It's only a matter of time, so don't be surprised when Jayson Blair (search) is hosting his very own reality show.
He may not have Monica Lewinsky (search) appeal (yes, that's a joke), but with talk of a seven-figure book deal chronicling his massive fraud as an up-and-coming reporter for The New York Times, Blair might find his 15 minutes of fame stretched to 15 episodes of gut-wrenching television.
I can see it already:
An unwitting pedestrian walking through Times Square "bumps" into Blair, in costume as a street punk. Blair drops a day-old hamburger on the sidewalk and begins screaming about how the man owes him $10 for the lunch that just fell out of his hands.
Not knowing he's being scammed, the pedestrian forks over the guilt money to make good for his apparent goof. Game, set, match: Blair.
"Stay tuned next week when our unscrupulous host tries his luck with an ATM scam," an announcer voices.
Since the story of his misdeeds broke, Blair has been analyzed by psychology experts, has bragged about his premeditated plagiarisms and fabrications, and has shamelessly played the race card (a working title for his book is Burning Down My Master's House) (search).
A more appropriate title might be Suspend Your Disbelief.
What this unfortunate circumstance really boils down to, however, is pure and unadulterated laziness by someone who squandered the opportunity of a lifetime.
It is not easy to break into the world of elite media. It calls for sweat equity that rivals Olympic competition. It requires long hours and sacrifice, low starting pay and a desire and commitment to the product, to one's self, and to colleagues.
Rejection is as common in this business as being asked to make coffee runs. So resilience and persistence are prerequisites that aren't taught and can't be learned. There are no shortcuts.
Blair lied his way up the ladder, and after reading the writing he himself wrote on the wall, decided to light a match and bring it all down with him, lest he be justly fired without incident — and more to the point, without compensation.
In a world where a Florida woman hires an attorney because her cell phone number happens to be the same as one that appeared in the blockbuster movie Bruce Almighty (search), causing her to suffer — brace yourself — an excessive amount of phone calls — too many people these days are looking for too many shortcuts.
It's time the nonsense stops.
Mike Straka is the project manager for FOX News' Internet operations and contributes as a features reporter and producer on FOX Magazine (Sundays 11 p.m. on FNC) and as a reporter and columnist for FOXnews.com.