An on-line journal of articles and musings forbidden by the mainstream media.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
The Great Black Hope:
The Jayson Blair Case and
The New York Times by Nicholas Stix
Jayson Blair was the Great Black Hope. The white publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and Sulzberger's white executive editor, Howell Raines, were intent on creating the Great African-American Reporter, and Blair was their guy. No matter, that Sulzberger and Raines were 80 years late. The Great Negro Reporter had already come and gone. George S. Schuyler (1895-1977), whose career was ended by the civil rights movement whose most trenchant critic he was, was a self-made man, who needed no white philanthropist/image-makers to invent him. But that's a story for another day.
In William McGowan's excellent book, Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism, McGowan shows how Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s diversity campaign destroyed the Times as a newspaper, if not as a political force, leading to the non-reporting or misreporting of stories big and small. Having covered many of the same stories, and shown how the Times has intentionally misrepresented the facts in many others, I know that McGowan's criticisms are valid. Indeed, regular newspaper features, and even entire web sites have been devoted to chronicling the Times' penchant for fraud.
William McGowan reports that at the quasi-revivalist, December, 1992 "joint Diversity Summit Meeting of the of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Newspaper Association of America," Arthur Sulzberger Jr. "described a breakdown of communications on his multiracial diversity management committee that had its members 'at each other's throats.' The 'cultural change' involved in diversity, he said, had proved to be 'hard, brutal stuff.' Sulzberger could have been previewing the complaints of the entire industry which followed his lead in the years to come, embracing diversity without really debating it much, and thus finding itself in a quagmire of diversity-related troubles."
McGowan notes further that Sulzberger "has repeatedly stressed that diversity is 'the single most important issue' facing his paper. According to Sulzberger, 'We can no longer offer our readers a predominantly white, straight male vision of events and say that we, as journalists, are doing our job."
It never occurred to Sulzberger, that in reducing reality to the conflicting "visions" of irreconcilable groups, he was denying the possibility of objective truth, and thus of journalism.
And the publisher did not brook criticism, whether internal or external. Thus it was, that when McGowan's ultimately award-winning book was published in 2001, the Times refused to review it, and searches I performed in recent weeks of its database came up with no mention of Coloring the News in the pages of the Times. It was not until the Times ran a letter by McGowan regarding the Blair scandal, on May 16, that an editor's postscript finally mentioned the title of his book.
During a massive, May 14 meeting held in a local movie theater by the Times for its news staff, Howell Raines stated the obvious, in confessing that he had carried Blair for much too long, simply because he was black.
So much for black Managing Editor Gerald Boyd's song and dance, 'What's Race Got to Do with It?'
A Profile in Black Courage?
And yet, five days after Raines admitted that Blair owed his stay at the Times to race, unrepentant, black Times columnist Bob Herbert not only denied the obvious, but went on the offensive, insinuating that any white who refused to kowtow to the party line that he and the mainstream media were promoting, was a sheet-wearing, white supremacist.
"Listen up: the race issue in this case is as bogus as some of Jayson Blair's reporting.
"But the folks who delight in attacking anything black, or anything designed to help blacks, have pounced on the Blair story as evidence that there is something inherently wrong with The Times's effort to diversify its newsroom, and beyond that, with the very idea of a commitment to diversity or affirmative action anywhere.
"And while these agitators won't admit it, the nasty subtext to their attack is that there is something inherently wrong with blacks.
"There's a real shortage of black reporters, editors and columnists at The Times. But the few who are here are doing fine and serious work day in and day out and don't deserve to be stigmatized by people who can see them only through the prism of a stereotype.
"The problem with American newsrooms is too little diversity, not too much. Blacks have always faced discrimination and maddening double standards in the newsroom, and they continue to do so. So do women, Latinos and many other groups that are not part of the traditional newsroom in-crowd.
"So let's be real. Discrimination in the newsroom - in hiring, in the quality of assignments and in promotions - is a much more pervasive problem than Jayson Blair's aberrant behavior. A black reporter told me angrily last week, 'After hundreds of years in America, we are still on probation.'
"I agree. And the correct response is not to grow fainthearted, or to internalize the views of those who wish you ill. The correct response is to strike back - as hard and as often as it takes."
I wonder if Herbert has confronted Raines yet, regarding the latter's "misrepresentation" of the Jayson Blair case?
Bob Herbert calls Jayson Blair "a first-class head case," yet Herbert, the quintessential, upper-middle-class racial thug, would ram ever more incompetent, dishonest black journalists down the throats of whites, and then condemn the whites as racists, for choking on them. Who's the real "first class head case" here?
Bob Herbert leads a charmed life. He can race-bait whites all he likes, because the Times protects him from criticism. As with other politically correct Times columnists, and especially those who are black or female, the paper rarely if ever publishes any letters to the editor criticizing Herbert. Thus, he has never had to take what he dishes out. Due to the Jayson Blair case, on May 21, Herbert's editors made the barest of exceptions, publishing the briefest, most restrained letter imaginable contradicting Herbert.
"To the Editor:
"Bob Herbert (column, May 19) asserts that 'the race issue in this case is as bogus as some of Jayson Blair's reporting.
"This would seem to be at odds with the acknowledgment by The Times's executive editor, Howell Raines, in a May 15 news article: 'But you have a right to ask if I, as a white man from Alabama, with those convictions, gave him one chance too many by not stopping his appointment to the sniper team. When I look into my heart for the truth of that, the answer is yes.
"MEL KREITZER Cincinnati, May 19, 2003"
Imagine trying to work in a newsroom in which a Bob Herbert is an influential figure, a man who stands ready to denounce - and get fired -any white man who doesn't know his place on race matters. Now multiply Herbert by a thousand. For there are a few Bob Herberts patrolling every urban and suburban newsroom of any size in America. That is the real meaning of the notion of "critical mass" trumpeted by supporters of affirmative action - having enough incompetent racists on hand to bring an institution to heel.
Telling the Right Kinds of Lies -
From the Bob Herbert File
My veteran colleague, Mary Mostert, was the first commentator to point out that Jayson Blair's fault wasn't in lying - Timesmen do that every day - but in telling the wrong kinds of lies. Stealing other newspapers' work, and selling it as your own, is embarrassing, and could lead to the sort of lawsuit where extraordinarily broad interpretations of the First Amendment will not help the offending publisher. The right kind of lying includes lying in an op-ed column about a public figure your bosses hate, or quoting an obvious liar saying something that fits your bosses' agenda. Herbert is an expert at both methods.
During Rudolph Giuliani's New York mayoralty (1994-2001), Bob Herbert was a rabid purveyor of the racial profiling hoax, one of the most pernicious of all the many race hoaxes that we have seen since the 1980s. Herbert flat out accused Giuliani of ordering police to terrorize innocent black folks based merely on the color of their skin. Herbert threatened that blacks were no longer going to "tolerate" such persecution.
This was incendiary, deeply dishonest writing. Herbert was doing his darnedest to provoke race riots, without ever providing one iota of evidence to back up the charges he made against Giuliani. (Oddly, a couple of months ago, Herbert pulled a 180, and gave Giuliani credit for reducing crime in New York during his tenure. But the compliment was a rhetorical throwaway, to manufacture instant credibility for an attack on a new, white mayor.)
Note that while Herbert seeks to provoke race riots, he also believes that police must be handcuffed, in the face of rioters or at least, non-white rioters.
In a story from the mid-1990s, during Rudy Giuliani's first term as mayor, Herbert told of the fatal police shooting of a black murder suspect in his car, by white policemen in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Police on the scene - who supposedly did not know the driver was wanted for a murder had a call that the car the man was driving had been reported stolen. When they told the driver to freeze, he made a move for something; they fired. It turned out that he had been reaching for the anti-theft tool, "the club."
Never mind that a policeman's paycheck does not oblige him to be a mind-reader, or to risk dying at the hands of a suspect who, ignoring his orders, makes sudden hand movements. For Herbert, it is acceptable behavior for a man told to freeze by police, to go about his usual parking routine. But then, Herbert never had to face down death, while keeping the streets safe.
But Herbert went way beyond that. He quoted a hairdresser from a nearby beauty parlor, as claiming that the police had yelled the "n"-word at the black driver, just before shooting him.
Rather than seek to dilute the fantastic nature of the hairdresser's claim (fantastic, that is, to anyone who knows the streets of New York), Herbert laid it on even thicker. The hairdresser maintained that, while everyone else on the street dove for cover amid the fusillade, in the shooting zone she stood and watched, calmly smoking a cigarette.
Note that the neighborhood was black. White cops who shout the "n"-word in black neighborhoods don't live very long.
In almost eighteen years in New York City, I don't believe I have never heard a single white call a single black the "n"-word. (The qualification is due to a young white drug dealer in Far Rockaway, Queens, whom I had long assumed to be Puerto Rican. I may have once heard him use the term against a black rival.) During that time, I've only heard whites say the word in private three times. Of course, during those years, I've heard the "n"-word spoken in public over one million times. But roughly ninety five percent of those times, the speaker was black; the other times, the speaker was Puerto Rican. Trashy Puerto Ricans have honorary black status, which is why a couple of years ago, actress Jennifer Lopez, who is from The Bronx, felt she had the prerogative to publicly use the "n"-word. She was widely and unfairly attacked by blacks, who reneged on a longstanding, implicit agreement between blacks and trashy Puerto Ricans. (I suppose it served Lopez right, since her parents are not trashy people.)
The Good Old Days
As William McGowan reports, already in 1991, the Times' then-editor-in-chief, Max Frankel, "admitted at a forum at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism that because of political considerations he would hesitate to fire a black female reporter if she was 'less good'; minority staffers at the New York Times said that Frankel was being patronizing and that his admission threw their competence into doubt." I always thought that it was never patronizing to tell the truth; rather, it's patronizing when you lie to people, and tell them they are better than you think they are, in order not to hurt their feelings.
And yet, compared to now, in 1991, the Times was a meritocratic utopia. In 1992, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. (whose nickname is "Pinch," following his father's moniker of "Punch") took the reins from his father, as the Times' publisher. As Stanley Kurtz notes in a National Review Online article on the Jayson Blair case, citing Harry Stein's book, How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace):
"Pinch was a political activist in the Sixties, and was twice arrested in anti-Vietnam protests. One day, the elder Sulzberger asked his son what Pinch calls, 'the dumbest question I've ever heard in my life.' If an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, which would you like to see get shot? Young Arthur answered, 'I would want to see the American get shot. It's the other guy's country.' Some Sixties activists have since thought better of their early enthusiasms. Pinch hasn't.
"Sulzberger once remarked that if older white males were alienated by the changes he was making to the Times, that would only prove 'we're doing something right.' Clearly, by Pinch's standards, the Times has lately been doing very well indeed."
Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is an emperor of the media world. That means that, surrounded by sycophants, family retainers, and bodyguards, instead of knowing more about reality than anyone else, he is as insulated from reality as a man can be, short of living in a cave.
Instead of challenging Sulzberger, and seeking to knock him off the top of the hill, most leading newspapers slavishly follow his lead, even to the point of basing their reporting around the Times. Thus it was that Jayson Blair's fraudulent sniper story (about the supposed source of suspect John Muhammad's "anger," anger which Blair had also invented) was echoed around the country, and the world. Leading newspapers also slavishly follow Sulzberger's lead, when promulgating their personnel and journalistic policies.
At the beginning of Coloring the News, William McGowan cites a 1996 poll, in which 40 percent of white journalists believed that "lower standards for promotion were applied to blacks. They also frequently complain that race, ethnicity and gender play an unfair role in assignment policies; that managers indulge behavior from minority colleagues (including racist behavior) for which they themselves would be fired or demoted â¦"
Granted, such complaints are, in themselves, subjective statements that may or may not be true. But McGowan spends the rest of his book proving that they are objectively true.
McGowan describes the mainstream media - particularly the biggest daily newspapers, but also TV news, as a business which, regarding the crucial issues of the day, simply cannot be trusted to get the story right. Large media organizations routinely hire unqualified, unprofessional black and Hispanic reporters and editors essentially as political cadres, and give them control over urban and ethnic reporting (doing the same thing with openly gay reporters for "gay" issues). Rather than honestly report on the beats they control, the diversity hires make a point of cheerleading for the groups they identify with, "killing" real investigative stories that bear on those groups, and harassing any white reporter with the temerity to try and do his job, until he either gives up or quits. Indeed, mirroring the consolidation of socialist power in America's universities, which pushed out thousands of dedicated instructors and administrators, many veteran newsmen - themselves invariably old-time liberals have left the most respected newspapers or the profession altogether, over the past ten years, unable to overcome politically corrupt editors and publishers, the anti-white-male diversity training sessions, or the black, Hispanic, gay and feminist newsroom enforcers.
(In Speaking Freely, the second volume of his autobiography, journalist Nat Hentoff talks about how many longtime colleagues at the Village Voice simply stopped talking to him, after he announced that he was opposed to abortion. Had Hentoff not been a journalistic institution, and one of the few original Voice staffers still around 35 years after the paper's founding, he'd surely have been fired.)
And so it was, that many mainstream media reporters, rather than gleefully expose the corruption on 43rd St., have rushed to put out the fire, engaging in unpaid damage control for their supposed rival. That is how powerfully entrenched affirmative action/diversity is in the media, the truth be damned. (Some observers have argued that such self-censorship in reports on the Times is based on reporters' hopes for a job on 43rd Street.)
The current red herring meant to take readers' eyes off the prize, is the claim that Blair was a junkie (white, powder cocaine), a drunk, and a manic-depressive. However, since he has supposedly been clean and sober for over one year - i.e., during the time of his greatest fabrications and plagiaries his alleged addictions are irrelevant to his downfall. Are reporters such as Newsweek'sSeth Mnookin trying to tell us that Blair's problem was that he was clean and sober, or are they just trying to confuse us?
The most hysterical attempt at damage control was performed by New York Magazine'sMichael Wolff. In a snide, incoherent rant in the May 26 issue, Wolff seeks to distract the reader from raising any of the obvious questions with gutter language ("The kid was a fuckup.") and white-baiting ("[Blair] was there, in the angry-white-man interpretation, because the black No. 2 editor, Gerald Boyd, was his patron.")
Wolff denigrates the claim that the Blair scandal was the worst in the paper's 152-year history, but the two examples he gives as supposedly trumping it, serve only to undermine his case. He blames the Times for not revealing in advance, in 1961, its knowledge of the CIA's plan for the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, never considering that such a story would probably have landed the Times' editors in prison - and rightly so for treason. The other example he cites is the Wen Ho Lee case. The Times attacked the Los Alamos scientist who was suspected of passing nuclear secrets to the Red Chinese, and who was formally charged with dozens of crimes. Later, the paper published "an epic correction." But this example is dishonest. Wen Ho Lee was never acquitted of any of the charges against him, and was convicted on one charge. That excepting the one charge, his prosecution was dropped, was due solely to media-aided race-baiting by Asian political hustlers.
Wolff does turn one nifty line ("The Times suggests that [the deceptions] were the result of the young man's emotional problems - he is now commonly referred to as a sociopath, which probably means he was very charming ..."), but otherwise seems envious that he doesn't work at the Times. Ultimately, Wolff comes off like a cloning experiment gone terribly wrong, in which a scientist tried to create a liberal version of the great wit, Mark Steyn.
Is Wolff married to his publisher's daughter, or something?
In a May 26 essay in Insight magazine,however, New York comedienne and columnist, Julia Gorin, did manage to mine some humor from the Blair saga. Gorin, you see, actually worked at the Times as an advertising department temp, typing up ads that customers called in. Meanwhile, she tried to get a reporting job. Walking around with news clippings ready to spring on editors, like a Hollywood waiter with a screenplay tucked into his cumberbund, Gorin got only abuse for her trouble.
"Then I heard about the summer-internship program that Blair would get his start in, a conduit for an eventual staff position. I inquired but was told I was the wrong color; the internship was geared toward minorities. So I told them I was Jewish, an even smaller minority than black at 2 percent of the country's population. But that seemed only to elicit giggles.
"It was just assumed that Jews are industrious and successful and never in need of a boost. Well, I'm tired of that vicious stereotype! This Jew has been struggling for eight years. I just may be the poorest Jew in the country. I've actually had to borrow money from black friends. What a country!"
Gorin quotes the 11 May Times report on Blair: "His mistakes became so routine, his behavior so unprofessional.... Blair was further rewarded when he was given responsibility for leading the coverage of the [D.C.] sniper prosecution."
"The only warnings I ever got were my walking papers. Blair's foul-ups resulted in a promotion!
"Blair's immediate supervisor, Jeanne Pinder, told the Times' investigative team on this that she 'offered to discuss Mr. Blair's history and habits with anybody' - mostly, she said, 'because we wanted him to succeed.'
"No one ever cared if I succeeded! No one fought for me with the higher-ups! If a temporary assignment was up, and no one had bothered to do an evaluation, I wasn't given a second thought. It was like: Oh, is she still here? We don't need anyone!
"But back to Blair: By way of explaining his being hired from the initial internship program, recruiting editor Sheila Rule said that during his 10 weeks as an intern, 'He did well. He did very well.
"This same lady told me to go work at a newspaper in another city for 50 years first, then come back and try the Times. Why was I so married to working for the Times anyway, she wanted to know.
"While he was at the Times, Blair even had the confidence to be contentious with editors who gave him a problem, and pull on them the rank of others.
"What chutzpah! I envy the protection Blair had.
"All the while, the Times describes many in the newsroom as having grown fond of 'the affable' Blair. 'He had charisma, enormous charisma,' Times media reporter David Carr said.
"Whereas my charisma usually is resented! Of course, if there's one thing we know about the Times, it's that charisma goes a long way. This wasn't the first time a black man's charisma charmed the objectivity right out of the newspaper and allowed him to get away with all but murder, lest we forget Bill Clinton."
Inasmuch as in college (the jury is still out on his high school career), Jayson Blair was already known by colleagues to be a habitual liar and plagiarist, and then, as he received increasing encouragement from his superiors and other well-wishers, became ever more audacious in his frauds and plagiaries, he resembles one of the earliest beneficiaries of affirmative action, long before the term had even been coined. As my old Chronicles editor, Ted Pappas, shows in his book, Plagiarism and the Culture Wars, already as a child, Martin Luther King Jr. coveted other people's words. And as King was helped along by supporters at mostly white institutions of higher education, and then became a preacher and civil rights leader, his plagiaries became ever more audacious.
Jayson Blair may not plan on becoming a civil rights leader, but he claims to be a victim of white racism, and already has retained an agent, in order to cash in on his new-found notoriety. And more than a few black folks have depicted him as a martyr to white racism. Maybe he can still be the Great Black Hoax, er, Hope.
The Real World of Affirmative Action by Nicholas Stix
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on two lawsuits against the University of Michigan's use of affirmative action in admissions to its undergraduate program and law school, respectively. The mainstream, socialist media have predictably supported the continued admission to otherwise highly selective universities of unqualified black and Hispanic applicants, based on their race or ethnicity, as a means to achieve "diversity." Since affirmative action's 1960s' origins, however, this plague has spread beyond college admissions, to corrupt all of America's institutions.
In higher education, affirmative action has led to the hiring of incompetent, often openly racist black and Hispanic professors. It has further led to the creation of multiculturalism, in which entire disciplines - black, women's, Hispanic and gay studies -- exist in order to generate propaganda rationalizing affirmative action, and for the sake of hiring incompetent hate mongers.
Whereas academia had not previously been heavily bureaucratized, affirmative action has created patronage mills of highly-paid black and Hispanic administrators and staffers, whose job is to terrorize whites and protect incompetent and/or vicious minority students and employees. Historian Alan Kors and attorney Harvey Silverglate have named this bureaucratic subculture, "the shadow university," in their book of the same name.
Perhaps the least publicized aspect of academic affirmative action, is the maintaining of remedial mills catering to "students" who increasingly function on an elementary school level. When I taught at William Paterson College (WPC) during the early to mid-1990s, administrators decided to boost the school's "retention" rate, i.e., to keep students on the tuition rolls, no matter how poor their performance. The main impediment to retention was the remedial English Composition final, in which students had to pass the multiple- choice New Jersey Basic Skills Test (NJBST), and an essay exam. And so, the English Department chairwoman, Dr. Catarina Edinger, eliminated the NJBST altogether, expanded the time allotted for the essay exam from 20 to 75 minutes, gutted essay grading standards, and overrode instructors who failed minority students.
Most of one such 75-minute final essay, from 1994, follows.
"My father is the one person who I can truly say has helped me through school and work and just life in general, he has helped me to learn how to wash my clothes by showing me in detail from what Detergent to use Down to how long it will take them to Dry, and when ever I had trouble with school work he allways sat down and showed me what I was doing wrong and then showed me the right way and made me pratice it many times over, for example when the time I didn't know how to Do frations he showed me how to do them and then tested me on them. There was a nother time when my father tought me how to Lift weightfirst he bought a weight set then we started from the brench press to the squat, he tought me ever thing I know…."
Rather than sanctioning WPC, in 1997, the state of New Jersey rewarded WPC officials for their fraud, by promoting the school to university status.
Affirmative action's supporters in academia have suppressed exposure of their abuses through political witch hunts, in which they have gotten faculty critics fired, stolen student newspapers which even mildly criticized affirmative action, and shut down or denied standing to conservative student groups.
A more recent development has been the rise in campus race hoaxes. Since affirmative action relies on a fantastic ideology claiming that all blacks suffer under white racism, the lack of factual support for the ideology requires the constant fabrication of "evidence." And so, melodramatic race hoaxes, in which black students -- and now, even black professors -- invent non-existent white-on-black racial attacks and harassment, have become part of the academic landscape.
For instance, in February, 2002, white graduate student Jay Gardner made the mistake of disagreeing with black Iowa State University (Ames) professor Tracey Owens Patton, during the constant anti-white rants she engaged in, in her journalism class. Patton had Gardner expelled from class, later charging that Gardner was a white supremacist, and that campus police had warned her of white supremacist activity on campus. However, campus police denied to Middle American News having ever told Patton anything of the sort, and Ames police denied to MAN that any such activity was present in Ames.
But affirmative action's pernicious effects go well beyond the university. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of semi-literate, racist, and sometimes criminal blacks and Hispanics being hired as educators, police officers, and physicians, the handcuffing of police officers in dealing with violent minority criminals, and the deterioration of news coverage of urban and ethnic issues.
With the advent of affirmative action, activists demanded that largely unqualified black and Hispanic teachers, administrators, and staffers be given control over the education of black and Hispanic children. The result has been the destruction of millions of urban black and Hispanic children's life chances. In New York alone, for example, thousands of black and Hispanic "teachers" cannot pass the New York State certification exam, even though the exam is dumbed down anew on behalf of just those testees on a yearly basis. (A committee determines which questions black and Hispanic testees most frequently answer incorrectly, and eliminates them. You can't make this stuff up.) As a result, impoverished New York children endure "educators" who have flunked an eighth grade-level test as many as 24 times.
In the criminal justice field, in order to increase black and Hispanic representation by any means necessary, police chiefs dropped criminal background checks of officer candidates in Washington, D.C. and Miami; chiefs in other cities have hired black and Hispanic candidates whom their own job screeners warned were a danger to society. The result has been police crime waves in Washington, D.C., Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Black New Orleans police officer Antoinette Frank was hired in spite of failing the civil service psychiatric evaluation, and remained on the job, despite colleagues' reports of her bizarre behavior. While on duty in 1995, Frank committed armed robbery and murdered three people, including an off-duty police officer. And Antoinette Frank is not unique.
Urban police chiefs also increasingly give black and Hispanic criminals carte blanche to rob, pillage, and even murder. During February, 2001 Mardi Gras celebrations in Seattle, for example, Chief Gil Kerlikowske ordered officers to stand down in the face of a racist black mob that was pummeling and robbing lone whites, and instead arrest white men for the pettiest of offenses. When civilian Kristopher Kime went to the aid of a petite white woman who was being brutally assaulted by several black men, the men stomped him to death.
Affirmative action in medicine has also cost lives. Los Angeles-area Dr. Patrick Chavis was celebrated by the New York Times and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Ma.) as an affirmative action poster boy. Chavis was an unqualified black applicant who was accepted by the University of California/Davis medical school, in the place of qualified white applicant, Allan Bakke. In 1978, Bakke sued the UC system all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and won.
By 1996, Patrick Chavis was an ob-gyn who, without bothering to complete the necessary training, performed liposuction on female patients. When three of Chavis' patients hemorrhaged, he ignored their pain, and refused them treatment. One of the women, Tammaria Cotton, died. It was not until Chavis had killed a patient, that the Medical Board of California, citing 94 charges of gross negligence against him, revoked his medical license.
The mainstream media have largely refused to report on such corruption, because they are themselves in thrall to affirmative action. William McGowan's book, Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism, chronicles how through affirmative action hiring, major newspapers and TV news organizations have installed cadres of black writers and editors who have taken over reporting on urban and racial issues, which they deliberately misreport, while intimidating and otherwise thwarting white reporters from doing honest reporting on such issues.
Thus, media watchers were not terribly surprised when in late April, the New York Times was rocked by one of the biggest scandals in the history of American journalism. Reporter Jayson Blair, a black affirmative action hire who had been at the newspaper for four years, and who had been held up by Executive Editor Howell Raines as a shining example of "diversity," was discovered to have fabricated and/or plagiarized dozens, and possibly hundreds of stories. Although Blair had earlier been caught repeatedly engaging in journalistic misconduct that would have cost a white male reporter his job, instead of being fired, he was promoted. Indeed, Blair was hired as a reporter in spite of having failed to finish college, and having a "substandard" record as a student journalist and Times affirmative action intern.
An unconstitutional, immoral, social engineering scheme that has turned the law, morality, and truth on their respective heads, affirmative action equals lies, censorship, crime ... and death.
The Jayson Blair Case:
At the New York Times, the Spin Cycle Never Ends
by Nicholas Stix
May 27, 2003, Toogood Reports
"Let's see if your lies match up with your partner's lies." That trademark line, uttered by NYPD Blue's "Det. Andy Sipowicz" (Dennis Franz) to one or another suspect about to be interrogated, would be a fitting opening for the interrogation of any number of New York Times reporters and editors. But if I had my pick of TV detectives to grill the mopes at the Times, I'd call "Det. Frank Pembleton" (Andre Braugher) of the late series Homicide: Life on the Streets, up from Baltimore. Pembleton, a master interrogator and avenging angel ("We speak for the dead"), is particularly adept at getting the truth out of psychopaths, and on West 43rd Street, the psychopaths seem to be tripping over each other.
The Times' worthies are busy trying to spin their way out of the biggest scandal in the history of the Newspaper of Record, as the Times is known in the media. After four years with the newspaper, reporter Jayson Blair was caught variously plagiarizing and fabricating dozens, and possibly hundreds of stories. Without ever leaving New York City, he e-mailed stories to the Times' 43rd Street offices with datelines from Cleveland, Maryland, West Virginia, Texas and elsewhere. Rather than be fired, on May 1, Blair resigned.
The official story at the Times, is that Blair was a 'lone gunman' who acted on his own, based on a pathological desire to deceive. Affirmative action had nothing to do with it.
In a "hea culpa," Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. insisted, "The person who did this is Jayson Blair. Let's not begin to demonize our executives - either the desk editors or the executive editor or, dare I say, the publisher."
Even Times staffers don't buy that line. A full year before matters exploded, Metropolitan Editor Jonathan Landman had warned about Blair's dishonesty, and sought to get him sacked, and other editors had expressed doubts about Blair. And it took external pressure, in the form of a plagiarism complaint from a Texas newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News, before the Times brass would act at all.
But you have to remember who we're dealing with here. And so, instead of hearing that Jayson Blair was a young man who had no business inside of the Times' newsroom, we hear that Executive Editor Howell Raines was "autocratic" and had a "star system," as if a rank incompetent and professional liar would somehow have "star" written all over him. And the mainstream media have helped the Times, by echoing its official story.
On ABC's Nightline last Thursday, black Washington Post columnist Terry Neal sought to explain how a writer whose stories were fraudulent could be a "star." Neal said it was a matter of a "tradeoff" between "accuracy" and getting "scoops." But there is no evidence that Jayson Blair ever published a scoop in his life. Host Chris Bury did not ask Neal how lies based on non-existent, "unnamed sources" could count as "scoops."
(Neal was trying to distill sound bites from a much more thoughtful column he'd written on Blair. The column argued that a dishonest reporter would be able to write more vivid, exciting prose than colleagues constrained by the truth. However, Neal's claim that the Blair case had nothing to do with race does not stand up to scrutiny.)
In a shameless performance, Bury in effect resigned from the journalism profession. He opened the program by dishonestly contrasting how Blair was "pilloried" to the New Republic's white serial plagiarist, Stephen Glass, who had just published an autobiographical novel, and who, Bury suggested, had gotten off easy. Bury counted on the audience having forgotten how Glass had been run out of the journalism business, when he was caught inventing stories back in 1998. When Stephen Glass was exposed as a fraud, no one showed him any sympathy, and rightly so. In contrast, many reporters have treated Jayson Blair as some sort of "tragedy," writing of a "meltdown," even as they show that Blair had been consistently dishonest since college, if not earlier.
Bury asked rhetorical questions of his guests that put race off limits as an issue. "But no one asks how Glass's race may have helped him." That's because there was no evidence that race helped Glass, while there was abundant evidence that race helped Blair!
Rather than enlighten the public, Chris Bury aided in a cover-up. But then, he was just following the example of his longtime boss and mentor, Ted Koppel, in matters of race.
Bury's precautions were unnecessary. His guests were Newsweek's editor, Mark Whitaker, who is black; Condace Pressley, the president of the National Association of Black Journalists; and white Washington Post media critic, Howard Kurtz. Unless Bury squeezed in a critic of affirmative action while I blinked, his guests and the other journalists and professors interviewed, all denied that race was a factor in the Blair story. Chris Bury didn't even pretend to be giving the story balanced coverage. And when Howard Kurtz said that a black journalist was "ready to take my head off" at the mere suggestion that race might have been a factor, neither Kurtz nor anyone else present questioned the integrity of the black journalist.
Just two days earlier, the NABJ web site had posted an editorial, condemning the consideration of race in the Blair story.
"'But for those critics of diversity to assert that Blair did what he did or got where he got solely because of the color of his skin is just plain wrong, myopic and lazy journalism,' said Condace Pressley, president of NABJ and assistant program director at WSB Radio in Atlanta. 'And it ignores facts in other cases.'
"For instance, did race have anything to do with the awful case of Brian Walski, the LA Times photographer who fabricated the photograph out of Iraq earlier this year? Was it a factor with the two Salt Lake City reporters who sold a fabricated story to the National Enquirer for $20,000 in the Elizabeth Smart case? Was it a factor with Mike Barnicle, Stephen Glass, Ruth Shalit, Eric Drudis or the dozens of other white journalists who smeared the honorable profession of journalism and lied to their readers?
"Why should it be a factor here?"
Because the facts say it is.
Like other race hustlers, Condace Pressley, is playing a rigged game. She knows that with rare exceptions, it would be career suicide for any reporter at a major daily or TV station to challenge her.
At the bottom of the NABJ's editorial, the organization lays out its mission:
"The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) founded in 1975, exists to promote newsroom diversity [to get unqualified blacks journalism internships and jobs], expand job and recruiting opportunities for African-American journalists and journalism students [a repetition of the previous phrase], and to advocate for fairness and balance in media coverage of the African-American community and of the African-American experience [to pressure media organizations out of doing serious reporting on blacks and urban issues, and instead turn them into racial cheerleaders]."
A courageous exception to the above rule was made by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who observed that,
"a close reading of the Times' own account of what went wrong suggests that the paper itself does not fully comprehend what happened. It was not, as some outside observers have said, that no newspaper can fully protect itself against a liar. It was rather that the paper should have known it had a liar on its hands and, despite obvious warnings, did little about it."
"The answer appears to be precisely what the Times denies: favoritism based on race."
With all due respect to Richard Cohen, I have to note that he is that anachronism whom youngish conservatives are unaware ever existed, and that youngish lefties are outraged to discover still exists: The principled, liberal, male patriot with intact genitalia. Thus it is that Cohen, a military veteran, has also contradicted the feminist dogma that women can serve in the military, just like men. Granted, Cohen still defends an idealized form of affirmative action that exists nowhere, but even that is not enough to satisfy today's diversity apparatchiks. But Cohen is in his sixties, and will be retiring sometime soon. The socialist establishment can wait him out.
Here are the bare facts, in the matter of the Truth vs. Jayson Blair:
1. In spite of a checkered track record as a student newspaper reporter, local daily and Boston Globe intern, and editor in high school and at the University of Maryland (where he did a poor job as editor, and resigned while under a cloud), he got his foot in the door at the Times through an affirmative action summer internship in 1998 -- in other words, through race;
2. He failed to ever finish college;
3. In spite of what Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz called "substandard" tours at the college paper and during the Times internship, and the lack of a college degree, the Times hired Blair as a reporter in 1999.
4. When repeated questions arose about Blair's honesty as a reporter, instead of firing him, the Times brass repeatedly promoted him, from intermediate reporter to full-time reporter, to national reporter, and ultimately, to head up the D.C. Sniper team.
There is no tougher job to get in the world of journalism, than a writing gig at the New York Times. Tens of thousands of hot-shot reporters around the country dream of working at the Grey Lady, without ever getting so much as an interview. In the early 1990s in New York, while publishing my own magazine, A Different Drummer, I also wrote the occasional freelance piece for the daily, New York Newsday
At one point, I called up the New York Daily News, which was then the city's biggest daily, to try and get a job there. The person I spoke to said - without laughing -- that I would have to send my resume to the personnel office.
I didn't waste my time. Nobody, but nobody, ever got a writing job at a major metropolitan daily, by simply applying to the personnel office.
Around the same time, I sold some furniture (my day job) to a couple of New York Post staffers. I asked the husband what would happen, if I applied to his newspaper (then as now, the third biggest daily in town) for a writing job. Laughing, he said, "It would get tossed in the 'circular file'" (garbage can). His wife told of the first time she'd heard the term. Someone had sent in a resume, and her boss told her to "file it in the 'circular file.'"
(Years later, I would freelance for both the Post and the Daily News, writing on higher education and culture, but did so through directly contacting the Post's deputy op-ed editor, Mark Cunningham, and the Daily News' op-ed editor, Bob Laird, respectively.)
To even be considered for employment at the Times, a reporter candidate often needs:
1. Orthodox socialist/politically correct views on everything;
2. A bachelor's degree from an Ivy League school or an OPU (overpriced, private university) equivalent, e.g., NYU;
3. A master's degree in journalism, preferably from Columbia University; and
4. A storied career at a daily newspaper;
Apparently, for a black candidate, #1 alone suffices. No one at the Times even checked to see if Blair had graduated from Maryland, much less to find out whether he had finished his tenure as editor of The Diamondback, at the University of Maryland. (Mickey Kaus snickered about the Times' failure to check out Blair's college newspaper track record, "More evidence of due diligence, diversity-style.") The in-house, May 11 "Blair Report" indirectly quoted a senior editor as saying of the former intern's June, 1999 return to the newsroom as a reporter, "everyone assumed he had graduated." And that was no accident. The history of affirmative action has involved not only the continual watering down of job requirements for black applicants (e.g., elimination of competency exams and the need for previous professional experience), but also the attitude on the part of pro-affirmative action employers, of not wanting to know anything that might cast doubt on a black applicant's qualifications.
(During the early 1990s, New York State NAACP chief Hazel Duke, whom socialist Gov. Mario Cuomo had given the patronage plum of running the state's Off-Track Betting Corporation, summarily fired a bunch of white OTB managers. Duke then hired as her top manager, a black man who claimed to have a bachelor's and a master's degree. When the white managers sued OTB, claiming they had been fired based solely on the color of their skin, and the state investigated the agency, it turned out that the black manager had no college degrees, though he said he felt he "deserved" them. Note that under the leadership of Hazel Duke, who was later caught embezzling funds from an elderly acquaintance, rather than earn billions of dollars for the state, as one would expect of a gambling authority, OTB made a net profit of zero dollars.)
Granted, the four points I cited above are not set in stone. Some current New York Times reporters lacked qualifications #3 & #4 at the time they were hired. One young, white female Times reporter I met circa 1987, told me she was hired as a copy girl straight out of the Ivy League's Brown University. Sixteen undistinguished years later, the reporter is still with the Times. However, for heterosexual, white men, all four points are increasingly job requirements.
(As Reed Irvine reported on June 9, 2000, "Richard Berke, the national political correspondent for the New York Times, recently spoke at a reception celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He reminisced about the bad old days at the Times, when homosexual reporters were discriminated against. How things have changed. 'Now,' he said, 'there are times when you look at the front-page meeting and ... literally three-quarters of the people deciding what's on the front page are not-so-closeted homosexuals.'")
Initially, the Times adamantly, kind of, sort of denied that race had anything to do with the Blair case. Consider the newspaper's 14,000-word, May 11 report on the case:
"Mr. Blair's Times supervisors and Maryland professors emphasize that he earned an internship at The Times because of glowing recommendations and a remarkable work history, not because he is black. The Times offered him a slot in an internship program that was then being used in large part to help the paper diversify its newsroom."
Note the contradiction between the two sentences: He WASN'T a racial (affirmative action/diversity) hire and he WAS ("to help the paper diversify") a racial hire. He got his foot in the door through a race-based internship program. One cannot, without raping the English language, deny that Jayson Blair was hired because of the color of his skin. Several other questions that the Times report failed to answer were:
1. When prosecutors disparaged Blair's story on sniper suspect John Muhammad, which Blair claimed was based on five anonymous law enforcement sources, why did his bosses not ask for the sources names? (In journalism, when a story's veracity has been challenged, editors can and must get the names of anonymous informants.)
2. Why did the clerk responsible for expenses not check to see if the receipts Blair provided matched up with the places he claimed to have been reporting from?
3. Why did the Times, which typically issues company credit cards to reporters, either refuse to issue one to Blair, or revoke his card?
4. Why did Blair's national editor, Jim Roberts, who in a highly unusual move, let Blair use his credit card for "travel," fail to note the lack of any bills for hotel rooms or car rentals?
There were question marks already during Blair's high-school career, during which time Newsweek's Seth Mnookin reports, he interned at the Centreville Times newspaper, and was typically unreliable, disappeared at crucial times, and missed deadlines.
In one early report on Blair, another former University of Maryland student journalist refused to discuss Blair's performance on the school paper, The Diamondback, instead making a mysteriously magnanimous comment about having himself been less than perfect. In Seth Mnookin's Newsweek story, "The Secret Life of Jayson Blair/Times Bomb," Mnookin gets more specific information.
"'When Jayson was initially hired, people were really upset,' Danielle Newman told Newsweek. Newman was an editor under Blair, and succeeded him after he resigned. 'We said we just didn't think he was qualified,' Newman said. There were concerns about a football game Blair covered-his story was filled with quotes from people another reporter at the game wasn't sure existed. There was a story in which Blair tried to insert quotes from an Associated Press wire story. 'We definitely had our suspicions about his reporting,' Newman says. 'But what could we do?'"
Unfortunately, Mnookin shies away from asking follow-up questions, like: Who was it that installed an unqualified, notoriously dishonest reporter as editor, and why?, and Why did you think there was nothing you could do about Blair? Indeed, while Mnookin did at least admit that reporters across the country have been privately raising the issue, in newsrooms, of Blair's possibly having benefited from racial discrimination, as soon as he raises the matter, he buries it in a thicket of addiction and psychological subplots: "Instead of answering questions about how Blair had been able to get away with so much for so long, the consensus in the newsroom was that the [May 11] Times story skirted around many of the major issues-the role of race in Blair's hiring and promotions."
At every step of Jayson Blair's career, he engaged in unprofessional behavior, and often lacked the necessary qualifications for the job he was given, factors which would have disqualified him from being hired or gotten him fired, had he been white. And yet, people kept throwing editorships, internships, jobs and promotions his way, and working to help him succeed. He was repeatedly shuffled around the Times newsroom, given leaves of absence, warnings, reprimands, "counseling" â€¦ and promotions. Meanwhile, Times staffers and executives spoke about him less as a talented colleague, than the way a caseworker would speak of a client.
Let us return to the Times' blackwash of things.
"In January 2001, Mr. Blair was promoted to full-time reporter with the consensus of a recruiting committee of roughly half a dozen people headed by Gerald M. Boyd, then a deputy managing editor, and the approval of Mr. [Joseph] Lelyveld.
[Joe Lelyveld was then the Times' Executive Editor.]
"[Metropolitan Editor Jonathan] Landman said last week that he had been against the recommendation - that he 'wasn't asked so much as told' about Mr. Blair's promotion. But he also emphasized that he did not protest the move."
"[Metropolitan Editor Jonathan] Landman said last week that he had been against the recommendation - that he 'wasn't asked so much as told' about Mr. Blair's promotion. But he also emphasized that he did not protest the move."
[Of course he didn't protest; that would have cost him his job.]
"The publisher and the executive editor, he said, had made clear the company's commitment to diversity - 'and properly so,' he said.
"Mr. Boyd, who is now managing editor, the second-highest-ranking newsroom executive, said last week that the decision to advance Mr. Blair had not been based on race. Indeed, plenty of young white reporters have been swiftly promoted through the ranks.
[Is Boyd saying that the young white reporters were brought into the Times via a whites-only internship program, and that like Blair, they engaged from the beginning in sloppy, unprofessional work that required constant public corrections, that they were drug addicts, and became increasingly audacious in fabricating and plagiarizing stories? Of course, not. The only other logical possibility, is that he is saying that the fact that young, talented white reporters have been swiftly promoted, requires that a young black reporter also be promoted, no matter how incompetent and fraudulent he is. Methinks that, like Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Howell Raines, Gerald Boyd is used to making inane statements, without being challenged.]
"'To say now that his promotion was about diversity in my view doesn't begin to capture what was going on,' said Mr. Boyd, who is himself African-American. 'He was a young, promising reporter who had done a job that warranted promotion.'
[The record has made it abundantly clear that Jayson Blair was NOT a promising reporter, and had never earned a promotion.]
"But if anything, Mr. Blair's performance after his promotion declined; he made more errors and clashed with more editors. Then came the catastrophes of Sept. 11, 2001, and things got worse."
The report acknowledges that, "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.'"
No one at the Times connected the dots, then or now. When you hire someone for reasons other than merit, and retain him, no matter how much he screws up, he is bound to have a sense of privilege and entitlement. Jayson Blair was responding to his superiors' - specifically Raines and Boyd's -- lead.
Note the divergence between Jonathan Landman's admission that Blair's promotion was due to race, and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd's denial that race played a role. Liberal pundit Mickey Kaus called Boyd "the moose in The Times newsroom," as in "the problem nobody will talk about."
While demanding race-based hiring and promotions, professional blacks always deny that any particular black was hired or promoted, based on his race. The Times brass has sought to blame a lack of "communication," for letting things go on for so long, in Blair's case. But a white applicant with Jayson Blair's pathetic track record would never have gotten an interview. His application material more likely would have been passed around, for office entertainment.
And yet, Jayson Blair is angry that people are calling him an "affirmative action hire." He told the New York Observer that most of his editors at the Times were "idiots," and that he was a victim of "racism."
Let us recall New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.'s "hea culpa," in refusing to admit that his policies were at all responsible for Blair's misdeeds. "But Mr. Sulzberger emphasized that as The New York Times continues to examine how its employees and readers were betrayed, there will be no newsroom search for scapegoatsâ€¦. "The person who did this is Jayson Blair. Let's not begin to demonize our executives - either the desk editors or the executive editor or, dare I say, the publisher."
Why not blame Sulzberger, who has apparently never heard the phrase, "The buck stops here"?
In December, 1992, a young Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., having that year taken the reigns from his father and namesake, announced that "diversity" would be his crusade. The history of the Times under Sulzberger Jr., has been the story of a daily that, already characterized by socialist bias, largely surrendered its hard news values and became a propaganda sheet, with reporters ever more frequently publishing veiled editorials disguised as news stories, when they weren't engaging in myriad forms of dishonesty.
On May 14, the Times held an extraordinary meeting for its entire news staff - excepting its media reporter, Jacques Steinberg, who was barred entry -- in a local movie theater. Notwithstanding Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger's rationalizations, and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd's song and dance, 'What's Race Got to Do with It?,' in a weak moment, Executive Editor Howell Raines had an attack of honesty.
Switching from a "hea culpa" to a mea culpa, he stated the obvious.
"Our paper has a commitment to diversity and by all accounts he appeared to be a promising young minority reporter. I believe in aggressively providing hiring and career opportunities for minorities."
"Does that mean I personally favored Jayson? Not consciously. But you have a right to ask if I, as a white man from Alabama, with those convictions, gave him one chance too many by not stopping his appointment to the sniper team. When I look into my heart for the truth of that, the answer is yes."