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New York Times Wins 'Foolitzer' Prize After Reporter Found to Have Made Up Stories
NEW YORK The New York Times, winner of more Pulitzer prizes than any other newspaper (89), can now add the Foolitzer prize to its roster of awards.
The Times was awarded the Foolitzer after publishing a four-page spread in which it castigated itself for printing at least 36 stories by a former reporter, Jayson Blair, who was forced to resign by the newspaper. The Times said that Blair had committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering major news events such as the Washington area snipers case and the recuperation of Iraq prisoner-of-war, Jessica Lynch. The Times said it was a low point in its 152-year history.
The Times said that Blair used a cellphone and laptop computer to disguise his location and pretended to visit story locations that he did not, made up interviews with people, and plagiarized material from other news organizations.
"Hey, that qualifies Blair to work for us," said Arthur Ox Shittleburger, Chairman of Bongo News, Inc. and the Publisher of Bongo News. "We covered those stories, except for the Lynch one, and didn't visit those locations either." Spittlebammer added that his reporters may have made up a quote or two, but he angrily denied charges of plagiarism. "A monkey with a typewriter could eventually replicate the telephone directory," said Skittlegruber, "although the monkeys I employ haven't come close."
Stickleheimer, who has never won a Pulitzer, was clearly envious of the Times' latest journalistic achievement. "It's so unfair. All those Pulitzers and now a Foolitzer. We haven't been in business for as long as the Times, but we have tried very hard to win that award, churning out this crap week after week, and for peanuts."
Schnitzleweiner said that he occasionally accepts freelance articles, but that he checks them to weed out the true stories. "That guy Blair submitted some articles to us, but we didn't run any. They were full of errors and lies, and met all our journalistic standards, except they weren't funny."