Angling for a column

Ann Coulter turns down the volume a few decibels and recaps the Jayson Blair episode: “The old gray liar.” She does an excellent job of getting at the institutional dimension of the Blair scandal. Inspirational line: “Blair’s record of inaccuracies, lies and distortions made him a candidate for either immediate dismissal or his own regular column on the op-ed page.”
The Los Angeles Times has an excellent story on the state of play internally at the Times itself: “As N.Y. Times struggles with scandal, editor insists he’ll stay.” The story provides hilarious coverage of the dramatic meeting of reporters and editors at the theater behind the Times headquarters yesterday:
“The setting for the meeting was bizarre: As hundreds of Times reporters and editors entered the movie theater, which had temporarily suspended its showings of ‘Identity,’ they were greeted by a large crowd of reporters, camera crews and photographers from other news organizations. They were also met by a lone demonstrator dressed in a costume and mask as ‘Baghdad Bob,’ a nickname given during the war to the former Iraqi information minister. He heckled the journalists as they entered the theater and held a sign reading: ‘Former New York Times Reporter: Will Lie for Food.'”
The New York Times’ own coverage of the event by reporter Jacques Steinberg lacks the telling details in the Los Angeles Times story but is interesting nevertheless: “Editor of Times tells staff he accepts blame for fraud.” The story is prefaced with this disclaimer: “The Times meeting was closed to news coverage. As a result, Mr. Steinberg, The Times’s media writer, did not attend it.”


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