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

October 22, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

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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