THANKS to Tim Rutten for pointing out that Jayson Blair is merely a garden-variety sociopath (“Hard to Find Truth in a Story of Lies,” May 24). Race has no more bearing on the case than any other part of his delusional structure. It is simply a tool he will use to manipulate, gain advantage and claim victim status. For a sociopath, any tool will do; for Blair, race is the tool closest at hand.
Unfortunately, there are those on both sides of the issue who will lend credence to Blair’s manipulations and delusions since they will serve their purposes, exactly as happened with another sociopath who played the race card: O.J. Simpson.
RUTTEN is naive when he writes that con man Jayson Blair is a symbol of nothing larger than his pathetic sordid self. Blair’s story, or stories very much like it, are not unique to the staff of one newspaper. He’s a symbol of all the incompetents, cheats or sociopaths who, in the name of political correctness, are protected and coddled in other media organizations as well as on hospital staffs, police and fire departments, school faculties and other vital areas of American life. Who of us has not somewhere encountered a Jayson Blair?
Something positive can come out of the New York Times-Blair fiasco: a wake-up call for all American institutions to deal with people based on (familiar words) the content of their character and not the color of their skin.