Skip to comments.Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
Posted on 05/10/2003 10:29:40 AM PDT by sarcasm
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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.
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...
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.
I'm shocked, I tell you just shocked. And appalled.
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...
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.
|...Sundays story honestly detailed the startling breakdown in communication among Times editors about Blairs extensiveand well-chronicledhistory of problems with accuracy and sloppiness. The paper was unflinching in its description of how the Times failed to track Blairs expense reports and missed glaring warning signs along the waylike 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 theres plenty that the Times report, which ran under the rubric correcting the record, didnt 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 chancesand whether he was hired in the first placebecause 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 didnt address an uncomfortable but unavoidable topic that has been broached with some of the papers 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. Thats 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.)
Blairs close mentoring relationship with Times managing editor Gerald Boyd, who is also black, was not explored in depth in the paper. Blair wrote Boyds biographical sketch in the Timess 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 Rainess management stylehis penchant for giving preferential treatment to favored stars, his celebrated fondness for flooding the zone on big stories, severely stretching resourceswerent addressed at all. Indeed, more than one Times staffer pointed out that the papers 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 lions 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 everyonereporters, editors and readersshares an interest in getting to the truth. The per-son who did this is Jayson Blair, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said in Sundays story. Lets 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.
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