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Following a link from Orin Kerr, you can have your trust in the New York Times, such as it may be, clobbered by reading Off Target, an alarming account by the Washington City Paper of Times writer Jayson Blair’s years of countless fabrications, errors, and shoddy journalism. A final bout with plagiarism has ended his employment at the Times, but that paper now has five reporters and three editors combing through Blair’s reporting while at the paper. It’s also worth noting that one reason Times Executive Editor Howell Raines gives for not firing Blair sooner is the protection afforded to him by the paper’s writers’ guild. No one should be able to use a guild or a union or any other shield to shelter them from the consequences of such poor judgment.

P.S. One of the most entertaining snippets in the article occurs when the irked Washington Post writers realize that Blair is close to being fired. “It is impossible to understate the weird kind of train-wreck glee that is pervading this room, now that everyone smells blood in the water…” noted a Post writer.

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