I’m kind of sick of hearing about Jayson Blair
Sure, what he did was wrong, and he should be fired and never work as a journalist
again. And that’s the end of the story, or should be, but we keep hearing about it, which is not much more than an excuse for the "liberal
" media to pile on one of the few major media outlets which is still even remotely liberal, the New York Times
What happened isn’t the end of the world for journalism
or The Gray Lady
. Let’s put some things in perspective. Blair faked stories, a rightfully unforgivable journalistic sin, but in the end those faked and plagiarized stories changed nothing. He didn’t change the course of any wars, political careers, anything. And though this obviously makes the Times look bad, as it should, let’s consider what the newspaper really could have done. Sure, factchecking could always be more rigorous at any publication, but there’s only so much you can do when a trusted employee sets out to deceive. Remember that Stephen Glass
created fake websites and voice mail boxes to cover his lies. What’s the solution- assign two reporters to each story: one to report and one to report on the reporter?
That idiot Mickey Kaus
over at Slate
is convinced that affirmative action
is to blame for this fiasco. If only the Times hadn’t hired that unqualified black guy, he laments. That idea is beneath contempt. He doesn’t say that Stephen Glass’s faked stories are a reason to stop hiring white reporters.
To prove that God has a sense of comedic timing, Glass’s novel has just been published. He seemed somewhat contrite on 60 Minutes, though you never can tell with a pathological liar
Speaking of books and plagiarists and liars, it’s another occasion for me to be annoyed that journalistic liars like Glass and Blair are pelted with rotten vegetables
on their way to the pillory
, but historians like Stephen Ambrose
who plagiarize get pelted with Pulitzer
s. I’d feel bad for Glass and Blair, but I’m sure their own book deals will console them enough.