Jayson Blair on the first time he plagiarized: ‘I can’t believe no one caught that’

CBS Sunday Morning

In the course of a wide-ranging report on plagiarism, Lee Cowan talked with disgraced New York Times reporter Jayson Blair about how he got his start as journalism’s most famous plagiarist.

Blair: I actually just took a quote from an Associated Press story, put it in the paper and didn’t attribute it to the AP.

Cowan: And what’d you think when you did that the first time?

Blair: I thought ‘Oh my God, maybe I can go to the copy desk and get this fixed,’ and then I thought about — wait, you know, what are they gonna think. And a couple days go by. And the thought that goes through my head was, ‘I can’t believe no one caught that.’ But the seed was planted in my head.

Cowan: That you could get away with it.

Blair: Right.

Blair also told Cowan about the psychology of plagiarizing: “I think once you realize that you can get away with something, once you cross over that line, you somehow have to rationalize, how I am a good person and I did this, so somehow this has to be OK, I’ve got to make this OK, so then it becomes a lot easier to do it,” he said.

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  • Anonymous

    You are exactly correct!

    And WHY? does the media continue to give this dirtbag an open mic and/or free ink – is beyond me.

    He should be iced for the remainder of his existence…

  • Anonymous

    Jayson’s remarks tell us that from the start his actions were knowing and willful; no more excuses from Jayson about his deliberate, intentional and calculated wrongdoing.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Blair:
    “…once you cross over that line, you somehow have to rationalize, how I am
    a good person and I did this, so somehow this has to be OK, I’ve got to
    make this OK, so then it becomes a lot easier to do it…”

    Makes
    one think of main stream media in general, and how Poynter lets the big
    boys get away with almost anything they can rationalize.
    You know, how factchecking is now considered something that others do.
    And the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on political attack ads mostly going unchallenged.
    And that even a moderator at a Presidential debate can go unchallenged when she claims that Social Secutity is going bankrupt.
    etc.
    etc.