John Bloom tears into the NYT treatment of the Jayson Blair flap. Some excerpts: And

Normally nations would have to collapse, or presidents would have to die, to warrant two full inside pages of the Sunday paper jumped from an above-the-fold front-page lead. You wouldn’t expect this kind of coverage for the transgressions of Tony Blair, much less Jayson Blair. But there is Sin here, they want us to know. We must put on our mourning clothes and wail. The temple has been defiled.

* * *
“Mr. Blair was just one of about 375 reporters at The Times; his tenure was brief. But the damage he has done to the newspaper and its employees will not completely fade with next week’s editions, or next month’s, or next year’s.”

With this kind of dramatic prosody, shouldn’t we have a funereal bagpipe-and-drum corps marching in slow lock-step as well? Note the capitalization of “The” in “The Times,” to make certain we know it’s not some lesser Times, like the mere Los Angeles Times.

* * *
“The New York Times continues as before. Every morning, stacks of The Times are piled at newsstands throughout the city; every morning, newspaper carriers toss plastic bags containing that day’s issue onto the lawns of readers from Oregon to Maine. What remains unclear is how long those copies will carry the dust from the public collapse of a young journalist’s career.”

At this point you want to just throw up your hands and say, “My God! You had a loose-cannon employee. Get over yourself!”

* * *
The remarkable thing about the piece is that they APPEAR to be framing it as public self-flagellation, and yet there’s a paucity of soul-searching and virtually no blaming to spice up the drama. Maybe the personnel department messed up. Maybe one or more editors messed up. Maybe Blair failed an employee personality test but no one interpreted the results. But there’s no real finger-pointing or mea culpas at all. It’s just “He was a pathological liar, he bamboozled us, we didn’t find out until it was too late.”

Good stuff. Go read the rest.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.