|Hayden Information; Stephen Glass
|Get to know his most known character Stephen
Glass' main job was at The New Republic, a distinguished magazine with a 90-year history of publishing political and social
commentary. It also has a reputation for discovering young, talented writers like Glass.
In all, Glass fabricated facts -- or made up entire stories -- for 27 of the 41 articles he wrote for The New Republic during his time there. He fooled everyone he worked with, including two different editors, the late Michael Kelly and Charles Lane, with his misinformation.
"Hack Heaven" detailed the exploits of Ian Restil, a 15-year-old computer hacker who broke through the online security system of a "big-time software firm" called Jukt Micronics. Once inside, the cheeky youth posted every employee's salary on the company's web site alongside a bunch of nudie pictures, each bearing the caption "THE BIG BAD BIONIC BOY HAS BEEN HERE BABY."
But instead of calling in the Feds, Jukt executives, according to The New Republic, decided to hire the teenage hacker, who had obtained the services of an agent, Joe Hiert, described as a "super-agent to super-nerds." The magazine also claimed that such deals have thwarted efforts to prosecute hackers and that law enforcement officials in Nevada got so desperate that they ran radio advertisements: "Would you hire a shoplifter to watch the cash register? Please don't deal with hackers."
The article was a complete and utter hoax perpetrated by one of the magazine's own associate editors, 25-year-old Stephen Glass.
Our first step was to plug Jukt Micronics into a bunch of search engines. We found no web site, odd for a "big-time software firm." Our next step was to contact the Software Publishers Association of America. Nothing. Next on our list was the California Franchise Tax Board. An official from the Tax Board confirmed that Jukt Micronics had never paid any taxes. Further investigations revealed that Jukt Micronics, if it existed at all, was not listed under any of California's 15 area codes. Sarah Gilmer from the office of the California Secretary of State said there was no record of the company, "as a corporation, a limited liability or limited partnership."
A search of Lexis-Nexis' extensive database turned up only one reference to Jukt Micronics: Glass's New Republic story.
Glass also cited an organization called the "National Assembly of Hackers," which he claimed had sponsored a recent hacker conference in Bethesda, Md. Surely this was real. But no. Despite our best efforts, we could not unearth a single hacker who had even heard of this outfit, let alone attended the conference.
Glass now lives in New York City & has written a novel about his life called The Fabulist. He hopes to be admitted to the state bar, and he's passed the written exam - but there are questions about his character and his fitness to practice law. A movie detailing Glass' experiences called Shattered Glass completed production in June 2003. He just recently began a popular shortwave radio program entitled "Let's Talk About Things."The program recently featured a lengthy phone interview with Danish film instructor Maarten Verkiel, during which interview Mr. Verkiel suffered a massive coronary.
Shattered Glass stars Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass, a staff writer for the respected current events and policy magazine The New Republic and a freelance feature writer for publications such as Rolling Stone, Harper's and George. By the mid-90s, Glass' articles had turned him into one of the most sought-after young journalists in Washington, but a bizarre chain of events - chronicled in Buzz Bissinger's September, 1998 Vanity Fair article upon which "Shattered Glass" is based - suddenly stopped his career in its tracks. "Shattered Glass" is a study of a very talented - and at the same time very flawed - character. It is also a look inside our culture's noblest profession, one that protects our most precious freedoms by revealing the truth, and what happens when our trust in that profession is called into question.
"Shattered Glass" is jointly produced by Cruise / Wagner Productions and Baumgarten Merims in association with Forest Park Pictures. The film's executive producers are Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner of Cruise / Wagner as well as Lions Gate executives Michael Paseornek, Marc Butan and Tom Ortenberg. "Shattered Glass" is being produced by Craig Baumgarten, Adam Merims, Gaye Hirsch and Tove Christensen. A Lions Gate production, "Shattered Glass" will be distributed worldwide by the company in 2003.