Shattered Glass

LetterboxD review link

I had never seen Shattered Glass before, but the story of Stephen Glass, along with Jayson Blair, is an apocryphal story in journalism. And in the age of “fake news” I thought this might be a good time to revisit. Unfortunately, I think I’m too close to the journalism industry these days (working in the NYT newsroom is about as close as you can get) to watch this movie with any sort of critical distance. The self-seriousness of this movie, and of the journalism industry more generally, is grating.

I have a running theory that journalism is full of people who have a strong narrative bias. And are self-selected story tellers. And as a result, the importance of journalism is over-inflated in society. I do, at the same time, believe journalism is important. But the New Republic is not the White House or the Constitution. And Stephen Glass’s failures contain important lessons but not to be vaunted to the level that this film and the industry has raised them to.

With all that being said: the fact that this industry has made such a moral tale of his and Jayson Blair’s failures is impressive. And I’m glad to work in an environment that takes truth and ethics so seriously. I suppose being a journalist is like being in any family or country – you learn to hate and love it at the same time.

Lastly, Hayden Christensen call it a “pew-litzer” not “pull-it-sir” in the first few minutes of this movie, which is almost reason enough to turn it off.