Is the Jayson Blair Affair the Low Point in New York Times’ 150-Year History?

May 21, 2003


Alexander Cockburn asks what about the coverage of Wen Ho Lee and the U.S. invasion of Iraq? He is joined by Danny Schechter in our studio.

"Now the Times is nursing its bruises from the Jayson Blair affair. There are so many smellier corpses in the New York Times’s mausoleum, not to mention that larger graveyard of truth known as the American Fourth Estate, that it’s hard to get upset at what Blair did…To be sure, Blair made up a bunch of not very stuff, and he’s embarrassed the hell out of his former colleagues and his publisher. The New York tabs have been having a field day. But from all this editorial hand wringing you’d think he’s undermined the very foundation of the Republic."

These are the words of Alexander Cockburn in his article, The Jayson Blair Affair, where he discusses other far more serious errors in reporting in New York Times history which escaped criticism.

  • Alexander Cockburn, editor of the journal Counterpunch and website
  • Danny Schechter, television producer and independent filmmaker who also writes and speaks about media issues. He is the author of Media Wars: News at a Time of Terror, Falun Gong’s Challenge to China, The More You Watch, The Less You Know and News Dissector: Passions, Pieces and Polemics. He is the executive editor of the, the world’s largest online media issues network.