Follow up

Stephen Glass pays back Harper's for 1998 story

stephen-glass.jpgThis is a quick followup to my Thursday report that Stephen Glass, the notorious but reformed magazine fabulist, is on the legal team for T.J. Simers, the former columnist who is suing the Los Angeles Times for age discrimination.

The New York Times has a story today saying that Glass has offered $10,000 to Harper's along with an apology for a 1998 story in the magazine that was among the articles discredited after Glass's fabrications were discovered. He says in a letter that he will be making right with other publications as well.

"I want to make right that part of my many transgressions,” Glass wrote. “I recognize that repaying Harper’s will not remedy my wrongdoing, make us even, or undo what I did wrong. That said, I did not deserve the money that Harper’s paid me and it should be returned.” He guessed that he was paid $5,000 to $7,000 for the piece and so rounded up to $10,000 to cover any interest. A Harper's spokesperson said the magazine would deposit the check.

From the NYT story:

Reached by email on Friday, Mr. Glass said he also planned to repay other outlets — a total that, by some estimates, could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He declined to comment further.

Mr. Glass was a rising star in journalism in the late 1990s, known for vivid features at The New Republic, where he was an associate editor, and other magazines. His work included an article in the February 1998 issue of Harper’s about his experiences becoming a phone-in psychic.

Later that year, after an editor at the website Forbes Digital Tool raised questions about one of his articles about computer hackers, he was revealed as a serial fabricator. The New Republic said that some of his articles were completely made up, while others were partly so. The story of his fabrications, and their uncovering, was made into a 2003 movie, “Shattered Glass.”

Glass, I reported Thursday, is a non-lawyer trial team coordinator and director of special projects at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, the law firm representing Simers in his current civil trial with the LA Times. His request to be admitted to the Bar in California was rejected last year by the state Supreme Court.

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