Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Dying New York Times and the Blair Saga

Jeremy Lott thinks that The New York Times is finished and that USA Today has a great chance (or, in effect, already is) to be the national paper. Short, and worthy of your consideration. In the meantime, Sridhar Pappu writes in the New York Observer about Jason Blair (he inteviewed him) and what he was and is thinking. Fascinating: drugs, no remorse, killing the journalist Blair so the person could live, race, etc. Some weird stuff here. Worth a read. Jason Blair is now preparing a proposal for a book and/or a movie; the emphasis, as far as I can tell, will be on race. No doubt, he will make himself into a victim. Quite remarkable.

Discussions - 1 Comment

While USA Today may logistically be in a position to become the national paper, I don’t think it will ever overtake the NY Times in our hearts and minds. USA Today has always struck me as being too superficial and I think I remember reading somewhere that USA Today is written at something like the 4th grade reading-level (This is done intentionally, of course, so that it can reach the maximum number of people). It’s perfect for reading about David Beckham or the Matrix movies while waiting for a flight or sitting on the john in a hotel (sorry for the imagery there), but it’s hardly the paper that I would turn to when I want to get to the heart of a story. Personally, I think the Washington Post is in a better position to overtake the NY Times as the paper of record than USA Today.

One has to wonder if the Jayson Blair story might be the Enron of the journalism world. It’s the type of story that has every editor carefully scrutinizing his/her own staff’s work. The New York Post - which has had a particularly good time lambasting the NY Times these past two weeks - announced yesterday that it had "fired" a freelance journalist who has admitted to stealing a story from the National Enquirer of all places. Are there more to come?

Incidentally, it’s funny that Dr. Schramm should bring up the idea of a movie/book deal. Stephen Glass - the writer for the New Republic who admitted to fabricating facts in over half of his articles - has just released a semi-autobiographical novel called "The Fabulist." His life story has also been turned into a movie called "Shattered Glass," which comes out later this year.

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