Remember Jayson Blair, the young New York Times reporter whose very public plagiarism scandal led not only to his resignation last year but to that of two top Times editors? ''I lied and I lied -- and then I lied some more,'' Blair admits in Burning Down My Master's House. But he can't seem to make up his mind as to why, exactly, he lied. Was it his manic depression? His cocaine addiction? Or, as he tends to think, because Times editors used him as a ''pawn in a racial game''?
Unfortunately, there's only a glancing look at the inner workings of the Gray Lady and no real explanation of exactly how Blair funneled his pieces through the paper's editing system -- just a lot of ''poor me'' whining and a constant subcurrent of blame and invective aimed at his former bosses.