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Lessons in Integrity --DeWese

August 2003
It really chaps my cheeks when a great writer like me gets "tainted" by the unscrupulous acts of hacks like this Jayson Blair guy at The New York Times. It zaps the creativity right out of my bones. You all read or heard about Mr. Jayson "Phony Phacts" Blair in the newspapers or on CNN, Fox and MSNBC. The notoriety of his sins has slopped out of his pigpen and swamped my sty with some vile accusations.

Just listen to this memo that I got from Attila the Editor and his nasty little henchmen.

Dear Mañana Man (or whoever you think you are today):

The recent New York Times plagiarism scandal involving reporter Jayson Blair alerted us to possible plagiarism, lies, misrepresentations and other made-up stuff in your 206 monthly columns dating from November 1984 through June 2003. Accordingly, we have researched all 258,530 words you have written for this magazine. We commissioned, at great expense, the Warren G. Harding High School Spring Semester English 101 students to perform this ambitious audit. The project required these bright students to conduct thousands of hours of interviews, literary comparisons and the research of quotation attribution.

Well, Mister Mañana Mucho Misguided Manuscript, we have caught you red-handed with your pen dipped in the good works of others. Furthermore, we examined your expense reports and found profuse falsification.

An example: In October of 1997 you claimed to be in Chicago covering GRAPH EXPO. A careful examination of the dates on your travel receipts and hotel bills show you were actually holed up in Tijuana recuperating from cosmetic surgery.

Bunch of Bad Info

We don't want to belabor this, but the students have found a total of 109 lies, 63 falsehoods, 21 little white lies, 273 misrepresentations, 276 incorrect declarations, 16 malicious slanders, 517 made-up facts and 187 quotes actually authored by others. You have been consciously and wittingly misinforming the good print salespeople in America for nearly 20 years. No wonder so many of them are giving up and going into other professions.

In short, this is your only, and final, warning to clean up your act and simply write the facts.

Yours truly, The Editorial Staff

I'm not going to take this vicious attack lying down. I have been to the mountaintop, and I'll fire when I see the whites of their eyes.

To you skuzzy editor types, I say I am a flattering painter, who made it his care to draw men as they ought to be, not as they are. And to that I hasten to add a day, an hour, of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity in bondage, and what's more a dwarf sees farther than the giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on. I think I originally said that thing about the dwarf and giant in a column in 1994.
 

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