Everyday Ethics

Jayson Blair.jpg

AP is reporting
ex-reporter Jayson Blair – famous for plagiarizing (and in some cases, completely
fabricating) the news while a New York Times reporter back in 2003
– has a new career these days: Life Coach.

Blair, who was once
a wunderkind, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has admitted substance
abuse issues in his past. All of these things, according to the organization
that now employs him, actually make him highly qualified to empathize with his


I’ll say this. I
believe in second chances for addicts and those with bipolar and other mental
illnesses. I’ve seen people make turnarounds that are nothing less than
remarkable. And I don’t know Mr. Blair personally, so it’s difficult to judge
him or get a feel for where he’s at now. 

As for ethics, I don’t take issue with a reformed bad guy speaking from his hard-won experience to counsel others on what to do, or not to do. That only makes sense to me. How else do we share wisdom, if not from experience? We see former gang-bangers going back to the ‘hood to become youth group leaders, don’t we?

However, that
with the
whole field of life coaches out there from which to choose, I doubt I’d personally go with
one who had such potential to be a con man. After all, his whole history was in making people believe untruths. Blair bamboozled his coworkers, employers and the public in general, who placed their trust in him. That may have been a function of his illness or his youth. But before I plunked my money down on career or life advice, I’d want to make darn rootin’-tootin’ sure that was the case.

And interestingly, a visit to Blair’s coaching website’s “about me” page mentions nothing whatsoever about his scandalous past or his downfall at the New York Times. Take from that what you will…

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