Why don't other New York Times columnists (and other media, for that matter, including us) follow Frank Rich's lead and link to outside sources? Rich links as though he's writing for Wikipedia. This makes his columns great resources, whether you agree with them or not.
But sometimes links are just bad detours, linking for the sake of linking. I was just reading an editorial in the Times. It says:
The confession became the butt of editorial cartoons, like one that showed the prisoner confessing to betting on the Cincinnati Reds, and fodder for the late-night comedians.
If you click to the Cincinnati Reds, you get news on the baseball team, not the cartoon. It's a waste of time for most readers. (I just looked for the cartoon. Couldn't find it. How do you search for something like that?)