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(Tavis Smiley) Calls (Jayson) Blair an embarrassment (refuses to interview him)
New York Daily News ^
| Paul Colford
Posted on 03/07/2004 6:02:41 AM PST by mhking
Tavis Smiley, the black radio and TV interviewer, said he'd never have Jayson Blair on his shows because the writer is "an embarrassment to any African-American journalist in this country."
Smiley corrected Blair's book publicist, who had said the broadcaster was among those set to speak with Blair on TV after his memoir, "Burning Down My Masters' House," comes out tomorrow.
"I wouldn't give even 60 seconds for Blair to attempt to justify how he did what he did," added Smiley, who broadcasts on PBS and National Public Radio.
Blair was forced to resign from The New York Times when the paper found out last spring that he'd plagiarized a story from a Texas paper.
The Times' subsequent investigation revealed that he'd "committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud."
In Blair's memoir, he admits to his deceptions and recounts a grim history of alcohol, drug abuse and mental illness.
"I think it's a travesty that Katie [Couric], whom I respect immensely, is giving Blair prime time, on 'Dateline,'" Smiley added.
"What this guy has done is wretched."
Smiley said he wasn't trying to censor Blair.
"There's much too much in black America to celebrate," he said. "Jayson Blair just doesn't fit in that mix."
Blair didn't respond to an E-mail seeking comment.
"Dateline NBC," whose report airs tonight, says "Couric challenges Blair about his attempt to come clean in his new book" and says the broadcast will also explore "how journalism can recover from a scandal of this nature."
Suzanne Wickham-Beaird, Blair's book publicist, said there was "miscommunication" over whether Smiley's TV show would book the author.
In the first review of Blair's "Burning," Publishers Weekly says he "levels serious charges" against The Times.
Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis recalled in a recent statement that the Blair affair prompted "a comprehensive examination of our journalistic and newsroom practices."
She added: "As a result, we have changed many news policies and strengthened our hiring, training and development practices."
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jaysonblair; tavissmiley
posted on 03/07/2004 6:02:41 AM PST
Comment #2 Removed by Moderator
To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
While I don't agree with Tavis' politics, I have to say that he is at least polite. (I got interviewed by him about a year and a half ago).
posted on 03/07/2004 6:05:07 AM PST
Why are you whining Tavis he's on your side; is it because Blair got caught?
posted on 03/07/2004 6:09:28 AM PST
(Ann Coulter: Liberals simply can't grasp the problem Lexis-Nexis poses to their incessant lying.)
I don't understand why anyone would interview him, but not because he's reprehensible. Plenty of perfect bastards would make good interview subjects. It's because nobody can believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.
posted on 03/07/2004 6:21:56 AM PST
I don't understand why anyone would interview him...
It's not often that you meet someone that has the level of fascination with himself that Jason Blair does.
posted on 03/07/2004 6:58:29 AM PST
(Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
Just last year Smiley was calling Clarence Thomas and Colin Powell embarrassments. He's one opinionated racist.
Yep, no matter how you slice it...it is ALL about race with Smiley. Everything is viewed through that prism. Since Powell and Thomas have been freed from the prison of race and see life clearly, of course Smiley would be bitter at them. He is a pathetic ass. A perfect fit for PBS.
posted on 03/07/2004 7:20:21 AM PST
While I don't agree with Tavis' politics, I have to say that he is at least polite.
He's still a race pimp, (but a polite one) and I resent being forced to pay for his show.
posted on 03/07/2004 7:24:35 AM PST
(Liberals give me a rash that even penicillin can't cure.)
Why couldn't Tavis have just said...Jason is an embarassment to journalist in this country? He had to throw in that "African american" thing again didn't he?
posted on 03/07/2004 7:37:19 AM PST
Speaking of Tavis Smiley, about a week ago I watch on C-Span the conference he aranged on the subject of the black family. It was utterly depressing. Rather than directly addressing the real crisis in the breakdown of the black family structure (and the white crisis is not far behind), the crew that Smiley assembled spent their time whining. The only notable exception was Marva Collins, an indominable teacher from Chicago, who kept bringing up the subject of individual responsibility.
I think Tavis is borderline racist. I try to listen to his NPR show (when I can stand it) and he always takes the democratic side and he always mentions race.
posted on 03/07/2004 7:51:03 AM PST
( We want a Bush landslide in November!!!)
Tavis Smiley isn't racist as just plain ignorant and a liar, listen to his commentary on the Tom Joyner show and his defense of Aristide was comical and depressing.
posted on 03/07/2004 8:05:14 AM PST
Comment #13 Removed by Moderator
Tavis doesn't deserve his Diamond. He's an embarassment to me.
Show 'em my motto!
posted on 03/07/2004 8:18:14 AM PST
(The Servant of Jehovah is the Christ of Calvary and of the empty tomb.)
Couric and Blair are birds of a feather.
posted on 03/07/2004 8:20:23 AM PST
(USA enemies for KERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
To: Physicist; mhking
<< I don't understand why anyone would interview him, but not because he's reprehensible. Plenty of perfect bastards would make good interview subjects. It's because nobody can believe a single word that comes out of his mouth. >>
They tell me the 'book' was actually written by Barbara Feinman and Neil Kinnock and is about a english bank robber who lives on Take outs in a Delaware Village and the robbed bank's bank's corporate jet, acts out above his pay grade -- and once ran for president.
posted on 03/07/2004 10:28:06 AM PST
by Brian Allen
("He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine)
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