Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The shocking story of the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time
Coming up on the Arts Channel:
A FRAGILE TRUST
Saturday 20 December, 8.30pm
This film tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked the New York Times and the entire world of journalism. In 2003, Blair was caught plagiarising the work of other reporters and supplementing his own reporting with fabricated details in dozens of different stories published in the Times. The ensuing media frenzy left a major blemish on the history of the ‘Old Grey Lady’, which just a year earlier won a record seven Pulitzer prizes for its coverage of 9/11. It was a spectacular fall for both Blair and the paper. The daily operations of the Times newsroom became a public spectacle as every major news outlet picked up the story and ran with it. The fact that Blair is African-American was emphasised again and again as accounts of the ‘Blair Affair’ served up sordid details in a soap-opera style tale of deception, drug abuse, racism, mental illness, hierarchy, white guilt, and power struggles inside the hallowed halls of the New York Times. This film follows Blair as he slowly unravels in the face of mounting pressures and distractions. Starting with his ‘reporting’ of the plagiarised article that ultimately lead to his undoing, A Fragile Trust traces the rise and fall of this fascinating young reporter as he clings to his career at the Times even as he is losing his mind.