Originally created 03/15/04

Poster child for shunning

Some societies deal with their disgraces by shunning them - somehow making certain such people are never seen again.

In contrast, our society celebrates disgraces.

Take Jayson Blair.


Blair is the poster child for shunning. His face should never be seen again in the respectable media.

He resigned in disgrace last May after being caught plagiarizing an article from a Texas newspaper about the family of a missing soldier in Iraq.

As it turns out, he also fabricated other wanderings of an up-and-coming New York Times reporter - sending in various dispatches of fiction from his Brooklyn apartment.

Set aside how stupid that is - that a promising man of 27 could be offered travel and fame and a leading news mouthpiece, and throw it all out the window of a Brooklyn apartment. It's lazy, boneheaded and inexplicable.

It also should be criminal. Blair perpetrated a fraud on his employer and the American public.

Still, the greater crime is occurring now - as the manipulatable media are rushing to make this cretin a star. Blair has written a book - Burning Down My Masters' House (like he was a slave at the New York Times rather than a beneficiary of a misguided zeal for diversity). And lately he's been shilling his pulp on any TV news magazine shameful enough to share in the dubious glow from his disgrace.

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on the media. Larry King and Katie Couric can tell themselves, and us, whatever they like. The truth is that giving disgraces like Blair prime-time television exposure is lifting them up. Celebrating them.

Such occasions, like the disgraces they promote, should be shunned.


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