What just happened at the Sun-Times? Did Stalin finally die, or something?

The plucky tabloid put on quite a show of speaking truth to power Thursday, once power had left the building. The only thing missing from its bye-bye Mariotti package is a picture of the pistol Jay Mariotti must have held to the head of the publisher two months ago, the last time the paper sweetened his contract. 

Headline: “The self-proclaimed tough-guy columnist never faced his targets, and that’s the main reason he was considered a coward in clubhouses.” 

Headline: “Welcome Back, Pete! Sports fan Pete Gaines had enough of Jay Mariotti and quit the reading the paper. When he heard Mariotti was gone, he quickly came back. You can, too.”

Jocks despised him. Readers despised him. His colleagues despised him. But whenever he said “Pay me more or I quit” the paper whipped out its wallet. Go figure.

The way to say good riddance is with a shrug. The Sun-Times‘s celebration makes it look silly.