In a feedback below, “Josh” denies Tim Wise’s claim that “In just the last several years, over a half-dozen white journalists have been busted for plagiarism or fabricating stories … yet none provoked this kind of outrage.” Josh writes: “Were they really in the same scope as this guy? Maybe they were, if so I’d want to read about them and could then agree that Blair is being singled because of his race. The fact is I don’t believe that this is what happened.”

Josh is wrong, and he relies on a common tactic of the right: angrily and loudly repeat a falsehood, instead of quietly doing a little research and finding out you’re wrong. To read about white journalists who lie, try this Salon article from 1998. And if you need an old white man at an old white institution to tell you that the Jayson Blair incident is about lying and not race, I suggest This Howard Kurtz column from the Washington Post, that concludes: “Whatever their missteps, [NY Times editor] Raines and company were deceived by an unusually good liar, a talent that transcends skin color.”

Author: Rob