The fact that most Americans won't know who Jack Nelson, Michael Drosnin, or Nicholas Pileggi are, doesn't do much to support the ""folk hero"" designation. As Dygert sets it up (and eventually Concedes), the difference between a good old-fashioned reporter and the newly fashionable ""investigative journalist"" is tenuous. Leonard Downie (The New Muckrakers, p. 360) made a stab at pinning down the differences by doing in-depth profiles of a handful of stellar journalists. Dygert throws any name he can think of into the hopper, treating everyone with the same breezy superficiality. Although he repeatedly cites newspapermen like Seymour Hersh who resent the glamor-boy image and stress the painstaking, tedious research of Putting together a story, one can't help but think that the next TV celebrity corruption--fighter will be a journalist. Among the glibly-told stories: Jessica Mitford's exposure of the Famous Writers School; Jerry Landauer's seven-year probe of Spire Agnew's zoning shenanigans; how a Newsday team followed the opium export trade from Turkey to the US; Jack Newfield on New York's ""Ten Worst Judges."" It zips right along, though.