Back in 2004, I interviewed disgraced New York Times journalist Jayson Blair, who was caught fabricating stories in the famed paper.
That was then. This is now:
His name is a byword for plagiarism and fakery and his career flame-out took the editor of The New York Times down with him, but Jayson Blair says you can trust him with your life.
The hotshot reporter was unmasked in 2003 as a serial fantasist, whose colourful articles with datelines from across the US were in fact routinely written in his Brooklyn apartment.
Today he has a startling new job: as a life coach, telling substance abusers and mental health patients how to get back on their feet. In what might be an understatement, his website says he has “struggled with career issues and many of the other areas where I coach”.
“It’s unique,” he says. “The way I practise, for better or worse, I am able to draw on coping mechanisms of my own. I don’t just understand things out of a textbook. When somebody comes in because they are struggling with their job, I can definitely relate to them. Particularly now, because of the recession, a lot of people are looking at a career change and a new direction and they are going through what I went through. Of course, without the scandal.”
God bless America.