New York Times Can’t Blame Blair This Time

Now we have the New York Times issuing another mea culpa. Perhaps it’s the annual.

Last year it had to admit — eventually — that Jayson Blair was a lot more than the iconic newspaper’s minority, superstar-in-the-making reporter. He was a fraud. A superstar-in-the-faking. A plagiarizing, source-fabricating, arrogantly venal fraud — and the leadership of the Times was his self-congratulating, diversity enabler.

This time it’s a lot more serious. This time it’s not the Times being caught worshiping its idols at the altar of political correctness. This time it’s the Times being caught hurting a lot more than its reputation. This time it blindsided the country.

The Times now confesses that it was “had” in its reporting on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. It was duped by dubious, agenda-driven sources and became an unwitting co-conspirator in presenting the key rationale for war to the American people — and the rest of the world. It accepted as geopolitical gospel assertions and allegations by a clique of self-appointed, self-serving, Iraqi regime-change advocates.

As a result, it ill served its readers, a seemingly forgiving lot who still like their world according to the Times . But much more importantly, it ill served the national interest. The Times may want to send personal apologies to the families of all those soldiers who have been killed fighting a war with a bogus rationale propagated in no small part by the lazy, hapless reporting of the New York Times.

America’s newspaper of record can’t blame this one on Jayson Blair.

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