News Analysis

Pinch Sulzberger Blames His Readers for Jayson Blair Scandal at New York Times

By MassNews Staff
April 27, 2004

     Pinch Sulzberger, owner of the New York Times, last week blamed the readers of the Times for the Jayson Blair scandal which rocked his newspaper last year and brought it  and him  to their knees.

     Sulzberger made the charge against his readers while he was on a panel at the American Society of Newspaper Editors according to Editor and Publisher magazine, which reported the story this way:

     “Sulzberger [said] the worst thing to come out of the Blair scandal was … readers who knew about the incorrect reporting did not complain…”

     But Pinch, the readers may not have complained to you, but someone much more important did. And that was your editors.

     Your paper reported last May that your inquiry “establishes that various editors and reporters expressed misgivings about Mr. Blair’s reporting skill, maturity and behavior during his five-year journey from raw intern to reporter on national news events.” It also reported that metropolitan editor Jonathan Landman sent an email to newsroom administrators in April 2002 that Blair wasn’t competent and he had to go.

     Don’t you read your own paper? You were in charge of the investigation! And now you’re blaming the readers?!?

      Wait Pinch, there’s more!

     Blair was given a leave for personal reasons at one point and told to be more accurate when he came back. But when he came back, he was assigned to the prestigious national desk.

     Pawlick Says New Scandal Will Bring Sulzberger Down

     Pinch Sulzberger will be removed from office shortly, maybe within thirty days, says Attorney J. Edward Pawlick, who has written a book about a new scandal involving Sulzberger and the Times.

     Pawlick, whose book is titled “Libel by New York Times,” is talking about Pinch’s abortive attempt to impose homosexual marriage upon Massachusetts.

      The attorney says that last year, Sulzberger fired his two top editors at the Times, one of them an old friend, in an attempt to put the blame on someone else.

     “This year,” said Pawlick, “he’s blaming the readers? He’s ridiculous. Everyone knows that he was the person responsible for the tragedy of Jayson Blair, who was hired and setup for failure solely to make Sulzberger look like a tolerant, ‘caring person,’ who was trying to help those of other races. In actuality, he doesn’t care about others and is focused only on saving his own skin and his own position as one of the most powerful people in the world.”

     Sulzberger told the audience at the panel discussion: "You [the publishers] need to fix the system. We could add 100 new reporters to The New York Times; you still need to fix the flaws. It is not just a question of adding bodies."

     Although all of the panelists graded their newspapers on performance in public service, ethics and maintaining quality, Sulzberger refused to do so. He was the only one. Why did he refuse to grade the Times on “quality,” “ethics,” or “public service?” Apparently, even he understands that he gets an “F” as a Publisher, who got his job only because his father gave it to him.

     Pinch Has Lost His Cool

     Pawlick says that Sulzberger’s best tactic is to pretend he never heard of “Libel by New York Times” or Pawlick, but he lost his cool on April 14 when he had the Globe write a large attack story on the attorney on the front page of its Business section.

      “It was the best advertising for the book that I’ve gotten,” says Pawlick. “In addition, Pinch’s main complaint was that I am ‘an apostle for conservative causes.’ It shows his mindset when he believes that statement is a terrible indictment of a person. He even put that attack ahead of the totally unsubstantiated statement that I have a ‘mean streak to boot.’”

     Pawlick noted that Sulzberger inadvertently publicized his 1997 book, “Freedom Will Conquer Racism and Sexism.” But he complained that Pinch didn’t publish the title to the book, although the attorney was happy that it said that Pawlick is “crusading against the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 – it is bad for everyone in America – particularly minorities, he says.”

     That’s the first time the Times has mentioned that book, says Pawlick, and it’s good to know that people at the paper are reading it.

     Pawlick said that “Freedom Will Conquer” is about people like Sulzberger who assuage their guilt by giving special “rights” to minorities instead of treating them like anyone else. He says that Jayson Blair was destroyed by Sulzberger. Blair realized he was being treated as a toy by this man who never had any respect for him at all.

     “Freedom Will Conquer” received the plaudits of Alan Keyes and Prof. Walter Williams, guest host on the Rush Limbaugh show. The new book, “Libel by New York Times” has received the applause of Alan Keyes, Chuck Colson, movie critic Ted Baehr from Movieguide and John Diggs, M.D., who reviewed it for the Heritage Foundation on their Town Hall site.

     Full Text of Quote from E&P

    In case someone wishes to read the full text of the Editor & Publisher comment in order make sure we quoted them fairly, we report the full text of the quoted portion here:

     But several of the corporate executives disagreed. "You need to fix the system," Sulzberger responded. "We could add 100 new reporters to The New York Times; you still need to fix the flaws. It is no [sic] just a question of adding bodies."
      Sulzberger also revealed that the worst thing to come out of the Blair scandal was not the former reporter's ethical crimes, but the fact that sources and readers who knew about the incorrect reporting did not complain because they believed that that was what newspapers did. "That is scary," he said.


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