The Son Of Sullivan And The Invisible Victim

The Fulford File, By James

You have to laugh at the Jayson
Blair scandal. A young African-American reporter on the
New York Times has been

to have lied

again and again
, without being fired – apparently
for reasons of “affirmative action,” compounded by

Howell Raines`
“white Southern


Blair not only made things up, and
plagiarized, but he lied about his whereabouts, telling
editors he was calling from Virginia and Maryland, when
he was still in

New York.

The scandal has led people to
recall the NYT`s mendacious record on both


. But it `s also worthwhile recalling the
story behind New York Times v. Sullivan,
the famous 1964 Supreme Court decision that effectively
rewrote libel law for American public figures.

has been cited as a prime example of
“judicial realism” – the cynical view that judges

just make up their minds
and then adjust the law to
fit their personal vision of how things should be.

In Sullivan, the "Committee
to Defend Martin Luther King and the Struggle for
Freedom in the South" was sued by a white southern
public official, L. B. Sullivan. He contended that he
had been defamed by an ad in the New York Times,
which became a co-defendant. [See the original ad,




William Brennan
said in the

that “It is uncontroverted that some of
the statements contained in the two paragraphs were not
accurate descriptions of events which occurred in

Which is to say that the
statements weren`t true.

The advertisement was signed by
Hollywood stars, and also by several black clergymen in
the South (who said that they had not authorized the use
of their names.)

But “Judicial Realism” meant that
there was simply no darned way that the Supreme Court
was going to rule for a white Southern segregationist,
and against the Civil Rights Movement. Justice Brennan
decreed public figures had to prove

“actual malice”
, i.e. that the untruths were
deliberate. This “Actual Malice Standard,” combined with
later decisions that made

almost anyone
in the news a

“public figure”
, effectively meant the end of libel
protection in the United States.

This is a good thing for those of
us who like to

politicians. But it cuts both ways: the

can call VDARE.COM all the names it wants. And
the reviewers of

Alien Nation

The Bell Curve
obviously didn`t feel “chilled”
by the possibility of a libel suit.

protects me, when I

Linda Chavez. And it protects Peter
Brimelow when he uses the word “treason.”
[Peter Brimelow says:
That`s different. Immigration enthusiasm is

The New York Times
has a worldview. And it continues to

about some things,



stories that fit its worldview, and to

from criticism.

Now, I don`t think that the
government should be in the business of enforcing the
truth. Blogger Jeff Jarvis

views with alarm
the fact that the U.S. Attorney is

looking into
the Jayson Blair case. (I`m sure it
would be possible to call Blair`s conduct “fraud.”)
Someone has even suggested

the Times on a class-action theory. Tsk

But it`s fascinating to see the
suffering the consequences of

affirmative action,
a system it has defended, and
tried to deny using in this case. (Possibly because
affirmative action is


And you have to wonder: why is it
OK the New York Times to lie but not its

Finally, lest we forget: there`s
one young reporter whose name we don`t know, who hasn`t
been mentioned in any report of the Blair scandal.
That`s the young reporter

Jesse Helms
was anticipating in his famous

“white hands”
ad; [watch].

The young reporter who

needed a job
, but they “had to give it to a
minority. Is that really fair?”

The young reporter displaced by
Jayson Blair may be better off working on the city desk
at the Toledo Blade – or, more probably, outside
the media business altogether- than working in
New York for the “paper of record.”

But neither this

invisible victim
nor the nation he might have served
will ever know.

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The Moral
Hazard Of Not Enforcing Immigration Law

18 illegal aliens just lost their
lives when their smuggler drove off and left them locked
in a

trailer compartment
in the
Texas heat. One was five years old.

Some people don`t blame the
smugglers. According to the New York Times,

“`This is not entirely
the fault of the smugglers, though they are certainly
unsavory people,` said Rogelio Nuñez, director of
Proyecto Libertad, a legal services organization for
illegal immigrants in Harlingen, Tex. `This incident and
others like it have come about because harsher U.S.
policies toward the border has made it more difficult
for people to come across,
increasing the risks they`re
willing to take.`”

in Heat in Texas Truck, 18 People Die
,” By Simon
Romero and David Barboza, May 15, 2003,]

Bunk. It`s not the harshness of border controls that
makes people take risks, it`s the size of the
taxpayer-funded reward,

“Moral hazard”

is the insurance industries term for
putting temptation in people`s way by allowing them to
insure something for more than it`s worth.

If your house is worth $50,000 if
you sell it, and $250,000 if you burn it, you may be
tempted to the legally hazardous and physically
dangerous expedient of arson. That will endanger not
only you, but the people next door. The insurance
company would be partly responsible.

That`s why insurance companies go
out of their way to avoid rewarding crime.

The United States government gives
many rewards to illegals who can make it across the

They get

The problem is that they have to

risk their lives
to gain this, crossing through some
of the worst desert in world, at the mercy of gangsters
who may rob them, or (as in this case) abandon them to
their deaths.

If the U.S. government would

stop rewarding
  border crossers, and

them after they
made it through, then perhaps they would be inspired
stay home and build a better life for themselves in
Mexico –

needs them
more than the United States does.

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Guess `What About That Alien-Smuggling Truck Driver?

In line with the

media custom
immigrants are only victims, never criminals, Laurie
Johnson reports on Houston Public radio [Listen to

] that the driver who allegedly abandoned them
was Tyrone Williams, a “lawful resident alien from
but the station`s website headline

Smuggling Suspect has Houston Tie

Why not “Smuggling Suspect Has
Immigration Policy Tie?”

And the “paper of record?”

to him only as “Tyrone Williams of
Schenectady, N.Y.”

You can trust the Times,
can`t you?

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