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NY Times executive editor resigns over Jayson Blair case

NY Times executive editor resigns over Jayson Blair case. I honestly can’t believe Blair’s personal misconduct is being treated as a company-wide crisis

Reader comments

M-JJun 05, 2003 at 11:48AM

... er, true, but isn't the point the failure to spot Mr Blair's fraud -- by, like, y'know, checking expense records against his statements, a technique they teach in Journalism 101 -- and, indeed, the promotion of Mr Blair despite the qualms of editors? There's also a good look in Slate at Mr Raines' tenure, written pre-resignation, that rings true to me (having spent some time as a hack in newsrooms.)

PaulJun 05, 2003 at 1:28PM

It's not that simple. From what I read, Raines:
- played favorites (Rick Bragg)
- centralized decision-making, leaving department editors to serve as order-takers
- liked sending waves of reporters to cover big stories ("flooding the zone" he called it -- which yanks reporters off of stories requiring more time and effort)
- launched crusades like the ridiculous Augusta National issue (BTW, two individual columns were cancelled because they didn't agree with the paper's stand)

In the Slate article referenced above, Jack Shafer acknowledges that the Jayson Blair issue alone does not merit a resignation... but that Raines had ticked off so many people that he had no good will to save him: "By the time the twin plagues of Blair and Bragg arrived, Raines was so isolated from his own people that the anger heaved on him at the Times employee 'town hall' discussion convened for staffers after the Jayson Blair exposé stunned him." If you haven't read that article, go read it now, and you'll see why this was not a surprise.

SchmeldingJun 05, 2003 at 2:07PM

NYT: Not Your Truth. I think the problem is more fundamental. Most news agencies follow the New York Times’ lead. If the NYT is leading with this x story, then we should too. For years they have wanted people to make deposits in their "trust bank." Then they robbed their own bank and showed they were not trustworthy (not that I trusted them before). I think it’s about time (no pun intended) that they get shaken-up along with the other corrupt corporations. I don’t mean that vindictively, but for an organization that is supposed to be upholding the truth they will need to re-learn that it also comes with great responsibility.

GluttonJun 06, 2003 at 8:50AM

I have always thought and still think that the Times is the best and most trustworthy newspaper in the world. The reason the Times' staff is making a big deal of this is that their reputation and the talent of their staff is all that separates them from the Biloxi Bugle. Blair revealed that those two things are not as they should be.

You can like or dislike the NYT all you like, but you have to admit that if it were any other rag there would not be this much fuss. If a US News reporter fudged an article, not only would it not upset anyone, no one would be surprised. I admire the Times for being so open about this.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.