SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? | 2003-05-17

Jayson Blair is a 27-year-old black man who sped right up into reporting on major stories for the New York Times. It was a job many a middle-aged, highly experienced white reporter would have given his right arm for.

The New York Times just discovered that Blair has been handing in fake stories for years. He didn't even go to the places where the stories were.

A lot of talk shows that cover the media have been discussing this Blair scandal. They all agree that the fact that a reporter could publish fake stories for years does not mean that anything else that was false ever got into the New York Times.

A New York Times reporter some years back got a Pulitzer Prize for a completely fake story and had to give it back.

These are two that got caught.

The next question reporters ask each other on these talk shows is, "Did Blair get his job because he was black?"

If you can ask that with a straight face, you're a better actor than I am.

The black man has a job for being black. He brought in stories for years that were faked. He didn't even go to the places he was "reporting" from.

So what's the problem?

A fake reporter did some fake reporting.

Well, gee whiz!