From the Associated Press: USA Today said Friday that an examination of the work of journalist Jack Kelley found strong evidence that the newspaper's former star foreign correspondent had fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories. "As an institution, we failed our readers by not recognizing Jack Kelley's problems. For that I apologize,'' publisher Craig Moon said. After spending seven weeks closely examining Kelley's work, a team of journalists also found that Kelley had lifted quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he delivered for USA Today and conspired to mislead the investigation into his work. An examination of his computer unearthed scripts Kelley had written to help at least three people mislead reporters attempting to verify his work, the newspaper said. Atrios points to the double standard in play: Why oh why do we have affirmative action for white christian evangelical men? Why oh why do newspaper editors let their biases about such people cloud their judgment? I'm sure the brothers Hack, Glenn and Mickey, will spend weeks discussing how this guy's race and religion allowed him to get away with things that other journalists couldn't get away with... And Roger Ailes explores why the self-appointed guru of US media seems less than gripped by this story: In his Media Notes Extra column, Kurtz buries the Kelley story beneath a number of long, stale excerpts of Kerry bashing...So instead of headlining a story which is actually a media story (journalist fabricates news), the Putz gives top billing to a bunch of worthless clips on a non-media story (Hugh Hewitt slimes Kerry -- now that's newsworthy!) Remember, Kurtz is the man who "ha[d] to" take time away from his honeymoon to report on the calls for Howell Raines's resignation in the aftermath of the Jayson Blair scandal. According to the Washington Post's online archives, Kurtz wrote at least 12 stories in which Blair was named in and/or the subject of the article's headline, not including the multitude of stories about the resignation of Howell Raines in the aftermath of the Blair revelations. A cynic might wonder if the fact that Kelley's a white evangelical Christian writing stories generally favorable to the Bush Administration instead of an African-American working for the supposedly left-wing NYT has anything to do with Kurtz's lack of interest in the Kelley story. You'll recall the racialized narratives of the Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair scandals - "Brilliantly calculating reporter overcome with ambition becomes manical genius," and "Incompetent affirmative action hire cracks under the pressure," respectively.


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