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Sat Dec 4, 2021, 05:31 AM

 

Loving Lies: Stephen Glass, the most notorious fraud in journalism

Last edited Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:04 AM - Edit history (1)

decided he would live by one simple rule: Always tell the truth. Then he broke that rule


Iíve never liked liars. I was a newspaper reporter for 20 years and got so frustrated with lying politicians that I started PolitiFact, the fact-checking site. But Iíve found myself intrigued by liars the way a detective is fascinated with master criminals.

When I became a journalism professor at Duke University, in 2013, I got assigned to teach an ethics course and decided to include a section on writers who had fabricated or plagiarized stories.

I found there wasnít much academic research about them nor much follow-up reporting on them. They are journalismís ultimate sinners, yet nobody seems particularly interested in what happens to them. Most get fired and are never heard from again. They rarely talk about their crimes or have an opportunity to explain themselves.

I started tracking the handful of new episodes that pop up every year as well as the cases that have become the stuff of legend: Janet Cooke, the Pulitzer winner at The Washington Post who fabricated the story of an eight-year-old heroin addict; Jayson Blair, the young New York Times reporter who invented stories and plagiarized the work of other writers; and Jack Kelley, the USA Today star who made up details in many of his stories. It was during this research that I reached out to Stephen Glass.

(very well written, insightful - and interesting. the story is at link)
https://airmail.news/issues/2021-12-4/loving-lies

13 replies, 1667 views

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Reply Loving Lies: Stephen Glass, the most notorious fraud in journalism (Original post)
janterry Dec 4 OP
hlthe2b Dec 4 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 4 #2
janterry Dec 4 #3
Walleye Dec 4 #4
janterry Dec 4 #5
Walleye Dec 4 #6
shrike3 Dec 4 #10
Walleye Dec 4 #11
shrike3 Dec 4 #13
UpInArms Dec 4 #7
modrepub Dec 4 #8
FreepFryer Dec 4 #9
janterry Dec 4 #12

Response to janterry (Original post)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:03 AM

1. Your link is bad...

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:03 AM

2. Bad link. Try https://airmail.news/issues/2021-12-4/loving-lies

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:03 AM

3. ty

 

I got it off twitter

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:17 AM

4. Janet Cooke is notorious.My friend was working in the Washington Post newsroom at the time

My friend said Cooke was a real charmer. And cozied up to Bob Woodward. That of course is rumors. Last I heard a long time ago she was working at a fried chicken place. Ben Bradlee said giving back The Pulitzer was the worst thing he ever had to do. First rule of journalism: Donít make anything up. I think that has been very muddled into a gray area these days

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Response to Walleye (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:22 AM

5. Michael Barnicle survived his

 

mess. I'm all for second chances. But I don't really trust his opinions anymore.......I don't think we ever learned how much he really lied (jmo)

It sounds like Stephen Glass has really worked hard at reforming his life. Honorably, too.

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Response to janterry (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 07:38 AM

6. Didn't know that, I will listen to him differently now

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Response to Walleye (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 12:09 PM

10. I read a very detailed story of what happened.


I can see how it happened. A quote from a child services' worker in one of her stories said that children under ten were known to be addicts. Cooke was told to find a child addict. She made one up.

According to this story, she was living in Michigan and working in a department store. The story, very well-written, said that the Post ghettoized reporters of color. Put them in what was called the community or neighbors section. Having worked in newspapers myself, I believe that part.

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Response to shrike3 (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 12:44 PM

11. Interesting. I have no doubt that was the case.

Having worked at newspapers myself.

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Response to Walleye (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 05:09 PM

13. Yep. Not that I'm excusing her behavior.


But I can see how that happened.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 08:47 AM

7. Thank you

Their story made me weep

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 08:56 AM

8. What's More Important Is Comparing What's Written

at the beginning of a story versus what actually happened. Too many times the first impression you get from a story winds up being refined over several days of news cycles as a more complete picture comes into focus.

One example is the RW talking points blaming the lack of people working on "generous" unemployment benefits put out during the pandemic. That of course was a bunch of horse crap. But no one really followed up with he folks who pushed this narrative.

Or the Hillary investigation late in the 2016 election cycle getting started by gouliani and his minions starting a whisper campaign. No one spreading bulls-t ever seems to get called on it. Dirty tricks once again.

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Response to janterry (Original post)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 09:46 AM

9. Shame it's subscription paywalled.

Amazing stories of these individual cases but the abstract is interesting and I would love to read the argument that connects them in the OP.

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Response to FreepFryer (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 02:15 PM

12. I got in the first time I tried

 

and the second time. It is a lovely article. (But after that it became pay walled - why. Perhaps it restricted me after a few free views

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