Compiled by: Jack Foley
IT WAS with a mixture of dread and awe that I first learned of
the saga of Stephen Glass, through Buzz Bissingers Vanity
Fair piece, Shattered Glass. As soon as Id read it, I knew
that this was a story I wanted to tell.
Glass rise and fall resonated with themes that matter to
me: the responsibility of the press, the dangers inherent to a
cult of personality, and the day-to-day ethical dilemmas that
define us as individuals.
Glass quickly became, at least for me, the face of something
larger than himself, larger even than the magazine he so badly
He began to represent a wake-up call about the state of journalism
in this country, one made even louder by this springs developments
of Jayson Blair, at the New York Times.
When people can no longer believe what they read, their only
choices will be to either turn to television for their daily news,
or to stop seeking out news entirely. Either path, I think, is
a very dangerous one for this country.
Thats why I wanted to make this film.
To do it, I needed and received a great deal of help from the
very people Glass had wronged at The New Republic: Chuck Lane,
the late Michael Kelly, and several sources who wished to remain
all of these people were extremely generous with
me, sharing details of a period that had caused them nothing but
pain, confusion and embarrassment.
Particular mention should be made of Mike Kelly, who remains
the most principled man its ever been my good fortune to
Kelly remained haunted by his role in Glasss rise, and
he was sick about the idea that a movie might forever immortalise
him as the editor who DIDNT catch Glass.
But Kellys integrity was so great that he couldnt
resist helping me and because Mike, at his core, was a reporter.
And what mattered to him most was that I get the story right.
He was truly a giant. His efforts, and those of Chuck Lane and
all my other sources, gave the script its authenticity. A cast
of wonderful actors then did the rest. The only rule on our set
was that every choice in every scene had to tell the truth.
The result, I think, was the cinematic equivalent of good reporting.
Shattered Glass is not an attack on a fallen reporter, any more
than it is an apology for his behaviour.
Its just an accurate account of a complicated mess. And
when youre telling a story about reporting and truth, thats
the only standard that matters.
Editors note: Michael Kelly was killed on April
4, 2003, while on assignment in Iraq. Click here
for an obituary contained within the national Guardian.