nytlogo.jpgOn yesterday's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz covered "The Crisis at the Times" - the fallout from the Jayson Blair fiasco. Among his guests were Times columnist Clyde Haberman, Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker, and the NY Post's media reporter, Keith Kelly.

Clyde Haberman felt it has been "the worst period" in his 26 years at the paper. He also added, "It is an extraordinary thing that this young fellow did, and in fact I'm even going to take the word 'young' out of there, because a lot of people have been pinning all sorts of things on, oh, because he's black or because of affirmative action or because he's young. He's not that young. He is 27 years old. By the age of 27, people have won Pulitzer prizes."

Keith Kelly his thoughts on rumors of a Jayson Blair book deal: "Well, unfortunately the story will be 'how I duped The New York Times,' and they'll throw a little in what's this, substance abuse and the late night partying, and the sex, you know, what was going on with that, and you got a great story there." And when Kurtz asked about the inherent problems of having a book deal with a liar, Kelly responded, "Well, that is a big problem. One of the questions is, what kind of money would they have to spend vetting it and copy- editing it and fact-checking it. It could be enormous, so that may hold the price down, but my guess is he gets a deal out of this, unfortunately, at some stage down the road."

Jayson Blair talks to Newsweek Mark Whitaker gave some perspective as an African American journalist about the race issue, as well as the decision to run Jayson Blair as this week's Newsweek cover story: "Well, we put it on the cover -- I mean, yes, I mean, it's a personal tragedy. It's, it's, you know, an institutional icon, and we broke some news that hadn't been reported. So that wasn't a hard call."

Read Seth Mnookin's Newsweek cover story on Jayson Blair. See Jayson Blair smoke on the cover, because that's what bad, morally deviant people do!

Read yesterday's Reliable Sources transcripts.

Michael Wolff weighs in (he's been gnashing his teeth all week, trying to get in on this story, damn closing time!) at New York magazine.

Ad Age assesses the damage to the Times brand.

Gothamist on Jayson Blair.