Around this time in 2003, I summarized and linked to a story about an Indiana teen-journalist prankster’s suspension: “High school senior Drew LaMar used the first letter of each paragraph in his Cub Reporter column to direct an obscenity at a teacher. ‘We would have never known if it hadn’t been for another student telling us,’ says a school official. ‘(Drew) is a well-behaved, decent young man who just had a lapse in judgment.’ He’s kicked out of classes for eight days and can’t attend graduation. (IndyStar.com)
What LaMar’s doing now: The prankster is still in journalism. He hasn’t responded to my tweet, but I see he’s written for Bleacher Report. LaMar says on his blog that he’s “a published writer looking to get back in the game with a blog about sports” and “is currently serving in our Armed Forces.”
In the spring of 2003, the New York Times was trying hard to recover from the Jayson Blair scandal. Washington correspondent Adam Clymer advised his colleagues in a memo that was leaked to me “to take a deep breath and think about the New York Times” and stop their public feuding.
I share your contempt for Jayson Blair and Rick Bragg. And I share your anger at some of the failures of management that enabled them. I agree with a lot of what Times people have told outside reporters, either directly or in internal E-mails that have quickly found their way to the Internet. In particular, Peter Kilborn made the case against Bragg’s excuses with telling effect.
But I think by now we have hit back, fairly and convincingly, and Blair and Bragg are gone, belatedly, from our ranks. The time has come to stop feeding this destructive monster. The Times that we are honored to work for will be damaged if we continue to fight with each other in public. And that’s more important than our own grievously, justifiably injured pride.
Some wise friends urged me not to send this message, saying all it would do is provide more material for Jim Romanesko [sic] or Howie Kurtz. I know it will do that. I hope it will do more.
Clymer retired from the Times in 2003, but he was back in the paper this week with his Frank Lautenberg obit.