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May 22, 2003

Blairing Headlines

When it comes to books about black professionals there seems to be just three types. How to, struggle to triumph, and cautionary backbite. Not that I read such books. While I was sympathetic to Jill Nelson back in the day, I didn't have the stomach for Nathan McCall. Although I really was fascinated, I was too disturbed by the prospect of learning how much of a scapegoat was Joe Jett.

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to seeing Jayson Blair's movie although I probably wouldn't buy his book. A movie is just right and Orlando Jones is just the man to play the role. Here's the drama that needs to be central:

Mr. Blair did give measured praise to metropolitan editor Jonathan
Landman, the person who repeatedly questioned Mr. Blairs reporting
and accuracy and his moves within the paper.

Mr. Blair called Mr. Landman an "honest, honorable, misguided man."

"He wants to believe that we live in a meritocracy simply because he
follows a meritocracy," Mr. Blair said. "He is unwilling to believe
that there are people who work under him who are racist. And because
he cant make that compensation or that judgment, his actions, for an
honorable man, come widely off the mark. Hewas among the people who
helped save my lifebut I also recognize him for what he is, and hes
misguided. Hes convinced that because Jon Landman doesnt think race
is a factor in anything, that the editors who work for him do not use

"I dont want to go into the specifics of alleging X, Y or Z, but its
not just in my regard," Mr. Blair continued. "Its every black
reporter, except for a handful that are protected."

Informed of Mr. Blairs comments, Mr. Landman said: "For him to call
these people racist is extraordinary. These were the same people who
tried to save his life when he was as destructive as anyone Ive ever
seen in the newsroom."

We don't get much traffic in corporate corruption flicks. It's all done for slapdash drama as in everything starring Michael Douglas. One with this angle on ambition would be a double dose worth doing right.

Here's to hope.

Posted by mbowen at May 22, 2003 12:28 AM

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They need an unknown in the starring role.

Although ... now that I think about it, I'd greenlight a script if Cuba Gooding Jr. were attached.

'Twould never happen: he likes paying his bills on time (why else would he have done "Road Trip," "Snow Dogs," etc., etc.?), and he doesn't seem like the type up for for Hayden Christiansen-as-Stephen-Glass. I suggest it solely for my amusement, and (hopefully) yours.

Posted by: George at May 22, 2003 05:14 AM

Wendell B. Harris as Blair were it not for his age. Regrettably, I can see Cuba as the lying, lazy bastard.

Posted by: ronn at May 22, 2003 06:29 PM