a dubious fifteen minutes of fame | an index
[a tissue
of lies]

the stephen r. glass index

see for updates.

latest update 06.28.05

This index of the work of former New Republic associate editor Stephen Glass might be useful to those interested in his meteoric rise and fall as a freelance public affairs journalist.

This is as complete an index of his published work as can be compiled. It will be updated as more articles appear, though I would still appreciate any assistance. As an added feature, I've compiled an additional brief index of relevant media deceptions and other imbroglios, for the sake of context.

If you have any citations to add to this page, please feel free to e-mail me.

And if Mr.Glass is reading this page, I'd like to invite him to get in touch with me.


The only unusual thing about Stephen Glass' fall from grace, as far as I can see, is that he was caught. Fabrication, in small or large part, will always be common in a profession that, too often, values sensation over substance, and where older editors increasingly turn to younger writers to provide them with "buzz", or a window on trends, real or spurious. Freelance writers and junior editorial staff, like Glass, are the disposable shock troops of this regrettable but seemingly ineradicable side of the business.

part one: the paper trail

The New Republic

Articles with known, possible, or obvious fabrications are marked with ***. Most of Glass' work has been taken down, but the few links here were active as of 05/14/03.

- December 25, 1995 - "Cheese Biz".
- March 18, 1996 - "Pat Speaks" - sidebar.
- March 25, 1996 - "Attack Dogs" - sidebar.
- April 15, 1996 - "Do As They Do".
- May 13, 1996 - "Philadelphia Story".
- July 1, 1996 - "The Hall Monitor".
- August 5, 1996 - "Taxis and the Meaning of Work" - cover story.
- November 4, 1996 - "Washington Diarist: Deliverance" - column.
- December 9, 1996 - "Shalom, Y'All".
- December 16, 1996 - "Ad and Subtract".
- December 30, 1996 - "Hazardous to Your Mental Health". ***(The subject of this piece--the Center for Science in the Public Interest(CSPI)--has posted a press release and a lengthy rebuttal to Glass' article, accusing him of factual inaccuracy and mild plagiarism.)

- January 6 & 13, 1997 - "Probable Claus". ***
- January 27, 1997 - "Holy Trinity".  ***
- February 10, 1997 - "Rock the Morons". ***
- March 3, 1997 - "Don't You D.A.R.E." - cover story. ***
- March 24, 1997 - "Writing on the Wall". ***
- March 31, 1997 - "Spring Breakdown" ***
- April 7, 1997 - "The Jungle". ***
- April 21, 1997 - "A Fine Mess". ***
- May 26, 1997 - "After the Fall". ***
- June 9, 1997 - "Peddling Poppy". ***
- July 7, 1997 - "Gold Diggers".
- July 14 & 21, 1997 - "Mount Vernon Postcard: Slavery Chic".
- July 28, 1997 - "Space Oddity".
- August 4, 1997 - "Washington Diarist: Low Blows" - column.***
- August 11 & 18, 1997 - "Deja Coup". ***
- August 25, 1997 - "The Young and the Feckless". ***
- October 6, 1997 - "CheapSuits". ***
- October 20, 1997 - "Kicked Out". ***
- November 3, 1997 - "No Free Launch". ***
- November 17, 1997 - "Anatomy of a Policy Fraud" - cover story. ***
- December 8, 1997 - "The Boys on the Bus". 
- December 22, 1997 - "Washington Diarist: Ratted Out" - column.***

- January 19, 1998 - "Washington Diarist: State of Nature" -column.***
- January 26, 1998 - "Gift of the Magnate".  ***
- February 16, 1998 - "Washington Scene: Clutch Situation" -column.***
  - "All Wet". ***
- February 23, 1998 - "Washington Scene: Plotters" - column. ***
- March 30, 1998 - "Praised be Greenspan" - with Jonathan Chait. ***
- April 13, 1998 - "Washington Scene: Monica Sells" - column. ***
- May 18, 1998 - "Washington Scene: Hack Heaven" - column. *** (Glass was fired after this piece. Click here to see the phony home page Glass concocted for "Jukt Micronics".)

(The New Republic has printed a short summary of Glass' fabrications [see below] in their June 29 issue. The magazine has also purged most of Glass' work from their website - links given here are all that remains after the first major purge of the site. Click here to go to their website.)

Policy Review

- Fall 1994, #70 - "Yes We Kenosha".
- Winter 1995, #71 - "A Pension Deficit Disorder".
- Spring 1995, #72 - "Hire Education".
- Summer 1995, #73 - "Happy Meals".
- January-February 1997, # 81 - "Who Needs the SBA?".
- May/June 1997, #83 - "Mrs.Colehill Thanks God for Private Social Security". ***


- February 1998 - "Prophets and Losses". ***(WBEZ's show "This American Life" interviewed Glass about this piece.  It is available on RealAudio as part of a radio documentary called "How to Take Money from Strangers".)


- July 1997 - "The Bounty Hunter".
- December 1997 - "The Hollywood Hustle".
- February 1998 - "Cashing in on Credibility".
- April 1998 - "The Vernon Question".***
Apparently, the late editor John F. Kennedy Jr. drafted an apology to Vernon Jordan for this last article. George is now defunct.

Rolling Stone

- October 16, 1997 - "The College Rankings Scam".  RS #771
- March 5, 1998 - "Truth + D.A.R.E.". RS #781
- April 16, 1998 - "Case History: Kellie Ann Mann", "Case History: Todd Davidson", & "Case History: Douglas Lamar Gray".  Sidebars to "Mandatory Minimums: A National Disgrace" by William Greider.  RS #784
- May 28, 1998 - "Eric Smara".  RS#787 
New York Times
- A search of the last year's worth of NYT Magazines reveals no byline by Glass, though apparently he had submitted an article just before he was fired by The New Republic.


- January 4, 1997 - "Amazon.Con - 'Earth's Biggest Bookstore'?  Pshaw. Cheaper, faster, and more convenient? Pshaw again."  with Jonathan Chait
The Street.Com
- 3/12/97- "Market Features: Book Review: The Online Investor"
part two: the reaction
Infrequently updated. Links to articles are given as they once existed. We apologize for broken links - some of the sites listed here are now defunct.
The web, alas, is less a library than a hoarding. Please don't e-mail me complaining about the broken links - I don't have the energy to find new ones or delete the dead ones. Hey, baby - I'm not getting paid to do this.

  American Journalism Review:
- "Shattered Glass at The New Republic" By Lori Robertson (June 16-22, 1998)

  The Boston Globe:
- "Journalism's more common sin"  By Robert J. Samuelson  (July 7, 1998, D04)

  The Boston Phoenix:
- "Faking it: New Republic writer Stephen Glass got fired for making up his stories. But who is to blame for believing them?" By Tom Scocca (May 21 - 28, 1998)

  Brill's Content:
- "Slipping Past the Fact Checkers" By Paul Tullis & Lorne Manly (August 1998, p.30)
Brill's Content is now defunct.

  City Paper (Pittsburgh):
- "Breaking Glass" By John McCalla

  CNN Online:
- "'No excuses': New Republic regrets story falsehoods" Reuters June 12, 1998 - Web posted at: 9:14 p.m. EDT [0114 GMT])
- "Disgraced writer fictionalizes fictions" (May 8/2003)

  Columbia Journalism Review:
- "The Great Pretender" By Ann Reilly Dowd (July/August 1998)

  Daily Pennsylvanian:
- "Alum accused of faking magazine stories"  By Jennifer Arend (Friday May 15, 1998)
- "My friend Steve Glass, the con artist" By Michael Brus (Thursday May 21, 1998)
- By Michael Mugmon (December 7, 1998)

  Earth Times:
"Crisis falls on The New Republic magazine over sloppy reporting" By John Corry (May 30, 1998)

  Eye Magazine (Toronto):
- "For the benefit of Mr.Whyte" By Gregory Boyd-Bell (May 21, 1998)

- "As I Lay Lying" By Ana Marie Cox (Posted 05/14/98)
(Feed has, as far as I can tell, disappeared from the internet landscape.)

 Forbes Digital Tool:
- "Lies,damn lies and fiction." By Adam L. Penenberg  (May 11, 1998) (The article that broke the story behind "Hacker Heaven".)
- "Forbes smokes out fake New Republic story on hackers" By Adam L. Penenberg (May 11, 1998)
- "Tracking lies" By Kambiz Foroohar (undated)
Forbes Digital Tool is now defunct.

  Fox News:
- "New Republic Says Hacker Story Was Fiction"  By Mike Feinsilber, Associated Press (10.14 a.m. ET [1414 GMT] May 12, 1998)
- "Move Over Janet Cooke: Lies Shatter an Erstwhile House of Glass" Associated Press (1.52 P.m. ET [1752 GMT] June 12, 1998)
- "Pressing Issues: Pipers" By John Ellis (June 25, 1998) (Column discussing common but never-discussed practice of fabricating news and sources. Recommended.)

- "Dear Reader" By John F. Kennedy Jr. (July 1998 issue, pg.14) (Editorial apology to readers for "The Vernon Question". No mention of Glass by name, strangely. George is now defunct.)

  Los Angeles Times:
- "DARE Officials File Libel Suit Against Magazine Journalist" By David Rosenzweig (Tuesday, June 30, 1998)
- "New Life for Adage: Never Let Facts Get in Way of Good Story" By Josh Getlin ( Tuesday, June 30, 1998)

  Memphis Flyer:
- "Retractable Headlines" by Jim Hanas (July 13, 1998)

  Mother Jones Online:
- "Half Full of It: The partial truths of Stephen Glass" By Ana Marie Cox

  The New Republic:
- "THE EDITORS: TO OUR READERS" By The Editors (June 1,1998) (The apology.)
- "TO OUR READERS: A REPORT" By The Editors (June 29, 1998) (A report on Glass' fabrications.)
-"To Our Online Readers" By The Editors (July 20, 1998) (An explanation of why links to Glass' work have been removed.)

- "Something in the Coffee" By Jonathan Alter (July 13, 1998)
- "Total Fiction" by Seth Mnookin (May 19, 2003)

  The New Yorker:
- "Check it Out" By Hendrik Hertzberg  (July 6, 1998)

  New York Observer:
- "How Journalism's New Golden Boy Got Thrown Out of New Republic" By Warren St. John (May 25, 1998)
- "Tina Brown's Contract Negotiations at The New Yorker" By Warren St. John (June 1, 1998, pg. 6)

  New York Post:
- "Kennedy Offers a Genuine Apology to Bill's Pal Vernon" By Paul Tharp (More on the damage control at George.)

  The New York Times:
- "Rechecking a Writer's Facts, A Magazine Uncovers Fiction" By Robin Pogrebin (Friday June 12, 1998 National Desk; Section A; Page 1, Column 5)
- "Zombies and Other Creatures of the Media" By Alex Kuczinski (Sunday July 12, 1998 - Section 4, p.5)
- "A History of Lying Recounted as Fiction" By David D. Kirkpatrick (May 7, 2003)

  Online Journalism Review:
- "The Fiction of Cyber Journalism" By Ken Layne (May 19, 1998)
- "Hacker Stereotypes: The Glass Menagerie" By Doug Thomas (May 20,1998)

  El Pais (Madrid):
- "Una Falsa Estrella" By Javier Valenzuela (May 29, 1998)

  Pennsylvania Gazette:
- "Through a Glass Darkly" By Samuel Hughes (Nov./Dec. 1998)
(A huge piece on Glass' career in his own alumni magazine.)

  Phillymag (Philadelphia):
- "Stained Glass: The Penn roots of star reporter Stephen Glass's abrupt fall from grace" By Sabrina Rubin (August 1998 issue)
(A piece on Glass' days as a student journalist and editor.)

  Reed Magazine:
- "Burden of Truth" By Adam L. Penenberg (Nov. 1998)

(The Forbes writer who unmasked Glass recalls the affair in his alumni magazine.)

- "Hacker heaven, editors' hell: The New Republic's bogus article reveals a chasm of cluelessness." By Scott Rosenberg (May 14,1998)
- "Return of the Journalist Supervillains! - Hypocritical Newsrooms across the land give thanks for Gina Kolata and Stephen Glass" By James Poniewozik (May 27, 1998)

- "Glass Houses: Why did I--vain skeptic--fall for the too-good-to-be-true journalism of Stephen Glass?" By Jack Shafer (posted Thursday May 14, 1998)
- "Glass Dismissed" By Michael Kinsley (posted Saturday May 16, 1998)

  The Spectator (U.K.):
- "Watch out, you editors" By Taki (May 30, 1998)
(A column that mentions Glass as a set-up for some self-aggrandizing by the odious globe-trotting toadie.)

- "Hit and Run No. CXXVI" By "the Sucksters" (May 14, 1998)
- "Stranger Than Fiction" By "St. Huck" (May 26, 1998)
- "Hit and Run No. CXXXI" By "the Sucksters" (June 18, 1998)
- "Hit and Run No. CXXXII" By "the Sucksters" (June 25, 1998)
Suck is now inactive, though site archives are apparently still online.

- "Too Good to Be True" By Eric Pooley (May 25, 1998 Vol.151 No. 20)

  The Times (London):
- "Truth and editor catch up with reporter who created a fantasy world" By Bronwen Maddox (Saturday June 13, 1998) searchable

  U.S. News & World Report:
- "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" By Julian Barnes (June 22, 1998)

  Vanity Fair:
- "Shattered Glass" By Buzz Bissinger (September 1998)

Washington City Paper:
- "All That You Can Leave Behind" By Jason Cherkis (March 9-15, 2001)

Washington Post:
- "New Republic Fires Writer Over 'Hoax': Editor Says Article On Computer Hacker Is Entirely Fictitious" By Howard Kurtz (Monday, May 11, 1998;Page D01)
- "Stranger Than Fiction: The Cautionary Tale of Magazine Writer Stephen Glass" By Howard Kurtz (Wednesday, May 13, 1998; Page A01)
- "Is TV News Opening Doors Better Left Closed?" By Howard Kurtz (Monday,May 18, 1998; Page D01)
- "Crashing a Career" By Richard Cohen (Tuesday, May 19, 1998; Page A21)
- "George's Sorry Statement Of Affairs" By Howard Kurtz (Monday, June 8, 1998; Page D01)
- "At New Republic, the Agony of Deceit" By Howard Kurtz (Friday, June 12, 1998; Page B01)
- "Disgraced in Journalism? There's Always Law: As Glass Pursues His Georgetown Degree, The Industry Ponders the Ethics" By David Segal (Monday, June 15, 1998; Page F09)
- "Outbreak of Fiction Is Alarming News" By Howard Kurtz (Monday, June 29, 1998; Page B01)

- - -

(The Post, and Howard Kurtz, was the best source of news and opinion on Glass and related media scandals when the story was breaking. You might want to check out his column.)

Wired News:
- "Print Media in Glass Houses" By Pete Danko ( 5:02am  13.May.98.PDT)
- "Fiction Writer" (11:00am  12.Jun.98.PDT)


Stephen Glass in Newsweek, 2003.


Simon and Schuster published a novel by Stephen Glass - The Fabulist - the story of a young reporter named Stephen Glass whose career as a journalist is built on lies. Here's an excerpt from the novel. Here's the amazon.com page where you can buy a copy. To publicize the book Glass did an interview with "60 Minutes" - here's a transcript of that interview, and here's Virginia Heffernan's Slate review of Glass' TV appearance.

The Fabulist - Simon & Schuster hardcover edition


Stephen Glass on "60 Minutes", May, 2003


Lion's Gate Films made a film, Shattered Glass, based on Stephen Glass and his short career as a journalist. Hayden Christensen was cast as Glass, and Peter Sarsgaard was cast as then-New Republic editor Charles Lane - now with the Washington Post - who was a key player in exposing Glass' fabrications. (Christensen's casting remarkably produced few clever comments about talented and innocent young men tempted by the Dark Side, amazingly enough.) Steve Zahn played Adam Penenberg, and Canadian director Ted Kotcheff played Marty Peretz, the publisher of the New Republic. Writer Jonathan Chait, a friend and collaborator of Glass', was apparently given a sex-change in Billy Ray's script (based on Buzz Bissinger's Vanity Fair article), and his character is played by Chloe Sevigny. Ray made his directorial debut with the film. Here's the Internet Movie Database entry on the film. You can buy your copy of Shattered Glass on DVD here.

part three: lies, damned lies

2005 UPDATE: Diana Griego Erwin, a former columnist for the Sacramento Bee, is under investigation after the paper cannot verify 43 sources she used in a sampling from her 12 years of work for the paper. From a Guardian (UK) story: "Griego Erwin, who has said her resignation was for personal reasons, joined the Bee after a distinguished career at other newspapers. She worked on a project that won a Pulitzer Prize at the Denver Post in 1986 and also won a George Polk award and the 1990 commentary prize from the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

"The discrepancies in Griego Erwin's work were discovered after the Bee tightened its anonymous sources policy and questioned whether columnists were given too much latitude."

2003 UPDATE: Perfectly timed for the release of the Glass book and movie, Jayson Blair, a New York Times reporter, was fired from the paper in May for fabricating sources and plagiarizing quotes from unattributed sources. Here's the Times' explanation of how Blair pulled off his deceit, and here's an annotated list of articles by Blair. The scandal has forced the resignation of Times editor Howell Raines. Here's Jack Shafer's Slate analysis of the scandal, written before Raines' resignation, which is full of other useful links.

2002 UPDATE: Christopher Newton, an Associated Press reporter, was fired on Sept. 16th "after the agency received inquiries about a Sept. 8th story about U.S. crime statistics." AP reviewed the hundreds of stories Newton wrote for the agency and found quotations in 39 separate pieces from sources that could not be located. Newton, an AP reporter since 1994, wrote on a wide range of topics, "ranging from the war in Afghanistan to science, mental health, and education."

Michael Finkel, a succesful freelancer, allegedly made up the principle character in his Nov. 18th, 2001 feature for the New York Times Magazine. In his piece, "Is Youssouf Male a Slave?", Finkel apparently created a composite character from several interview subjects, going so far as to falsely identify a young man photographed for the piece as his protagonist. Once a contributing editor at the NY Times Magazine, Finkel has been fired for the falsification. Inquiries are going on at other magazines as to other possible fictions. Finkel has written features for Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Skiing and National Geographic Adventure, and is the author of a book. Here's Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post on Finkel. Here's the editor's note from the Times. Here's a piece from Canada on the Finkel affair.

2001 UPDATE: Tom Junod and Esquire magazine have admitted that a profile of REM singer Michael Stipe that ran in the June 2001 issue was substantially fictionalized. While they claim that the fabrication was implied in a subheadline, and provided a website with an annotated version of the piece, they were unapologetic. "The story as it is written in the magazine is what I thought about him distilled into fiction," Junod said. "I think Michael Stipe comes alive in the fictional section." Esquire Editor-in-chief David Granger added: "In the first place, one of our duties is to amuse and entertain our audience." In one bold move, a once-respectable magazine has erased the line between journalism and fan fictionb.

Columnist Patricia Smith of the Boston Globe resigned from the paper after it was discovered that she had made up quotes and sources. Click here to read her mea culpa, here for the Globe's Ombudsman's review of Smith's case,  and here to read an report on the incident by the Globe. Here are a couple of letters from sympathetic readers of Smith's column. Here are reports from the Washington Post, Fox News, CNN,The Oregonian and Salon.

In 1981, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke won the Pulitzer Prize for "Jimmy's World", the story of an 8-year old heroin addict.  Two days later Cooke admitted that Jimmy did not exist, and Post editor Ben Bradlee returned the award. Investigations revealed that Cooke had also made up her stellar credentials. Humiliated, Cooke lost her job, but later re-emerged selling her story to Hollywood.

Over twenty years ago, veteran journalist Nik Cohn wrote "Tribal Rites Of The New Saturday Night" for New York magazine, an article that inspired the movie "Saturday Night Fever". Years later, he admitted to New York that he had made up the majority of the piece.  Click here for a summary of this incident.

At the Cincinatti Enquirer, reporter Mike Gallagher was fired for stealing voice mail messages in the course of writing a piece on the Chiquita Banana company, aided, it seems, by an employee of the company. The Enquirer has run an apology to the company on its front page. Gallagher's primary crime is that he assured his paper that his sources were obtained in a legal manner. Salon has an essay about why this might be the most important media crisis of the year.

Both CNN and Time magazine reported that the United States had used nerve gas in an attack on Laos during the Vietnam War in an attempt to kill defectors. They based their evidence on the recovered memories of veterans of Operation Tailwind.; They were forced to retract the stories when their sources complained that they had been misquoted.

Here's a really good essay from Salon on CNN, Time, and the crisis in media credibility, from the perspective of a former Time investigative reporter.

Lies and hoaxes have plagued journalism since its birth, perpetrated intentionally or not by a cast ranging from Edgar Allen Poe and H.L. Mencken to Seymour Hersh and Pierre Salinger. Click here for a useful overview of these media deceptions.

The best source for media gossip and news is probably Jim Romaniesko's Media News blog.

You really should look at my home page.
"caveat lector, caveat editor"