With his mouth wide open in disbelief, a child stood by and watched his sibling being handed an expensive toy without reason. Next you would expect the child to argue about how unfair it was to give his sibling the toy when he didn't deserve it. If we were to recreate a scenario with that same ending today, the spoiled sibling would be a journalist who is being rewarded for telling lies, and the open-mouthed angry child would be his former co-worker's who believed in him.
Stephen Glass, a creative young journalist seemed to have knack for being in the right place at the right time. As a result he wrote articles that captured audiences with captivating details and quotes that made each story perfect. It wasn't until the reporters at the Forbes Digital Tool website challenged the story that Glass had wrote for The New Republic entitled "Hack Heaven" that anyone even suspected that Glass might not have been completely honest in his writing. "Hack Heaven" included scintillating dialogue between a 15-year-old computer hacker and a company who hired him after he broke into the company's computer database. Glass also described a conference he attended where he had observed other computer hackers and corporate executives congratulating the 15-year-old on a job well done.
When confronted by his editor with the suspicions raised by the Forbes Digital Tool website reporters, Glass broke down admitting that the entire story was created in his mind including attending the conference. Upon further investigation it was discovered that Glass had manipulated most of the stories he had written. He had used fake voice mails, websites and friends as his sources. Accordingly, Glass was fired from his job and many of Glass's editors, peers and readers were left feeling betrayed and disappointed and maybe even a little embarrassed for believing in the talented young writer.
Now the question remains if Stephen Glass should be allowed to receive money for making his life story...
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