On blowing the whistle on Jayson Blair

Macarena Hernandez is the San Antonio reporter from whom Jayson Blair stole one of his last stories, a piece about a soldier from South Texas missing in action in Iraq. It was her conversation with Howard Kurtz that led to Blair’s downfall. In this Washington Post piece, Hernandez provides her take on the Blair story. Hernandez interned with Blair at the New York Times. She insists that his misdeeds are not about race, diversity or affirmative action. She states that “if the New York Times were sincerely committed to diversity, Blair’s editors would have chopped off his fingers at the first sign of trouble instead of helping him polish his claws.” In fact, however, it is the New York’s Times’ commitment to its concept of diversity that explains why the paper helped him polish his claws. And the Times’ concept of diversity is the prevailing one.
Hernandez notes with disgust that she has not heard Blair “express a single note of regret for what he did. Instead, he is shopping his story around shamelessly. He says he wants his tale to help others ‘heal.’ He could, he says, write ‘a book full of anecdotes’ about racism at the Times.” You would think even liberals could learn a lesson or two from this affair. But you would be wrong.


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