That's what I called my own piece on William Safire, which runs today on "Fresh Air" and is online here. I cover some of the same ground that Ben does in his pitch-perfect Times magazine piece, mentioning his generosity to his critics and his willingness to acknowledge his mistakes. A very different tenor from his weekday columns — I think his Sunday readers got the best of him. I also pay tribute to his disinclination to engage in the rhetorical high jinks of other popular grammarians:
He was no snob. You can't imagine him comparing a poet who confused between and among with someone picking his nose at a party, the way John Simon once did. And he wasn't susceptible to the grammatical vapors that affect writers like Lynne Truss — the people who like to describe lapses of grammar as setting their teeth on edge, making their skin crawl, or leaving them gasping for breath, as if they'd spent all their lives up till now closeted with Elizabeth and Darcy in the morning room at Pemberley.
Above all, there was his ability to convey his pleasure in ruminating on language: "It wasn't just that he loved words — who doesn't? But he really, really liked them."
Other things on Safire worth looking at include Jan Freeman's piece in the Boston Globe (if I had read this before I wrote mine I probably wouldn't have bothered) and Todd Gitlin's in the New Republic, as well as a Newsweek reminiscence by Aaron Britt, who served as Safire's assistant for a while. (The New Republic also posted part of a 1987 review of one of Safire's language books by Louis Menand.) For a more unforgiving take, see David Bromwich's "Wars Made Out Of Words." Feel free to add links to other pieces in the comments.