Stephen Glass returns to reporting at 'Rolling Stone'
July 24, 2003, 5:00 am·
Everyone deserves a second shot.
At least Rolling Stone magazine seems to think so.
The publication has contracted infamous Penn alumnus and former Daily Pennsylvanian Executive Editor Stephen Glass -- who was fired from the New Republic in 1998 after the weekly magazine uncovered fabrications in his work -- to write an article on marijuana laws in Canada.
Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner "believes the guy deserves a second chance... he deserves redemption," the magazine's spokesperson Stu Zakim said.
After Glass' departure from the New Republic, editors there found fabrications in 27 of the 41 articles published with his byline.
After the resulting scandal, Glass dropped from the national spotlight for several years, earning a law degree at Georgetown and later moving to New York.
In 1998, an article Glass wrote for Rolling Stone -- also about drug policy -- resulted in a $50 million lawsuit against the magazine.
Zakim said the editorial system at the magazine would institute no special measures to verify the information in Glass' latest article.
The magazine will check facts "no more so than we normally do," Zakim said.
However, Glass still has a ways to go before convincing others that he deserves this second chance.
"It just boggles the mind why Rolling Stone would do this," said Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Calvert, who worked with Glass at the DP.
"I'm sure it's a publicity stunt," Calvert added, noting that he initially assumed the news about Rolling Stone publishing an article by Glass was a joke.
Glass emerged from several years of silence following his departure from the New Republic this past spring when he published a novel.
His novel, The Fabulist, is a mix of autobiography and fiction about a young writer named Stephen Glass, who fabricates parts of his stories.
Glass made the rounds of talkshows and newsmagazines, his story rendered especially pertinent by the highly publicized revelation that former NewYork Times reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated many of his own stories.
"This is the very beginning of a very, very long process of apologies," Glass said in an interview with 60 Minutes that aired in May -- coinciding with the release of his novel, published by Simon & Schuster.
However, Glass' pubic contrition -- as well as his habit of mixing fact and fiction -- still leaves some disturbed.
"I don't harbor any ill will toward Steve," Calvert said, but added, "I think he's forfeited a right to do journalism."
In addition to his novel, a movie based on Glass' deception, titled Shattered Glass, is planned for release next October. With Tom Cruise as an executive producer, the film will feature Star Wars' Hayden Christensen as Glass.
Glass did not return calls for comment.