by John Hawkins | May 21, 2003 2:30 am
Jayson Blair Is A Great Example Of What’s Wrong With Diversity Programs: Not only was Jayson Blair a lying, plagiarizing, slubberdegullion of a journalist, he’s apparently a jerk who thinks other people are largely at fault because he has no ethics. Just look at his most recent comments…
“I don’t understand why I am the bumbling affirmative action hire when Stephen Glass is this brilliant whiz kid, when from my perspective — and I know I shouldn’t be saying this — I fooled some of the most brilliant people in journalism,” he said. Glass, who was fired by the New Republic for inventing stories five years ago, “is so brilliant and yet somehow I’m [an] affirmative action hire. They’re all so smart, but I was sitting right under their nose fooling them. If they’re all so brilliant and I’m such an affirmative action hire, how come they didn’t catch me?”
…”Anyone who tells you that my race didn’t play a role in my career at the New York Times is lying to you. Both racial preferences and racism played a role. And I would argue that they didn’t balance each other out.”
While ridiculing what he called “idiot” editors at the Times, he also said it was “kind of unfair” to blame Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd for his misconduct. He said Boyd, the paper’s highest-ranking black editor, tried to block his promotion to the national staff.
….But he kept returning to the question of race, telling the Manhattan weekly: “I was under a lot of pressure. I was black at the New York Times, which is something that hurts you as much as it helps you. I certainly have health problems which probably led to me having to kill Jayson Blair, the journalist. . . . So Jayson Blair the human being could live, Jayson Blair the journalist had to die.”
….Blair added that “there are senior managers at the New York Times who want African American reporters to succeed, and there are hundreds of white junior managers who resent that and don’t.”
…(T)he paper said Blair had fabricated 36 stories — including one that featured the father of rescued POW Jessica Lynch choking up, complete with an erroneous description of his West Virginia home because Blair had lied about being there.
When the Times investigation was published, Blair said, he “just couldn’t stop laughing” because his description of the West Virginia home had been so far off from reality.
….Describing himself in the Observer interview as having struggled with alcohol and cocaine since he was a teenager, Blair said he botched the coverage of a 2001 benefit concert, which required two corrections, because he was drunk on assignment.”
Let me see if I have this straight…here we have a guy with a coke and alcohol problem, who constantly made stuff up and plagiarized material from other papers (which he seems to think is amusing), & he also admits that he got breaks because of racial preferences. Yet this same guy is complaining about racism!
That’s why I find it very ironic that Blair said…
“Blair added that “there are senior managers at the New York Times who want African American reporters to succeed, and there are hundreds of white junior managers who resent that and don’t.”
Maybe it’s just me, but if I worked for the New York Times and was busting my behind trying to work my way up the ladder and some coked up drunkard who did shoddy work was getting promotions and breaks because the senior staff of the paper wanted to push “diversity”, I’d resent his success too.
Last but not least, I think it’s again worth pointing out that if the New York Times had simply given people breaks and promotions based on merit instead of diversity, there’s no way a mediocrity like Blair would have had an opportunity to embarrass the Times (and himself) like this. Moreover, someone else who actually deserved a shot would have been in Blair’s place. It’s always good to remember that this sort of “diversity” often means that someone more competent was passed over. That’s not only morally wrong, it can turn out to be very bad business as the New York Times found out the hard way.
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