DIVERSITY AT THE TIMES….Here’s a question for you: was the infamous “diversity program” that Jayson Blair was part of really an attempt by the New York Times to hire more black reporters? And did they promote Blair too fast and overlook too many mistakes because he was black?

That’s the conventional wisdom among ? well, among people who don’t like affirmative action in the first place ? but there’s really something odd about it. After all, the Times is the preeminent paper in the country and can hire practically anyone it wants. If the Times just wanted more black reporters, its reputation and pay scales make it easy to cherry pick the very best of them any time it wants.

The diversity program certainly provided the Times with a pool of young black interns, but did they really hire Blair and promote him just because he was black? Why would they need to?