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Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
The New York Times ^ | May 11, 2003

Posted on 05/10/2003 10:29:40 AM PDT by sarcasm

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To: okie01
Uh, isn't Jayson Blair following in the grand tradition established by Walter Duranty?

Don't forget the NYT's Matthew Jeffries.

It's nothing new at the NYT . . . every day is propaganda.

151 posted on 05/10/2003 6:33:51 PM PDT by Ironword
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To: Miss Marple
My motto is: any so called conservative who uses an NY Slimes Article/Oped to bash the president, Powell, or Rummy or to stir up stuff, is not a real conservative. You have to wonder if they are moles with NY Slimes connections and part of the smear GW left wing team.

Same goes for articles from Reuters or AFP posted by the losers of the third party Axis of Whiners who would like to be the Evil Axis. However, all they can do so whine and try to mislead.
152 posted on 05/10/2003 7:02:10 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, where leftist liars are exposed 24/7!)
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To: sarcasm
The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.

Uuuuuhh, to have a low point you have to have subsequent improvement.

153 posted on 05/10/2003 7:24:09 PM PDT by freedomlover
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To: Bonaparte
Well, they no longer recall them to the Kremlin for show trials and banishment to the Gulag, so there must be some other reason

Allen Myerson and Agis Salpukas--the two New York Times writers to commit suicide last year-- covered Enron before the company collapsed

154 posted on 05/10/2003 7:25:59 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: sarcasm
Say it isn't so , what a bunch of Clymers.
155 posted on 05/10/2003 7:38:55 PM PDT by John Lenin (Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them)
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To: sarcasm
Mr. Blair must be confused and hurt. After all, he was just following company policy, immitating his peers.

One could wonder if the NY Times editor is using Blair as a scapegoat to distract us from the NYT's own recent record of daily deceitful, anti-war coverage. Regularly using Baghdad Bob as a source was unwise. Raines got caught on the wrong side of the war. His anti-American, anti-Bush campaign failed. He bashes Blair. Not a very manly Clymer, is he?

156 posted on 05/10/2003 7:38:57 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The world is too small to provide adequate 'living room' for both Hitler and G-d." - FDR)
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To: sarcasm
For each one that is caught, how many are getting away with it? 100?

This guy is probably p.o.'d....He's thinking I got canned while Doris Kearns Goodwin is bigger than ever.

Liberals admire skilful lying. Look at how they love Clinton. They just don't like those who bungle it and get busted.

157 posted on 05/10/2003 7:44:51 PM PDT by gg188
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To: Pukka Puck
"The widespread fabrication and plagiarism..."

At best, it's incompetent management not to know what was going on and the editors should be fired. At worst, it was known and deliberate.

158 posted on 05/10/2003 7:44:51 PM PDT by rvoitier (There's too many ALs in this world: Al Qaeda Al Jezeera Al Gore Al Sharpton Al Franken)
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To: Drango
The Times regrets that it did not detect the journalistic deceptions sooner. A separate internal inquiry, by the management, will examine the newsroom's processes for training, assignment and accountability.

I'll make sure to look for your next insulting, patronizing editorial defense of "affirmative action", too.
You scumbags.

159 posted on 05/10/2003 7:48:18 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: sarcasm
It's the evil GOP's fault. If they had not instituted a tax cut and had added funding for minority journalist education in the nation's schools, this never would have happened.

I look for that spin any second now.
160 posted on 05/10/2003 7:48:51 PM PDT by Beck_isright (FOR SALE: Hardly used French weaponry. Contact Baghdad Bob's Clearance Warehouse.)
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To: rvoitier
Washington City Paper seems to think Blair seduced the NYT editors: Off Target.
161 posted on 05/10/2003 7:51:10 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: gg188
Liberals admire skilful lying. Look at how they love Clinton. They just don't like those who bungle it and get busted.

Amen and a big BUMP to that.

The New York Times is more embarrassed that they got caught lying than they are for the lying itself.

162 posted on 05/10/2003 7:51:23 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: okie01
Uh, isn't Jayson Blair following in the grand tradition established by Walter Duranty?

For those who were born too late to get this well-placed reference, Walter Duranty was a since-discredited comsymp apologist for Stalin who won a Pulitzer in 1932 for bogus coverage and whitewash of Communist-caused starvation in Ukraine. More at http://www.nationalreview.com/stuttaford/stuttaford.asp about how the NYT hadn't yet disowned him and at last reading was still taking credit for that Pulitzer.

It would make an interesting Freeper screen name...

163 posted on 05/10/2003 7:55:55 PM PDT by pttttt
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To: kristinn
The scumbag liberal newsrooms are imploding all across the country. They look around and cannot believe that the massive mindless rabble is no longer so easily programmable. They can't handle their growing irrelevancy.
164 posted on 05/10/2003 7:56:13 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Drango
The Times regrets that it did not detect the journalistic deceptions sooner. A separate internal inquiry, by the management, will examine the newsroom's processes for training, assignment and accountability.

They should talk to Reader's Digest. Their fact-checking is the best in the business. They busted Mike Barnacle and others. The worst thing that can happen to a faker is for Reader's Digest to get interested in their story.

165 posted on 05/10/2003 8:06:48 PM PDT by pttttt
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To: Howlin
You mean to tell me the NYT reporters make up stories?

I'm shocked, I tell you just shocked. And appalled.

166 posted on 05/10/2003 8:20:49 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: rvoitier
I agree. Management has to go either way.
167 posted on 05/10/2003 8:30:16 PM PDT by Pukka Puck
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To: sarcasm
Mike Barnicle must be loving this.
168 posted on 05/10/2003 8:34:47 PM PDT by Crawdad
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To: rabidralph
***I wonder if they'll be eligible for a Pulitzer for investigative journalism?***

Funny you should ask. In 1981 a Washington Post reporter received the Pulitzer prize for a series of articles about an 8-year-old drug addict. It was later discovered that she fabricated the information. Gives one the impression that these liberal papers don't much care to check on the truth of their reporters, doesn't it?
169 posted on 05/10/2003 8:44:28 PM PDT by kitkat
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To: Pukka Puck
What this guy did was penny-ante compared to the lies peddaled by the NY Times reporter Walter Durranty during the 1930's while he was stationed in Moscow. Bought off by Stalin, he helped to cover up the Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932/33 in which millions of private farmers were starved to death or deported to death camps because they resisted Stalin's attempts at Collectivized Agriculture.
170 posted on 05/10/2003 8:52:07 PM PDT by plusone
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To: kitkat
Janet Cooke had a long, hard fall from grace; a few years ago, she was working as a $6/hour sales clerk at a discount store somewhere in Michigan.
171 posted on 05/10/2003 8:53:52 PM PDT by Loyalist (Can you hear me now, Adrienne?)
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To: Loyalist
"Janet Cooke had a long, hard fall from grace; a few years ago, she was working as a $6/hour sales clerk at a discount store somewhere in Michigan."

Something similar will, and should, happen to Jayson Blair. He'll never work in journalism again. Under his own name, anyway...

But isn't this just one more sad story from the "affirmative action" files? Blair seems to have gotten the gig with the Times under the auspices of affirmative action. Their hiring policies are multi-culturally friendly, to the extreme, and it is rather doubtful that a white kid with Blair's pedigree would've warranted the internship, the eventual hire or subsequent rapid promotion. Not to mention freedom from the consequences of his multiple errors...

So, Blair gets away with it for four years. When strong discipline might've controlled the situation early, it wasn't forthcoming. The situation, uncorrected, snowballed until the Times experiences a professional crisis...and the kid's career is destroyed.

These are the same results that Ivy League colleges get when they recruit under-qualified minorities under the umbrella of affirmative action. The institution feels better about itself. But the kid suffers failure -- and may never recover.

Liberals are soooooooooo good at patting themselves on the back. And destroying the lives of others...

172 posted on 05/10/2003 10:09:03 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: okie01
Say, who started putting out that DC sniper profile of an angry white gun nut in a white SUV, anyways?
173 posted on 05/10/2003 10:44:21 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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Comment #174 Removed by Moderator

To: Pukka Puck
I was shocked that NY X made such a fuss about this. The article I read on their site (may be same as the one on this thread) was really long, 8 or more pages. Blair is a big fat liar. But I didn't know the truth was ever important to NY X.
175 posted on 05/11/2003 1:37:50 AM PDT by buffyt (Can you say President Hillary, Mistress of Darkness? Me Neither!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: sarcasm
Blair, who is black, came to the Times as part of an internship program designed to help the paper attract more minority reporters...affirmative action is a liar.
176 posted on 05/11/2003 3:04:20 AM PDT by RWG
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To: DanzigGirl
Wondered about the age of the liar. Local media in hay seed country are young and green for the most part, apparently in new york they are young and black.
177 posted on 05/11/2003 3:07:18 AM PDT by RWG
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To: sarcasm
There was no inkling, Mr. Raines said, that the newspaper was dealing with ``a pathological pattern of misrepresentation, fabricating and deceiving.´´

Mr. Raines needs to get out more.

In flyover country everybody knows that is what the Old Gray Whore is about every day!
178 posted on 05/11/2003 4:16:01 AM PDT by cgbg
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To: cgbg
``a pathological pattern of misrepresentation, fabricating and deceiving.´´

This deserves to be on their masthead. Replace "All the news that's fit to print" with "A pathological pattern of misrepresentation, fabricating and deceiving" and the Times will have broken new ground for "Truth in Advertising" standards. No wonder these guys supported Clinton - they are both so disinterested in the truth.

179 posted on 05/11/2003 6:27:18 AM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: Tall_Texan
http://www.msnbc.com/news/912116.asp

Newsweek update...


...Sunday’s story honestly detailed the startling breakdown in communication among Times editors about Blair’s extensive—and well-chronicled—history of problems with accuracy and sloppiness. The paper was unflinching in its description of how the Times failed to track Blair’s expense reports and missed glaring warning signs along the way—like the time a national editor saw Blair in the newsroom hours after he had supposedly filed a story from West Virginia. Times metro editor Jonathan Landman was quoted as being particularly vocal about Blair; in April 2002 Landman, the Times story reports, sent a two-sentence e-mail message to newsroom administrators: “We have to stop Jayson from writing for the Times. Right now.”
        But there’s plenty that the Times report, which ran under the rubric correcting the record, didn’t fully explore, namely how a troubled young reporter whose short career was rife with problems was able to advance so quickly. Internally, reporters had wondered for years whether Blair was given so many chances—and whether he was hired in the first place—because he was a promising, if unpolished, black reporter on a staff that continues to be, like most newsrooms in the country, mostly white. The Times also didn’t address an uncomfortable but unavoidable topic that has been broached with some of the paper’s top editors during the past week: by favoring Blair, did the Times end up reinforcing some of the worst suspicions about the pitfalls of affirmative action? And will there be fewer opportunities for young minority reporters in the future?
We have, generally, a horribly undiverse staff,” says one Times staffer. “And so we hold up and promote the few black staffers we have.” That’s a point other news outlets have made since Blair resigned. Executive editor Howell Raines, who declined repeated requests for an inter-view with NEWSWEEK, told NPR, when pressed about whether Blair was pushed along because of his race, “No, I do not see it as illustrating that point. I see it as illustrating a tragedy for Jayson Blair.” (Blair, whose voice mail at the Times was still active as of Saturday evening, did not respond to a message left there or on his cell phone; several sources at the Times say he is currently in a hospital setting dealing with personal problems.)
        Blair’s close mentoring relationship with Times managing editor Gerald Boyd, who is also black, was not explored in depth in the paper. Blair wrote Boyd’s biographical sketch in the Times’s internal newsletter when Boyd was named managing editor. Blair was known to brag about his close personal relationships with both Boyd and Raines, and the young writer frequently took cigarette breaks with Boyd.
        Questions about Raines’s management style—his penchant for giving preferential treatment to favored stars, his celebrated fondness for “flooding the zone” on big stories, severely stretching resources—weren’t addressed at all. Indeed, more than one Times staffer pointed out that the paper’s national staff would not have been in need of the services of an untested young reporter with a spotty track record had a number of veterans not been pushed out by Raines last year.
        Of course, plagiarism, and even outright fraud, can occur at any news organization, and certainly the lion’s share of the blame for this scandal should fall on Blair. As commentators have noted, the normal journalistic checks and balances are put in place with the assumption that everyone—reporters, editors and readers—shares an interest in getting to the truth. “The per-son who did this is Jayson Blair,” Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said in Sunday’s story. “Let’s not begin to demonize our executives.” As the Times seeks to come to grips with how this could have happened, there is bound to be a lot more soul-searching in the months ahead.
       

180 posted on 05/11/2003 8:02:22 AM PDT by Drango (There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those that understand binaries, and those that don't.)
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To: Drango
There's another type of "flooding the zone"...it's providing so much detail that the real questions get buried underneath the flood of information. NYT, when all the dust clears, is clearly culpable in this deception.

1. They chose to "fast track" a reporter because of his skin color in the interest of "diversity".

2. They chose to ignore obvious warning signs that their reporter was being dishonest.

3. They chose to assign him to high-profile stories like the DC sniper and Jessica Lynch because they placed more emphasis on the "scoop" or the "exclusive" than the facts.

But, of course, this will not prevent anyone at the Times, and certainly not their editors and publishers, from sticking their blues noses in the air the next time an important breaking story appears on Fox News or in the Washington Times and questioning the credibility of "those people".
181 posted on 05/11/2003 8:38:46 AM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: sarcasm
"There has never been a systematic effort to lie and cheat as a reporter at The New York Times comparable to what Jayson Blair seems to have done."

This guy never heard of Walter Duranty?

182 posted on 05/11/2003 9:40:54 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: DanzigGirl
Yeah, right. This had affirmative action quotas writing on it from day one.
183 posted on 05/11/2003 10:01:02 AM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: DanzigGirl
Blair is black and a college dropout. I read that he used to be a drinking buddy with managing editor Boyd, who is also black.

The brothers are looking after their own.
184 posted on 05/11/2003 10:58:25 AM PDT by Pukka Puck
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To: sarcasm
Cause: PC driven media hiring practices.

Prognosis: Much more of the same.

185 posted on 05/11/2003 11:07:23 AM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH
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To: Pukka Puck
Blair is black and a college dropout. I read that he used to be a drinking buddy with managing editor Boyd, who is also black.

The brothers are looking after their own


You have a point. According to the MSNBC article :

Indeed, more than one Times staffer pointed out that the paper’s national staff would not have been in need of the services of an untested young reporter with a spotty track record had a number of veterans not been pushed out by Raines last year.
It seems that several season reporters were dismissed last year because they did not add much to the diversity goal
186 posted on 05/11/2003 11:24:17 AM PDT by george wythe
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Blair isn't the only reporter at the NY Times fabricating stories. Most of them do it. Blair only got caught because he didn't learn the art of subtlety in fabricating his stories. Methinks this might have been due to a need to fill a drug habit so he let his guard down.
187 posted on 05/11/2003 2:21:42 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: PJ-Comix
Well now we know the New Yorks Times motto.

It isn't "All the News That's fit to Print."

It's "All the News That's Fit to Print ... or Invent."
188 posted on 05/11/2003 2:40:58 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: Miss Marple
I would certainly like a list of the stories this guy fabricated.

Right here

189 posted on 05/11/2003 2:42:51 PM PDT by The Raven (Ever notice the tax advocates make lots more money than you?)
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To: meatloaf
"All The Fits That News To Print."
190 posted on 05/11/2003 2:50:46 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: Miss Marple
Better yet...I posted it here
191 posted on 05/11/2003 2:54:49 PM PDT by The Raven (Ever notice the tax advocates make lots more money than you?)
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To: Drango
Here is Times Magazines take on the story...http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030519-450990,00.html

Given the chance, Macarena Hernandez might have done great things at the New York Times. With a gift for detail and musical prose, she was offered a job after working as a summer intern in 1998 and planned to take it — right up until the day that August when her father, a construction worker, was killed by an 18-wheeler. Her mother needed her, and so Hernandez went home to Texas. With no journalism jobs in sight, she began teaching English to mostly poor Mexican-American kids at her old high school. She urged them to follow their dreams.

One of her fellow interns that summer, Jayson Blair, was also talented and ambitious, and quite a bit luckier. Despite some reprimands for sloppy reporting — like missing the fact that a murder victim was not shot but strangled — he rose fast at the Times, made friends, wooed mentors and eventually got sent to Washington to join the team covering the hunt for the Beltway sniper. There he brought glory to the paper with front-page scoops that left rivals shaking their heads in wonder — and disbelief.

This spring, when he began writing about the families of soldiers who died fighting in Iraq, Blair and Hernandez crossed paths again. Now 28, she had found a job at the San Antonio Express-News; on April 18 the paper published her story about Juanita Anguiano, the mother of a missing soldier from Los Fresnos, Texas. Blair's article about Anguiano landed on the front page of the Times eight days later. Both were moving, vivid portraits of a mother's love and loss. But only one was original. "He stole her story," says Express-News editor Robert Rivard, who wrote to Howell Raines, executive editor of the New York Times, asking him to look into the matter.

Which is how it came to pass that Raines returned early from his honeymoon, Blair resigned, and the country's most prestigious newspaper found itself answering ever sharper questions about just who Jayson Blair was, how much of the material in his 700 or so Times stories over the past five years was made up and what the paper of record was going to do to correct that record. As soon as national editor Jim Roberts began calling sources in some of Blair's pieces, says Raines, "in every case ... there was an apparent falsification."

In the belief that "the proper response to bad journalism is to do good journalism," Raines assigned three editors and five reporters to re-report Blair's suspicious stories and comb through his computer files and expense accounts. The result was a 7,200-word story on last Sunday morning's front page that autopsied what it called a "low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper." According to the Times's investigation, Blair "fabricated comments. He concocted scenes. He stole material from other newspapers and wire services." He described the houses of grieving parents he never visited, the nightmares of wounded soldiers who deny discussing them, the tears of people who seldom cry. "It's a huge black eye," said publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose family has controlled the paper since 1896.

The revelations gave the Times a hard shove into the company of the nation's other great but occasionally humbled papers: the Boston Globe, whose columnists Mike Barnicle and Patricia Smith resigned in 1998 after charges of serial plagiarism; the Wall Street Journal, whose financial columnist R. Foster Winans was convicted on 59 counts of conspiracy and fraud in 1985 for using his articles to make money in the stock market; and the Washington Post, which had to return the 1981 Pulitzer Prize won by reporter Janet Cooke for the haunting story of Jimmy, the 8-year-old heroin addict who turned out to be nothing more than a ghost from her typewriter.

Like every other news organization, the Times has had its share of embarrassments, but it also has a custom of obsessively addressing them in a corrections section on page 2 that is so meticulous about the smallest mistakes that it suggests the paper would never make any big ones. Any reporter with a 5% or 6% correction rate, says Raines, comes under scrutiny; the Times found 36 errors in the 73 articles Blair wrote between October and the end of April. Some of the editors who suspected his methods were reluctant to condemn him. Others neglected to share their concerns, or their warnings just got lost.

Despite accuracy issues from his earliest days, Blair was promoted in 2001 to full staff reporter, only to have his correction rate leap over the eight months following 9/11. (He claimed that a cousin died in the attacks; tracked down last week by the Times, the family denied that Blair was related.) According to metro editor Jonathan Landman's year-end summation, Blair made three times as many mistakes as the next-highest offender. "It alarmed everyone," says Raines, "and it should have."

The following April, the Times article reveals, Landman e-mailed other editors, saying "We have to stop Jayson from writing for the Times. Right now." Officially warned that he could be fired, Blair took a brief leave of absence; when he returned, he was watched more closely, and his correction rate improved dramatically enough to win him deployment on the sniper case. "Jayson had problems that were monitored aggressively," Raines says, "and in our view we tried to manage what problems we had. You don't stigmatize someone and tell them they can't do journalism or get a chance to show they can do stories of consequence."

From the May. 19, 2003 issue of TIME

Blair knew Washington from his days at the University of Maryland and a stint working there for the Boston Globe, so he joined the seven other Times reporters on the story. "Lots of people were told to break news, but he wasn't one of them," says one Times source. "He was supposed to baby-sit the police headquarters and go to the press conferences, not break news." But that changed after Blair caught fire: newsrooms in New York City and Washington fizzed each time he tossed a new scoop on the table — the grape stem found at a murder scene with suspect Lee Boyd Malvo's DNA on it, his supposed videotaped confession. Some of Blair's colleagues argue that the competitive passion that has driven some of the paper's recent triumphs, particularly its coverage of 9/11, may also have left the impression on an impressionable reporter that getting beat is worse than getting it wrong. "The story gets handed to anybody who gets hot," says one. "There's no talk about 'Make sure it's fair, make sure it's right.'" But the idea that competitive pressures somehow created Blair's deceptions is a charge Raines flatly rejects: "To suggest that this pathology seems to be a response to the stress of journalism is unfair to the 375 reporters and editors who work under the exact same circumstances and don't lie."

Whether or not this is a scandal born of ambition, it is also being cast as a story about race. Publications like the Times work hard to find and keep the best black reporters. That sometimes involves hiring minority reporters whose experience was "significantly below what we'd normally require because we wanted a lot of minority reporters," says one Times senior manager, who notes that a special training program helps bring young reporters up to speed. As Blair's record came to light, some colleagues concluded that he got second chances that others might not have. But others deny that race ensured Blair's rise or delayed his fall. He is variously described as charming and cunning, ambitious and lazy. "He was a picture of affability; he had a big hello for everyone. He was a hell of a fun, nice guy," says one colleague. "Most people rooted for him, most people were thrilled by his success, and now people are heartbroken."

Journalism may worship truth, but it is built on trust, and honest editors will admit, as Raines has, that a determined and creative liar is hard to catch. The Times will remember this catastrophe for a long time but will, in all likelihood, not suffer much for it. Blair's suffering, however, may have just begun. Upon resigning, he told the Associated Press, "I have been struggling with recurring personal issues, which have caused me great pain. I am now seeking appropriate counseling."

192 posted on 05/11/2003 3:10:13 PM PDT by Drango (There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those that understand binaries, and those that don't.)
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To: Pukka Puck
Affirmative action reason that this joker rose to the top so quickly despite the total lack of competence and absence of journalistic integrity. Juan Williams got totally defensive about this on FOX News today, claiming that "well connected" white kids do it as well, although he could not name anyone. Its clear that Jayson Blair got away with this because of the atmosphere of political correctness at the NY Times.
193 posted on 05/11/2003 3:19:36 PM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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