Tragedy and racism at the NYT
The NYT cancelation that was a disgraceful banishment and ritual humiliation and still haunts the place: Jayson Blair. Then, for good measure, Gerald Boyd and Howell Raines, because they had “coddled” a Black reporter? How was that this century? Judith Miller solidly on staff at the time.
When it becomes clear that an executive editor and deputy can be summarily fired for what’s seen as excessive anti-racism, it’s no wonder the paper bends over backward to give racism its due. Gerald Boyd died just a few years later at 56. He grew up in poverty and was the first (only?) Black Metro editor and first Black managing editor. Led coverage that won 3 Pulitzers. Ran 9/11 coverage. But the first line of his obit suggests total ignominy.
The Siegel committee, which investigated Jayson Blair’s offenses, focused on Blair as an “affirmative action hire.” Literally it argued: Blair had screwed up because he was Black. Bob Herbert, the sole Black op-ed columnist at the time, wrote:
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