Monday, May 19, 2003

The New York Times/Jayson Blair affair made the cover of Newsweek? For the love of God, why? Right-wing Times-haters must be beside themselves with glee, but why does Newsweek think the average American gives a damn?

Consider the fact that, despite gobs of publicity, the new novel by that other plagiarist, Stephen Glass -- you know, the white one, the one whose compulsive dishonesty didn't lead to suggestions that fewer members of his ethnic group belong in newsrooms -- is, as I write this, #4,196 on the bestseller list. That means it's not selling much better than, say, Edgar A. Falk's 1,001 Ideas to Create Retail Excitement. In other words, the public isn't buying. I don't think the general public cares if one journalist and/or news organization screws up, beyond noting that it happened and expecting all concerned to try to get right what they got wrong -- and, really, the general public shouldn't care.

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