In the current issue of Vanity Fair, there’s an update on the saga of Stephen Glass — the most notorious hoaxster in journalism. Sure there was a movie — Shattered Glass — and yes, Glass even wrote a weird novel called The Fabulist — but what the piece omits is the fact that Glass was uncovered by Forbes.com, by Adam Penenberg and Kambiz Faroohar, and the piece marked the end of the early debate that online journalism was less responsible, less ethical, and less accurate than traditional print.
“In 1998, a 25-year-old journalist named Stephen Glass was the hottest young star in the competitive orbit of Washington journalism. An associate editor for The New Republic, he routinely managed to find the pitch-perfect quote and the trenchant observation in every story he wrote. He was earning more than $100,000 a year and also attending Georgetown Law at night. Glass seemed too good to be true, which of course he was. As contributing editor Buzz Bissinger chronicled in Vanity Fair (“Shattered Glass,” September 1998), Glass’s spectacular rise was outdone only by his even more spectacular fall, in which it was discovered that 27 of his 41 stories for T.N.R. contained fabrications.”