Commentary: Jayson Blair’s Shitty Book
March 6th, 2012
He cried at the Times. He cried in his girlfriend’s apartment. He cried at the “looney bin.” He cried in Union Square and even at Emmett’s Bar. He cried and he cried – and then he cried some more.
For 298 pages, Mr. Blair cried … he cried foul.
There’s just one problem: I’m not buying it.
I don’t mean his (terrible) book, which, ironically, I chose to check out of a public library. No, I’m talking about his vast pathological construct; a skeletal structure of truth adorned with a wardrobe of embellishment and, in all likelihood, fabrication.
Well, like the fabricated fabric of the King, I see right through it, Mr. Blair.
What could have been about catharsis and growth, a Phoenix-like parable, instead became about excuses and destruction: the scrambling hands of a desperate, dying man seeking to tear everything else down around him before all goes dark and the world turns away for the last time.
So when his fingertips weren’t wiping tawdry tears from teary eyes, they were pointing their accusations at everyone under the sun.
Right from the title of the book, Blair insinuates that working for the Times was somehow akin to being a plantation slave. How dare you, Mr. Blair.
That would be as insensitive and culturally numb as calling the historically increasing percentage of blacks in sports a sort of “manifest destiny,” alluding to American westward expansion and subsequent genocide of the Natives.
Your perceived persecution is nothing like the actual reality of persecution of your black forefathers. The two are blatantly incongruent, and furthermore insulting.
Yet the insults and excuses don’t stop. Cocaine made you do it. Being black made you do it. Manic depression made you do it. Hell, eventually even Bin Laden made you do it, Mr. Blair.
It seems like everyone but Mr. Blair is responsible for Mr. Blair.
Truth time: The bottom line, Jay, is that you lied. You did it.
In a few places along this 298-page turd, he alludes to dishonest practices on behalf of the Times in terms of how they acquire information and how they represent that acquisition. Though a single name beneath a byline may be less than accurate, the information below that byline is (well, hopefully, Mr. Blair).
Therein lies … rather, exists the disconnect.
It’s not the byline that matters. It’s not about Jayson Blair. It’s about the people reading Jayson Blair.
In the face of the reader, nothing matters but the truth and accuracy of your word.
Your skin color: doesn’t matter. Your addiction: doesn’t matter. And especially your perception of success and failure: Does. Not. Matter.
Readers don’t care about the Pulitzer Prize, or who gets the front page of the Metro Section. They really don’t give a rat’s hairy patoot about the stress you feel from working under an inept editor.
Wa. Waaaaaa, Mr. Blair. Tell you what, go to the bathroom, get in a good cry, and then get back to work, you baby.
But don’t lie.
Don’t launch a campaign of deception stretching across millions of people worldwide. They who’ve done nothing but trusted you and your organization, they should not reap the responsibility of your irresponsibility.
He calls himself an idealist, but he’s far from it, for there is nary a mention of the readership and how he had affected them. An idealist knows that his sole consideration as a reporter is to aid in the accurate informing of an unaware, sometimes deliberately deceived public.
How we get a dateline, or who gets the credit, the Pulitzer, the byline, is all sidelined to accuracy, the topmost mission of reporting news.
That’s lost on you, Mr. Blair.
And so your “idealism” becomes just another invisible stitch on this vast cloak of excuses and misdirection. Fortunately, it’s a cloak we can all see through.
The Emperor of Lies, the pompous Mr. Jayson Blair, isn’t wearing any clothes.