In which I give Jayson Blair some advice:
2/25/2004 4:34:03 PM
From KATHRYN QUIGLEY: Subject -- An open letter to Jayson Blair.
Dear Mr. Blair,
First you wanted to give money to UMD, my alma mater, for a scholarship. A decent idea, but really, who exactly would want to be the recipient of such a scholarship? Think about it.
Now your publisher says you want to give part of the proceeds from your book (and dude, what is UP with that wacky title?) to mental health organizations.This is good. But donate the money and shut up about it already!
Stop seeking public acclaim for your donations. Donate.
Stop trying to tell people you have changed. Change.
Stop trying to impress people with how much healthier you are. Be healthy.
But do this on your OWN and out of the spotlight. I realize this is impossible since you have a book coming out and will be on a book tour. However, in the long run, this will have more meaning and resonance.
And consider giving up on trying to get people at UMD to forgive you. Let me explain it this way - it is sort of like a breakup when one half of the relationship (in this case, you) acts like a jerk, yet still wants to be friends. It never works, especially if the other party is disgusted with you (in this case, for extremely good reasons).
Instead, grow up. Learn and mature. Don't just say you want to become a better person, become one. And then, perhaps then, after time has passed, you can revisit those you hurt and try to repair the relationship.
Although I'm thinking even in ten or fifteen years, you will still want to stay far, far away from anybody at the New York Times. That is one relationship you screwed up way too badly to ever repair. And trust me, this book isn't going to help.