Should Stephen Glass Be Allowed to Practice Law?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stephen Glass is now a 39-year-old law clerk at a firm in Beverly Hills, California. But more than decade ago, he was a young reporter on the rise. Glass's career in journalism came to an abrupt halt after it was discovered that over 40 of his articles — written for The New Republic, Harpers, Rolling Stone and other well-regarded magazines — were largely fabricated. Glass made up quotes, invented sources, and backed up his work with elaborate fake notes, fake websites, phony email addresses, phone numbers, and voicemail messages. 

After the scandal broke, Glass went into therapy, wrote a novel about his experiences called "The Fabulist," and earned a law degree from Georgetown. Now he's waiting for the California Supreme Court to rule whether the California should admit him to the bar.

Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, thinks that this journalist who built a career on lying should in fact be admitted to the bar, and joins the program to explain why.


Joe Nocera

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

David Villa from Austin, TX

Do we need a statute of limitations on actions that don't constitute a crime? Suppose he's fooling everyone about learning the error of his ways. What could he do, plagiarize his closing argument? Since when is being of sound moral character a requirement for entry into the legal profession, anyway? That's so ironic it's laughable. Bring trial for rulebreaking, not for disreputation. We're all human. Too many put their faith in blue blooded sleazebags only because they've never been caught. Frankly I'd trust Glass more knowing that every one of his steps will be scrutinized.

Dec. 27 2011 01:23 PM
HiHat from New York City

It doesn't surprise me that a New York Times reporter would defend a disgraced fabricator. After all, the pages and halls of the Times have been permeated with the fog of unreality for many years now. But I must chuckle at the thought that a fabricator is having such a hard time getting established as a lawyer in Beverly Hills of all places, the capital of unreality. These are strange times we live in, to be sure...

Dec. 27 2011 09:50 AM
Sharon from Middleboro MA

Thank goodness the mistakes in my 20s were not publicized.

Dec. 27 2011 09:33 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.