Monday, March 08, 2004

The embargo has lifted

And the reviews are in.

"The book is almost as much a mess as the author's life."

The New York Times is set to call it a "shoddily written and filibustering book."

"Calling this book "self-serving" isn't nearly enough. The tone is occasionally confessional, but huge portions of the book are attacks."

"It’s a curio, an artifact, an unprocessed download from Blair’s brain—vivid, wired, serviceably written and paced, and, in a way, more interesting for its artlessness."

I watched Katie Couric's interview with Jayson Blair last Friday. The man is obviously a sociopath. He says he feels remorse, but his eyes cannot be believed. He checks off the charges against him, but her offers no defense.

When he returned to work so did his mistakes, enough to prompt one of Blair's editors, Jonathan Landman, to write a now-famous memo.

"We have to stop Jayson from writing for The New York Times. Right now."

Couric: “In retrospect, he was right, wasn't he?”

Blair: “You know, that's not a judgment for me to make.”

Couric: Why not? Why can't you examine your own behavior?”

Blair: “I can examine my own behavior. But I can't decide whether, you know, his call at that particular point was the right call.”

This really summed up the interview for me. Blair refusing to judge, to commit. Couric was even harsh at times; he wouldn't fight back. It wasn't "cold and calculating"; it was dead. Part of me when I tuned in was hoping to see the face of a criminal mastermind. Instead, an inarticulate slimeball.

It's infuriating that he sits there quietly with an attitude that suggests he is entirely removed from those despicable actions, entirely above our criticisms, entirely deserving better than all this. All in all, he's done pretty well.

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