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   Editorial: Jayson Blair, Minor League Liar


Jayson Blair, Minor League Liar

We don’t see why disgraced lying New York Times journalist Jayson Blair has gotten so much media attention for his fabrication of facts and made-up quotes. We’re as angry as anyone that a member of the media lies, but we’re even more outraged that our media have soft-pedaled the lying of George W. Bush and his minions, and swallowed whole the fabrications and distortions they have handed out to reporters who fail to double-check the facts. Blair’s fellow (white, middle-aged, female) Times reporter, Judith Miller, according to Russ Baker in the June 5 issue of The Nation magazine, falls in the latter category, more’s the pity, and she is far from alone.

However dishonest Blair has been, at least his lies haven’t killed anyone, or wrecked anyone’s life, or created a hell-on-earth of a pre-emptive war. Even the Department of Defense, CIA and Department of State distanced themselves from Bush’s lies about Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ but our media—even at the august Times—still saw fit to make the carnage palatable to the American public.

More lies are coming at us every day from the big-league liars and distorters, intent on destroying America while claiming they want to save it: ‘protect the environment’ by gutting laws that would lessen pollution; ‘no child left behind’ while savaging social programs designed to move them ahead; ‘we must share the tax burden evenly’ while giving away the store to the rich at the expense of the middle class and working poor; ‘Democrats are fomenting class warfare’ while fanning the flames themselves by setting up policies that are bound to create resentment. It all has a ring of déjà vu; you’d think we’d gone back to the days of another master dissimulator—Ronald Reagan.

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This story was published on June 10, 2003.
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