We're glad to see that disgraced New York Times journalist Jayson Blair is larding his self-pity with more angry cynicism these days. However, in Matt L. Perrone's otherwise charmingly angry extended interview on PopMatters (conducted when Blair served as MC at a high school awards ceremony in Virginia), the man shows the strain a bit. When asked how his death notice would read, a grin-deflated Blair responds, "I cannot imagine anything I could do, no matter how long I live, that will change that first line of my obituary."
This looks like a job for the Internets!
Your challenge: Write the first sentence of Jayson Blair's obituary. Assume everything that has actually happened to Blair in the real world — his firing from the NYT and reasons for same — will be shifted to secondary importance by whatever fictional/futuristic element you create, and will thus be printed later in the proposed obituary (we only want that first sentence, not the whole obit). Remember, your proposed first line must describe something so amazing and yet conceivably plausible that it would actually eclipse Blair's achievements to date, for good or ill. Think of it as a way to outline a potentially fruitful life-path for the troubled journo. Submit your entries in the comments below or firstname.lastname@example.org. The chosen winner will reappear here and earn a congratulatory one-year subscription to Times Select.
Jayson Blair: 'I Cannot Imagine Anything I Could Do, No Matter How Long I Live, That Will Change That First Line Of My Obituary' [FishbowlNY]
Everything I Needed to Know About Journalism, I Learned from Jayson Blair [PopMatters]
[Photo: Getty Images]