The Jayson Blair Project


If Jayson Blair was white would we be talking about this?

Formosa, you played the race card in your original post. Would you have bothered starting a thread on Mr. Blair if he wasn’t black?

yes, zen, this has nothing to do with race, in terms of who committed the crime. it MIGHT have something to do with race in terms of how a man who might have felt caught between the white and black races tried to find a life for himself in america’s great melting pot.

sure, white guys have done this too, in journalism, mike barnicle, steve glass, and more.

i am not interested in pointing my finger at blair as an ethnic this or that, we are all ethnic this or that. every one of us is ethnic something.

i am just curious: did race have anything to do with HIS (Blair’s) self-concept. that’s all.

we will find out in future days when he talks more. for now, let’s pray for his redeemed soul and peace of mind.

thing is: i once knew a guy like this. and he suffered from same problems i think blair suffers from.

just curious that’s all.

no, this is not about race. i don’t even believe in the concept of race. we are all one human family.

The question was not meant as an accusation formosa…I apologize if it came across that way.

I really was just curious if people (not just you) would be talking about him, on this scale and breadth, if he was a white guy?

Personally, I think not. So maybe it is about race. Race seems to be the reason the Times looked the other way again and again. Race may be the reason there is more then journalistic integrity at stake. Perhaps we should stop white-washing the issue and stop saying it has nothing to do with colour, when it may have everything to do with it.

I know you’re not a racist formosa…sorry about that.,36 … 99,00.html

Thanks for the link, Alleycat. 1,800 words of a sharply defined, focused and informative piece. And no mention of race. As it should be.

Second opinion: Thanks for the link, Alleycat. 1,800 words of a sharply defined, focused and informative piece. And no mention of race. As it should be.

But actually, that Guardian piece was itself mostly a rewrite, a cut and paste of all the material that the writer Oliver Burkeman cut and pasted from OTHER sources, not his own, to make that piece for the Guardian in the UK. I read all that stuff earlier in Web stories. Even the intro aboout Blair’s fellow intern, that was already reported, word for word, in earlier sources. Sorry, Oliver, but you’ve committed another no no of journalism and that is cut and paste schlock jobs. You can get away with it because you are in the UK, and your editors there don’t read the US press, so everybody thinks you wrote an original piece. No way. That Guardian piece was guilty of another kind of Blairism: cutting and pasting other sources to make your own commentary. THAT is not journalism, Oliver Burkeman.

UK reporters do that all the time, using US material from DC and Hollywood to make their own stories, using weasel words like “says” – and in So and So says – to make it sound as if they talked to the sources in the story. In fact, Oliver didn’t talk to half the people he QUOTES in his article. Is that responsible journalsim? And even the Guardian, holy of holies, does it? I am perschmacked now! The end is near.

Oliver, ge thee to a nunnery.

Formosa, get thee to a brewery.

(nothing is the way it is supposed to be, is it?)

Here is a sampling of how Oliver used quotes from other sources to make it look like he had done the footwork. I question this method. Do you?

“It’s easily the biggest journalistic scandal since Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer prize for a story she made up from whole cloth. The scale of this is pretty immense,” says Jack Shafer, editor-at-large of Slate magazine. …JACK SAID THIS to OLIVER? No, he said it to a different reporter. WHO? and where and when?

“It’s more like a government ministry in the way it feels it needs to carry out this investigation,” says Kurt Andersen, the veteran media-watcher. “They regard themselves as the great keeper of the flame of truth and accuracy.” WHO DID KURT SAY THIS TO, OLIVER? see above!

At the Boston Globe, where he had interned before, the University of Maryland student had been “controversial”, according to David Shribman, then the paper’s Washington bureau chief. “I was down on him,” Shribman told the Globe. “He was kind of sneaky and snoopy with other reporters, in personal gossip. It was plain that I was disapproving of him … and I let other editors there know.” …AH, LIFTED FROM THE BOSTON GLOBE, OLIVER. NICE!

“I told him that he needed to find a different way to nourish himself than by drinking scotch, smoking cigarettes and buying Cheez Doodles from the vending machine,” Charles Strum, an editor on the Metro desk, told the Times. ANOTHER ORIGINAL QUOTE? NICE.

“What he did is on an epic scale,” says Alex Jones, a former Times journalist, author of a monumental history of the paper, and now a professor at Harvard University. “But the thing that shocked me was the reaction of people when they read about [themselves] in the New York Times and knew it to be false. Their reaction seemed to be a kind of shrug - ‘What do you expect?’” JONES TOLD THIS TO A REPORTER AT USA TODAY, NOT TO OLIVER. NICE.

“I just think the guy could not do it,” says Shafer. “Breaking news is hard and tedious and time-consuming work. So rather than put some deep psychological gloss on it that makes him the victim, rather than readers, who are the real victims, I much prefer to say maybe he just couldn’t do it.” AGAIN, SHAFER DID NOT TALK WITH OLIVER. THE ENTIRE STORY IS CUT AND PASTE QUOTES. THIS IS NOT JOURNALISM, IS IT?

Okay, it’s commentary. That’s allowed, without telling readers where he got the quotes from. Deceptive, if you ask me. But in the UK, this is legit, I guess. Such an article would never pass muster in the USA. But just to be fair, US reporters based in the UK do this thing all the time too, quoting British sources they never talked to personally and using the weasel word SAYS all the time.

Journalists need a real shaking up, says formosa, who allegedly said that to no one in particular, according to what he allegedly said. Yesterday. Or was that today?

What in the name of god are you on about, Formosa? The writer has CLEARLY stated ALL his sources.
What do you mean by saying he doesn’t tell the reader where he got his quotes? He lists every single one. Why is this deceptive? What exactly has he done wrong, in your opinion?
You’re saying that NO-ONE should be allowed to arite ANY kind of newspaper report without going personally to the scene and talking personally with every person mentioned in the story?
For a self-proclaimed “news junky” you sure have some weird notions of how journalists should do their work. :unamused:

Sandman wrote: “The writer has CLEARLY stated ALL his sources.
What do you mean by saying he doesn’t tell the reader where he got his quotes?”

Sandie, he clearly stated what newspaper or website that the people he quoted work for (Slate, the Globe, etc.,) but he doesn’t say who GAVE HIM those quotes. He simply cribbed those quotes from other newspapers and websites. I have the original materials for each of those stolen quotes. Oliver makes it appear to the reader as if HE called those people himself, or emailed them, and he spoke with them personally. He didn’t do any legwork, just copied qutoes from other newspapers and websites.

You work for a news agency, I think, right? Or a newspaper. I always forget. But can you do this where you work? Is it proper? I will bet that if you asked the editor at the TT, Mr LOL himself, he would say NO WAY.

I heard via this very forum a while back that a features reporter at the TT got fired a few years ago (…before I landed on this sainted island…) for doing exactly this, taking quotes that a TT reporter here had gathered himself or herself and then passing them off to an overseas paper as his own research. When the reporter found out, he cried bloody murder and the unfortunate reporter got sacked. Or is this just hearsay? Maybe it was the CHina Post or the News, I can’t remember now, where I heard the story. Drunk talk late at night at a Keelung watering hole. Burp!

Oliver should get a slap on the wrist from his Guardian minders.

Oliver passes off other reporters’ legwork and phone calls to sources as his own material. Well, no, he does put those quotes in quotes so he is not technically stealing. So I guess it’s okay.

If it’s okay with you, Sandman, it’s okay with me. You’re the professional media person. I am just a Web-addicted reader.

What say others?

NOTE, IMO, Oliver should have written: “It’s easily the biggest journalistic scandal since Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer prize for a story she made up from whole cloth. The scale of this is pretty immense,” Jack Shafer, editor-at-large of Slate magazine, told a reporter for USA TODAY (or whatever source he got that quote from; that way, we know that Oliver himself did not obtain that quote. Yes or no? Mr Sandman?

If Oliver didn’t do anything unethical, then all is lost and I give up…until i hear your learned response. pitch me your best point, sir!~

I suggest that if you had bothered to look up the meaning of the word plagiarism before typing, you’d have saved yourself a few minutes of wasted time.
You are accusing Oliver of plagiarism. It is a false accusation. He quoted his sources. End of story.

Oliver does no such thing. What’s got into you? I suggest you take your allegations up with the Guardian or Oliver himself, but I guarantee their responses will be far less polite than mine.

sandie, i never accused Oliver of plagiarism. You know that and you are being your normal disingenuous self here. STOP! I just said that he cribbed al those quotes from other sources. Did he crib them or not? Did he gather them himself or did he just skim the web and crib them for his piece? Answer me that, sandie, and then you can go back to work. I assume you are at work now, right?

I never said plagiarism. show me where i said that. You have a habit of NOT reading my posts carefully. you see the name formosa and your brain goes into a tailspin. relax, Sandie.

And yes, i have emailed Oliver now and will report back to you what he and his minders say about this very British transgression.

OK. Let me spell it out for you in tiny little words that maybe you can understand. If he used other peoples material without citing his sources, that’s plagiarism. If he used other people’s work and cited his sources, its called (DUH!) research.

Did you ever in your life refer to a textbook? Why, you dirty CHEAT! :unamused:

Yes and (probably) yes. He might also have referred to hard copy, he might even have used a telephone. Again, his crime? Unethical? Oh for fuck’s sake! He’s DOING HIS JOB, you utter, utter … no, I promised myself I wouldn’t go there. :x

If he used other people’s work and cited his sources, its called (DUH!) research.

BUT he does not in every instance cite his sources. REad the piece HE WROTE again.

What’s textbook?

Therefore you admit that I’m not being disingenuous and that you are accusing him of plagiarism. Make up your mind.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

i give up.

No mention of race?

“Because Blair is black, the controversy has rejuvenated a longstanding debate on affirmative action, and whether the Time’s commitment to hiring a diverse workforce had ended up overexposing someone who wasn’t ready for the big time.”

“The affirmative action question is harder to resolve. Numerous prominent commentators…argue that Blair’s race must have played a role in his rapid promotion. Raine’s is outspokenly committed to a hiring policy that he once characterised, rather awkwardly, as having made the newsroom ‘better, and more importantly, more diverse.’”

“…a white reporter with an error rate as high as Blair’s-he had had 50 stories corrected since he joined the paper-would have aroused suspicions sooner.”

Were we reading the same article sandman?

sandman does not read the articles, zen. … May12.html

good column too

‘‘A great and invaluable newspaper has been humbled. But its inability to come to grips with what was at the bottom of the Blair affair suggests that it remains blinkered by the very political correctness that has brought about this ignominy. In this case, all the news has not been printed.’’

Busted! So sue me. :stuck_out_tongue: