Stephen Glass is back, with a new bandwagon of defenders.
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But maybe that’s not necessary, because we’re all thinking in this forward frame of mind, right? Glass has changed, or so he claims, so we should look at how (as Nocera puts it) he’s turned his life around.
But if we are to move forward, why does Glass dedicate such an immense volume of his testimony on his past? He turns to blaming his parents, whom he describes as controlling and vindictive, as they applied pressure for him to go to medical school. He cites the rejection of his childhood classmates. No slight in his past is left untouched, revealing that Glass is still hoping to distract you from his shortcomings by portraying himself as a victim. Classic.
The Times’s Nocera claims that viewing these anecdotes as “excuses” (as Shafer does) is a “serious misreading” of Glass’s testimony, because Glass “seems to go out of his way to not make excuses for what he did.” But even if these aren’t excuses and merely biographical points explaining how Glass disgraced himself, one must wrestle with the fact that Glass has been the compulsive liar and abused child-victim of his parents for longer than he’s been the penitent law clerk.
Addicts like this are never actually cured, they’re just recovering. When Nocera writes “People who know him tell me that he is ‘relentlessly honest.’ Having once been a pathological liar, he now won’t tell even the tiniest of white lies,” it sounds like the description of the recovering alcoholic who lacks the self-control to stop drinking once he starts. Should California tell potential clients that they can trust someone so publicly standing on that rain-slick precipice?
That it took until only two years ago for Glass to “fully” catalog his transgressions, and only as part of his effort to become an attorney, is damning. But what’s even more damning is that Glass has found yet another area where he can cling to the status of victim, skate along the hard-earned reputations of others, and force a showdown, not about justice, but about himself.
This was as true 10 years ago as it is now. It almost makes you wonder about his author description for The Fabulist, which appears on Amazon: “Formerly a journalist, Stephen Glass is currently at work on his second novel.” Yes, he sure is.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?