The plagarism controversy surrounding New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, 27, and Executive Editor Howell Raines, is surprising given the paper’s history. On the other hand, some think the Times has gone to the dogs. Andrew Sullivan has been all over this story:
One Times veteran suggests Blair received excess favor not because he was black, but because he was green. According to this source, Blair is typical of the latest crop of reporters anointed by the Raines administration. “They’re young, they’re energetic, they say the right things, they kiss ass�but they don’t have the skills to do the jobs they’re handed,” says the source. “This kind of favoritism is repulsive to people who have been there awhile.” Other insiders say the Blair case is symptomatic of a deeper issue: The Times newsroom does not operate as a meritocracy. Instead, sources say, Raines and [Gerald] Boyd pick their favorites for whatever reasons and become so invested in showcasing these reporters that they turn a blind eye to their flaws, which are said to range variously from inexperience and laziness to intellectual dishonesty and a high volume of factual errors.