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Reporter faked the news.

I hope that in tracing the reporter's faked and plagirised articles, the
NY Times leaves the articles in the electronic record, that it does not
expunge them. They constitute a segment of what we have all read and
experienced over the last few years. Please don't attempt to "correct" the
record of the past by erasing it. If they want to mark the articles as
suspect (dating the "suspect" notation so future readers know when it was
detected), perhaps, or perhaps link them to a disclaimer. Just as in the
scholarly record it is important to know about the fakes, the lies, the
mistakes, to be able to see them, to understand that what we read may not
be true.

I hope they realize that if they expunge them they force reliance on
microfilm for the true record. In erasing, they electronically falsify(not
correct, but corrupt) the record of this period. We have enough right now
of the federal government changing and deleting materials from public
access in the name of security or ideology.

We should not also have the public record of the NY Times or any other
newspaper expunged in the name of "truth". We've lost enough electronic
access -through Tasini vs The New York Times for example, to make our
recent history almost un-re-searchable electronically. (whomever is to
blame, that is still a significant loss through deletions from the
electronic record.)

I hope the NY Times does not decide to destroy electronic access to our
historical record. In the most technical sense the NY Times "owns" these
articles and can do as they please. In the larger sense, once they are
part of the public record,(something I think the Supreme Court ignored in
Tasini), they are no longer exclusively theirs. It should not be a private
right to destroy and falsify what was written through deletion.

We have a right to access what was provided protected property status,
-through copyright-even if it is in error when it comes to the record of
our own times.

It is just as important to read lies and know they are lies, see errors
and know them, as it is to read "truth".

Since the courts won't protect the historic record in electronic content
systems, as they failed to do in Tasini by treating public printing as if
it were private property only, it may be time for the public to demand
protection of our history, protection from private actions that expunge
electronic databases through political and private property processes. We
may need to do it through guaranteed multiple long term e-archives
removing control of electronic archiving of the public record from
political and property processes.  Property rights, intellectual rights,
copyright, should not supersede the public right to access our own
history. Published, electronic-access articles have become an integral
part of that history.

Chuck Hamaker

Excerpt from the article: 
NY TIMES electronic edition 5/11/2003

Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception

this article was reported and written by Dan Barry, David Barstow,
Jonathan D. Glater, Adam Liptak and Jacques Steinberg. Research support
was provided by Alain Delaqu�ri�re and Carolyn Wilder.

A staff reporter for The New York Times committed frequent acts of
journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent
months, an investigation by Times journalists has found. The widespread
fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a
low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.

The reporter, Jayson Blair, 27, misled readers and Times colleagues with
dispatches that purported to be from Maryland, Texas and other states,
when often he was far away, in New York. He fabricated comments. He
concocted scenes. He stole material from other newspapers and wire
services. He selected details from photographs to create the impression he
had been somewhere or seen someone, when he had not.

And he used these techniques to write falsely about emotionally charged
moments in recent history, from the deadly sniper attacks in suburban
Washington to the anguish of families grieving for loved ones killed in

In an inquiry focused on correcting the record and explaining how such
fraud could have been sustained within the ranks of The New York Times,
the Times journalists have so far uncovered new problems in at least 36 of
the 73 articles Mr. Blair wrote since he started getting national
reporting assignments late last October. ....

Mr. Blair, who has resigned from the paper, was a reporter at The Times
for nearly four years, and he was prolific. Spot checks of the more than
600 articles he wrote before October have found other apparent
fabrications, and that inquiry continues. The Times is asking readers to
report any additional falsehoods in Mr. Blair's work; the e-mail address
is retrace@nytimes.com.  ...