Hey, everybody everywhere ever: Do not book fucking Jayson Blair to speak at your event.
There was Jayson Blair on Wednesday: Standing in front of a packed house at Winston-Salem State University’s R.J. Reynolds Center. Trying to explain himself. Getting nailed with tough questions about why he plagiarized and fabricated stories.
What in God’s name was this university thinking? Setting an example for their students? Why not just bring a murderer in to chat about how killing people leads to serious consequences? If college kids in journalism classes need to be told by JAYSON BLAIR that lying is bad, clearly their professors aren’t doing their jobs.
Men like Blair, and Mike Barnicle before him, will never be unemployed. My realist’s heart knows that Blair will eventually parlay this experience, this “healing” and “contrition” and other such bullshit words he’s spouting now, into gainful employment with a media outlet whose owners want publicity and a famous name. That doesn’t change the fact that this guy betrayed the public trust and made it harder for reporters everywhere, hard-working people for the most part who are pretty damn badly paid, to do their jobs. Decent people should spit on him, not pay him $3,000 to tell his miserable story.