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January 02, 2007

A Little Advice For Katty Carroll...

If no one else can find your sources, maybe it's because they're not really sources.

No one could else could find Steven Glass' "sources" either.

Checking the Web and Lexis-Nexis for the people and organizations mentioned in Glass' articles, you do not come up empty-handed. Although there are often no references before Glass published his fantasies, there are often references afterward. These are generally in British publications--or publications in places to which Britain brought the benefits of advanced civilization, such as hack journalism.

Between the Web, Nexis, and the good old telephone, it took little effort to discredit such apparent Glass inventions as the National Memorabilia Convention, Monicondoms, or the investment firm RBL. Other untraceable organizations, publications, and individuals include Patriotic Profits, P.J. Hozell, Isaac Tyo, Climate Lookout, Truth in Science, the Association for the Advancement of Sound Water Policy, Jim Sackman, Back to Eden, Naked Truth, Ryan Hogin, Andrew Zubitsky, the "Newt-O-Meter," the First Church of George Herbert Walker Christ, the Committee for the Former President's Integrity, Steve Tellis, the Tellis Times, and the Commission to Restore the Presidency to Greatness.

Listed here, it all seems transparently bogus or at least deeply suspicious. Yet I'm embarrassed to confess that every Glass story passed my stink test when first published in the New Republic. Now, plowing through the big Nexis dump, my hindsight is golden. Glass moved monumental piles of bullshit past me, a vain skeptic.

...

[One] explanation is that Glass built up credibility as each story was published and went unchallenged. You figured that if RBL didn't have a bond dealer with a urinal on his desk, someone from RBL would call the writer's bluff. What you didn't figure is that Glass would make up RBL itself. The principals in his stories didn't complain about the falsehoods for the simple reason that they often didn't exist.

[T]he main reason Glass spoofed everybody's radar is that his stories were, in the self-mocking journalists' phrase "too good to check." As a reader, not his editor, it was not my job to check them. But I didn't even bring my usual editor's skepticism to reading them, because I wanted them to be true.

AP is in trouble. Blood is in the water. Forbes eagerly destroyed TNR -- and that was just TNR, a small magazine very nearly just a vanity imprint.

Does AP really think that no other MSM organization is going to dig here?

Are you mad at me, Katty?

Katty, are you mad at me?

Please talk to me, Katty. Please don't destroy me.

Are you mad at me, Katty?



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posted by Ace at 01:25 PM

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