract $20 million in union concessions at the Boston Globe. Key excerpt:

Should his members vote to send him back into the ring with management, he could very well emerge as the hard-spined hero who had the gall to stare down the Gray Lady. Of course, if he fails, he’ll be branded the foolhardy union hack who hastened the end of the Boston Globe as we know it.

Schwartz’s story is loaded with nice details, nearly all of them from anonymous sources. Funny, but just the other day I was having an e-mail debate with a reader objecting to what Slate’s Jack Shafer likes to call “anonymice.”

The Totten profile is evidence that though anonymity may be less than ideal, it’s absolutely necessary when reporting on Boston’s paranoid media scene. I know whereof I write.

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