I missed the debate. I haven't seen anything terribly interesting in today's blogosphere. In other words, I'm at a loss for a good Plank item. So, in lieu of one, let me recommend this really remarkable article in this week's New York about Gerald Boyd, the late New York Times managing editor whose career was ended by the Jayson Blair scandal. Even if you care nothing about the Times or media gossip, it's a thoroughly reported, wonderfully written, ultimately tragic story about race in America--and well worth your time.

One paragraph that quotes from the memoir Boyd was working on when he died should serve as a coda of sorts:

“I always had a hard time recognizing my shortcomings,” he wrote, “especially as others saw them. More often that not, my pride got in the way. The reaction was instilled in me from childhood, when I came to believe that there was no room for failure. My life had not been a quest for perfection, but an exercise in survival. And mistakes of any kind put that mission at risk.”

--Jason Zengerle