NY Times reporter lied. A lot.

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception



user id: appleinsider

password: appleinsider



I couldn't possibly paste the entire article here. It's the longest I've ever seen on the web page: 10 pages. Basically this guy, Jayson Blair, lifted info from other new sources, said he was in places he wasn't, and just plain made up stuff in a lot of articles over the past 5 years. The stuff he reported on included the DC sniper case, the Iraq war from inside the US,



This one snippet is amazing, mainly because despite who said it and how pointed it was, Blair only got a suspension and then went right back to doing it again when he came back:



Quote:

His mistakes became so routine, his behavior so unprofessional, that by April 2002, Jonathan Landman, the metropolitan editor, dashed off a two-sentence e-mail message to newsroom administrators that read: "We have to stop Jayson from writing for the Times. Right now."



This guy lied about having dead relatives from 9/11!



This guy is my age, I can't imagine how or why he got into such a position so quickly, and how little supervision he apparenty got, despite concerns of editors and co-workers since his internships.



Just more proof that news ain't what it used to be.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    Buonrotto...

    You've got an id showing...Edit quick !

  • Reply 2 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aquafire

    Buonrotto...

    You've got an id showing...Edit quick !





    Huh? The id is the appleinsider one, not mine.



    Edit (didn't feel like using another post): I posted it so people could log in if they don't have an account with the NY Times online. Sorry for the confusion, I've just seen a few threads with people asking how to read the links because they didn't know Scott created this account for us here. Harrydude (I assume he's banned by now) can take AI and all its non-info account for all it's worth -- nothing.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Huh? The id is the appleinsider one, not mine.



    Gremlin in the works.

    Wonder if it's that Hacker dude that people are complaining about! \
  • Reply 4 of 23
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    so anyone else think a white reporter would have been stopped sooner?



    amazing it went on so damn long. still reading through it though.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    That's so fvcking brilliant! I've just become an enormous fan! WOW, I want to model my career after his! If journalism is lit, then a degree of fraud is mandatory, iThink.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Matsu

    That's so fvcking brilliant! I've just become an enormous fan! WOW, I want to model my career after his! If journalism is lit, then a degree of fraud is mandatory, iThink.



    Hehe.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    This is on the editors. Sounds to me like their fact-checking was minimalist to non-exitent. Can't check every fact in every story - not enough time or human resources to do that - but you can do enough random checking to make sure your reporters are on the up and up. If they did this on a consitent basis, the ones who fabricate stuff would be caught within 6 months of strarting. [And ]if the editors in general were given enough power, they [could fire reporters like this immediately].



    We have lawyers to thank for the last part. It's so hard to fire someone nowadays without risking lawsuits that hardly anyone has the power to "fire on the spot" any longer. Contracts have to be reviewed, legal teams consulted, etc etc. That guy who sent the warning: he should've had the power to fire this guy on the spot in this partitular scenario.



    I'm curious though, since I don't have the time right now to read the whole story, did the editorial staff make any mention at the end of the story as to what measures they are taking to ensure it doesn't happen again?
  • Reply 8 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    The NY Times says it can't do much without making everyone paranoid:



    Quote:

    Mr. Jones suggested that the newspaper might conduct random checks of the veracity of news articles after publication. But Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, questioned how much a newspaper can guard against willful fraud by deceitful reporters.



    "It's difficult to catch someone who is deliberately trying to deceive you," Mr. Rosenstiel said. "There are risks if you create a system that is so suspicious of reporters in a newsroom that it can interfere with the relationship of creativity that you need in a newsroom ? of the trust between reporters and editors."



    They blame poor communication/rapport among various editors and staff for the problem, something more cultural than procedural. It doea sound however that his ability to scmooxe with the right people at the top blinded them to what other editors and writers knew.



    This Landman guy there sounds like he knew what was going on for a long time, but no one either responded or did not respond properly. I'm betting Landman has a big "I told you so" chip on his shoulder right now. It sounds like more of a political problem with the office, and the fact that he is a minority might have something to do with that, but I'm very hesistant to go so far to say that reverse racial profiling is the reason for this failure. Sounds like he was a good suck-up more than anything else, and the fact that he was prolific made people forgive him to some extent for his faulty reporting.



    I remember reading the article a few months ago about how federal agents stopped an interview with John Muhammed:



    Quote:

    Just six days after his arrival in Maryland, Mr. Blair landed a front-page exclusive with startling details about the arrest of John Muhammad, one of the two sniper suspects. The article, attributed entirely to the accounts of five unidentified law enforcement sources, reported that the United States attorney for Maryland, under pressure from the White House, had forced investigators to end their interrogation of Mr. Muhammad perhaps just as he was ready to confess.



    ...Two senior law enforcement officials who otherwise bitterly disagree on much of what happened that day are in agreement on this much: Mr. Muhammad was not, as Mr. Blair reported, "explaining the roots of his anger" when the interrogation was interrupted. Rather, they said, the discussion touched on minor matters, like arranging for a shower and meal.



    I was appalled at this report, it indicts federal authorities as obstructing justice. In a way I'm thankful that this was a complete lie, done for dramatic effect. That alone is grounds to be fired, but of course no one found this out until the past few weeks.



    No one checked with him on his unnamed sources, no one asked for secondary confirmation. Some people have to go back and read All the President's Men for a little lesson in proper journalism.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto



    This guy is my age, I can't imagine how or why he got into such a position so quickly, and how little supervision he apparenty got, despite concerns of editors and co-workers since his internships.





    Hello? He CHEATED.



  • Reply 10 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Thanks for the substantive post.



    He cheated, and his apparent success so early should have prompted closer attention at least for positive feedback, to see how he does it, not a free-for-all attitude from the editors. From that logic, it would seem that the NY Times wasn't interestig in learning from its own staff and spreading the wealth so to speak.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Thanks for the substantive post.



    He cheated, and his apparent success so early should have prompted closer attention at least for positive feedback, to see how he does it, not a free-for-all attitude from the editors. From that logic, it would seem that the NY Times wasn't interestig in learning from its own staff and spreading the wealth so to speak.




    I don't really think that's the case. He's the one who should learn from everyone else, being the newcomer- not the other way around.







    I just thought it was fairly obvious that this guy was regarded as a promising young journalist on the basis of his fraudulent articles. That's the reason he rose so fast. There should be no confusion there.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Makes sense to me. People in my group are learning from my work now, and I'm the same age as him. At the same time, to be fair, his false but "promising" writing did set off some alarms. It's just that he kept getting a finger shaken in his face, and no real action taken.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    Motto of the New York Times: "All the News that's Fit to Print".



  • Reply 14 of 23
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member




    If you don't have something useful to add....
  • Reply 15 of 23
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by alcimedes

    so anyone else think a white reporter would have been stopped sooner?



    amazing it went on so damn long. still reading through it though.




    THAT thought crossed my mind.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Oh BTW NYT sucks!
  • Reply 17 of 23
    This journalist is an amateur compared to Phesheya Dube, a true Southern African genius.



    Phesheya Dube was the war correspondent for the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services, and made live broadcasts from Baghdad for listeners to Swazi radio.



    Except he was in a cupboard in the radio station in the Mbabane, the country's capital, with a TV set.



    Read and learn. This is a true pro.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Sure but he didn't work at the NYT.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    Sure but he didn't work at the NYT.



    You're quite right, he didn't. He worked for a radio station in Southern Africa.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    60 Minutes had one of these professional fools on last night...



    Steven Glass: I Lied For Esteem



    Man, this moron took everyone for a ride...now he says that he's "better now" after therapy.



    One former editor said, "If it was sunny outside and Steve and I were both standing outside in the sun and Steve came to me and said, ?It's a sunny day,? I would immediately go check with two other people to make sure it was a sunny day,? says Lane.



    Glass is now trying a new career move...he wants to be a lawyer...
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