May 13, 2003


HARVARD PROFESSOR Alex Jones, a former NY Times journalist, is shocked that some Americans had already written off the Times even before Jayson Blair was exposed:

"The thing that shocked me was the reaction of people when they read about [themselves] in the New York Times and knew it to be false. Their reaction seemed to be a kind of shrug - 'What do you expect?'" Not one person whom Blair claimed falsely to have interviewed contacted the paper to point it out.

Turns out their attitude was entirely justified. And why would they bother pointing out mistakes? Any paper that made such errors in the first place isn't likely to do any better with a correction.

Besides, we now know that the NY Times suffers from what the paper's executives call a communications problem, which for people in the communications business should pretty much be a deal-breaker, careerwise. Can't communicate? Got problems knowing stuff? No idea what the hell is going on? Send your resume to the New York Times.

UPDATE. The Australian connection: Jayson Blair was published several times by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Both papers point this out to their readers.

UPDATE UPDATE. And Newsweek's Seth Mnookin points out that ... well, I don't really care what he points out. I just like to type "Mnookin". Saying it is fun, too: Mnookin. Try it!

Posted by Tim Blair at May 13, 2003 07:11 PM