Former Wunderkind journalist for The New Republic (1995-1998), Stephen Glass gained notoriety for himself, heaped infamy on his publication, and revived a national debate on journalistic integrity, when he was publicly exposed for having fabricated many of his news stories.

The beginning of the end for the 25-year-old star writer occurred in mid May 1998, when a story broke in Forbes Online magazine by a journalist named Adam L. Penenberg asserting that a recent Glass column in The New Republic, ("Hack Heaven" - 5/18/98) was absolutely groundless and bereft of any facts. The story alleged that a 15-year-old hacker named Ian Restil, who had hacked into the database of a large tech company named Jukt Micronics and posted pornography on their intranet, was subsequently hired by the firm to act as a security consultant.
When no counter-argument or explanation surfaced, Glass was promptly and unceremoniously fired, editorial apologies were made, and soon, every major media player from Fox News to The Washington Post was covering the Glass story and illuminating more of his past falsehoods and fabrications.

What makes Stephen Glass remarkable, and somewhat unprecendented, is not simply his lies, but the degree and art of those lies, and how high he was able to rise in spite of them. Glass deliberately created complete and compelling fiction out of whole cloth - fake quotes, made up characters, nonexistent companies, even entire false government agencies - and passed it off as respectable journalism...FOR YEARS!

In addition to his work at TNR, Glass's list of fake news stories includes contributions to George Magazine, Harper's, and Policy Review. He also contributed to The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and several other publications.

His colorful career as a journalist forever behind him, Stephen Glass was last reported to be working as a law clerk in a Washington D.C. superior court.

For more information see:

The Fabulist, Stephen Glass' semi-fictionalized memoir (conspicuously billed as a novel) was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2003 (ISBN 0743227123).

The novel received almost unanimously negative reviews (one of them by Glass' editor at George Magazine1, another by his cow-orker at The New Republic2). Glass was accused of failing to account or apologize for his transgressions, although this was nominally the book's purpose, and of reassigning most of the blame to his superiors at various publications (and the profession of journalism itself), as well as using the book as an opportunity to throw dirt at real and imaginary coleagues for no apparent reason. In the novel he also re-imagines his unglamorous post-scandal graduation from Georgetown University with a degree in law (and proceeding to work as a law clerk) as tuning in, dropping out and going to work at a video store.

A movie based on the Glass scandal, Shattered Glass3, was filmed in 2002 and is slated for release in October 2003. It was written and directed by Billy Ray (screenwriter of Hart's War) and is based not on Glass' memoir, but on an article by Pulitzer-winning journalist H.G. Bissinger. Hayden Christensen, former and future Anakin Skywalker, stars as Glass.


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