Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Fabulist

This story is one to be taken at face value. It tells of a story that is TRUE but written to be FICTION. It begins w/ a young journalist making his rise in the business working at the Washington Weekly until he manages to destroy it. This book tells more of the story and creativity behind the scandal that rocked the journalistic industry.

When Stephen Glass was asked to reference the people in his stories, he always stated that his information was at home. Asking if he could run there and find it, he was REALLY covering his tracks. After Stephen had asked his brother, Nathan, who was in college, for help, Stephen had found out that his brother admired him. Nathan had read all of Stephen's stories. When they hung up, Stephen had a sense that his brother knew what he was up to! Throughout the night, Stephen kept covering his tracks.

When Stephen was late w/ his stories, it angered his boss. Because of Stephen's lateness, it made his boss miss out on time w/ his daughter, who was home from college. When his editor, Robert, began to question Steven, he had been called in by Nathan whom he persuaded to act like an associate that he/Robert was searching for. When Robert asked to be taken to the EXACT site that Stephen's story took place, Stephen was trying to fit surrounding locations as part of his lie. During the search for the truth and "missing puzzle pieces", Robert asked for the FULL truth of what was to be found at where they were going. Stephen began to cry - heavily. Admitting he didn't go to this conference, Stephen lied out an apology. At this point, lying became more than a comfort, but more of a vitality.

When Stephen & Robert returned to the office, Stephen was being questioned about a different story. Steven's boss REALLY was ready to go to bat for Steven if he could PROVE that these people existed. After Steven was told by Robert the HUGE privileges and responsibilities of journalism and how Stephen destroyed it by his FALSE stories, he was FIRED! As Stephen was leaving, he ran into Lindsay, an associate he worked with who helped him. She helped him exit the office easily without ALOT of people there. One-by-one everyone said good-bye and promised to stay in touch. Just then, Robert announced over the intercom that he would explain his side of the story when everyone returned to the office.

After Stephen was fired and went home, to avoid media press on this event, he and his girlfriend, Allison, went to Steven's parents house in Savannah. When it came time for Steven to tell Allison the truth of what happened at the office, he had told her a condensed version of the truth. He couldn't bring himself to tell her the WHOLE truth. He was ashamed. He had kept in retrospect - his working life a secret. At the end of the day, it was an emotionally draining one.

Steven, who was still in school at the time, had only attended 2 lectures all semester and spent all of his time at the newspaper, which he really loved. When it came time for a test in organic chemistry - he failed! His parents wanted him to be a doctor and really quit the paper. Whenever Steven would fly back/forth to his parents & work, he would literally play deaf on the aircraft so he wouldn't have to answer to scrutiny and questions from the scandal. After the plane ride, Stephen deepened farther in by using a wheelchair as told by the captain taking advantage until they left the airport. When Stephen's parents came home long after he had, his mother told him about Allison calling the airline and that Stephen maybe suicidal and the airline went crazy. That explained why the airline treated Stephen w/ kid gloves. They thought he was both deaf and suicidal.

Even though Steven was nervous, over ice cream, Steven explained the full honest story behind his firing to his parents. When he divulged details, Stephen's parents went on to inform him of his history he'd had telling "tall tales". His mother tried to give him some good points as to how this could blow over. Stephen seen himself as a Black Sheep. After he was confronted by Allison, Stephen was going to have to start telling the hard truths. As much as he destroyed himself w/ lying, Stephen would have to go farther telling the truth. When media outlets began knocking on the door for an interview, Stephen's dad vowed to protect his son, even at Steven's turn-down. Being on the other end of media, Steven felt like a predator due to having been in their shoes. Around this time, Stephen began having nightmares and night terrors, reliving the firing over-and-over again, suffering both anxiety and depression, crying in shame, frustration and despair.

It was during this same time that media began wanting to interview Stephen. When he would ignore them, they wrote letters to him for a response. As the days continued, Stephen would receive many different calls. Hate calls, threatening calls, surprising, weird & admiring calls. Some reporters understood the pressures and the why Stephen had done it. EVERYONE wanted to be granted "the FIRST" interview w/ him. Old friends that he  had lost touch w/ years ago wanted contact w/ him when he had the time. When Brian called, an associate Stephen worked w/ at the magazine, he asked Stephen for advice on how to handle his former boss. Stephen wondered that if people HAD to ask of why he did this? His only response was that no answer would placate or satisfy. Meanwhile, Stephen tried DAILY - almost abit obsessive at contacting Allison when she wouldn't return his calls. Steven and his mom wound up going to get Stephen's things packed up and moved.

The next day Steven & his mom aboard a plane and went out to Maryland or Virginia for Stephen to live. Stephen apologized to Allison for bailing and fleeing. After she was about to leave for good, Stephen PLEADED w/ her to go see a professional. She agrees to 1hr. Steven received the exact opposite result than planned. In the end of it, Allison left him for good! The next day, Steven moved out and into an apartment found by his mom. His mom began to stay the night when Stephen sort-of forced her out instead of staying.

Stephen CONFESSES to the FIRST story he ever fabricated. It was early in his tenure about a young D.C. player. When he didn't have much to go on and this was an inevitable piece, Stephen began to panic. For a story to even be a story, Stephen needed a "smoking gun" detail to finish the story off. It could start out small, stay mainstream, but had to hit w/ a bang. Stephen accomplished in journalism what others only imagined. The reasons behind it was because he wanted to be recognized for an EXCEPTIONAL article. He wanted to be well-regarded and loved by the people around him. For his stories, Stephen easily slipped into a groove of elaboration.  At the point of no return - there was no going back, so he just kept on typing. As far as it went w/ fact-checking, Steven played a large role in asserting the system and trying to improve it. If Stephen couldn't call a source or verify one, he would say that the source wasn't right for the piece or makeup a journalistic reason for eliminating that person from the piece. Steven stated that the reasons why he did this were the more stories he turned in, the more he would've been considered for cover stories. The more stories he made up, the more offers he received. It was like the more he fabricated and turned in, the more his editors  loved them and him.

Stephen found himself in public situations fabricating stories to waitresses and everyone. To him lying seemed like the only solution. When Stephen met a girl through a computer chat-room, Beth, he felt his life/luck changing. One minute he felt he had no one, now here was Beth. One minute, jobless, the next he was just going for a video rental and was given an on-the-spot job hired at a video store. That was how he ended up a shift supervisor at the store. Even with his new job, Stephen felt himself lying at work. He then realized a sick obsession w/ lying. When Steven got home, he found that Beth had left him w/o a way to contact. He was then REAL GRATEFUL for his new job at the video store as to not obsess about Beth. Even though he knew he couldn't date for awhile, Stephen no longer felt he had to lie or stay quiet. A few weeks later, Nathan  visited his older brother Stephen. He/Stephen apologized PROFUSELY for using Nathan in his cover-ups. According to Nathan's story, Stephen's using him that way was only a "dream boat" in the eyes of others for Nathan. At the end of the day, Nathan believed that NOTHING could've been done for Stephen to be in the press' good graces. Stephen began to wonder that this whole thing will blow over and he COULD get a happy ending.

Stephen was beginning to gain notoriety as "Hey, aren't you Stephen Glass. . . .the guy who?"  Aside from his parents and brother, the first person Stephen felt was unequivocally in his corner was his rabbi. The rabbi just wanted Stephen to survive this. When Stephen finally did talk to him, the rabbi, Stephen found himself volunteering for a service. Stephen used the service as a point to contact his mother. After he apologized about the past, that was where things stayed. Stephen promised his mother he would attend a Jewish ritual w/ an acquaintance of his mothers. When he arrived, Stephen began communicating w/ one of the granddaughters, Syl, which was someone he already knew. They began to get to know each other. During their date, they got to know each other's worst traits about themselves; both traits and physicality. The next day when Stephen was going to the video store, he'd heard of reporters being there and they called security. Stephen felt relieved that someone had his back and was going to protect him.

Because of fear of someone stealing, Stephen changed his mailing address w/ only his first and middle name; Stephen Aaron. When his girlfriend found out, Stephen felt he deceived her. But she didn't want to talk about it - as though she understood. They each made minor adjustments that fit the relationship. Even though media mentions of Steven were dying down, during a late-night TV program, they announced that during Steven's time at The Weekly, 70 out of 80 pieces had contained at least one unverified fact. When Stephen wasn't working at the video store, he spent his time alone w/ Syl, unless they were at Shabbat services. When it came to Syl, the further into love he fell w/ her, the more difficult it became to break his history to her. Stephen began to wonder what was so wrong w/ himself to have done this? What wrong was he trying to vindicate? What was he trying to prove by hurting the people that he had? He realized that it because they were all successful, loved & respected people. Exceeding everyone's expectations. They were the real thing that Stephen wished he was.

Stephen felt TRULY apologetic and sorry for what he had done an knew it would never go away. He did everything he could think of to hide the TRUE identity of who he really was to Syl, his girlfriend. Some looked at Stephen's relationship w/ his girlfriend as a sign of being "back on track". After an arousing game of bingo, Stephen found out from Syl that she had a gambling addiction. An imperfection. She was flawed. Just like him. They began telling their worst. He confessed his TRUE history and the ramifications he suffered. After taking the rest of the night and confessing EVERYTHING to each other. Stephen woke up the next morning w/ Syl next to him and felt incredibly fortunate. Even though he knew he didn't deserve it, he embraced it. This was to become a second chance to get it right.

When Stephen went to work, after he was praised for doing a good job, the boss was verbally required to give Stephen an application. When the boss had asked Stephen about/if he had been fired before, Stephen confessed to what he had done at the magazine. It sort-of changed his bosses demeanor and he fired Stephen. Something Stephen understood.When Stephen & Syl took their dog to the vet's ER, they were stalked by a reporter, Cliff, and a photographer. They were continuously polite to turn him down for attention due to their emergency. When he was turned down one more time, the reporter instantly grabbed the dog out from the vet and held the dog hostage for an interview. Suddenly the dog began to scream and Syl rose up, kicked the reporter between the legs and he released the dog.

When they finished at the vet, the reporter entered into a fury w/ a tape recorder. Stephen gave a tearfully, meaningful answer as to why? He couldn't help but realize that the guy DID wind up getting his exclusive. After they left the vet's office, Stephen realized that Syl would still be there long afterward. The next morning, Syl & Steven decided to start anew by moving to New York. As they headed the way there (NY), Steven said good-bye to Washington FOREVER! Still trying to piece his life together.

In 2003, a movie was made recounting Stephen's notorious scandal w/ "The New Republic" in Shattered Glass w/ Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard & Chloe Sevigny. Christensen as the role playing Stephen.

Since this book's publication and the movie, Shattered Glass, it had come out and been reported that in 2012, Stephen has been fighting, since graduating and passing the bar in 2007 from Georgetown Law School, for his application for an attorney's law license. The State's Committee of Bar Examiners judged him morally unfit for his new profession.

the REAL Stephen Glass

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