It’s fantastic. A story like this comes along only once every few years, and it’s so incredible, that halfway through the movie, (even after establishing before hand that this question was not to be asked) people were still asking “This is a TRUE story?”.
It’s the story of Stephen Glass, brilliant young reporter for the New Republic, “the inflight magazine of Air Force One”, an influential political commentary magazine. Glass was a rising star in the world of journalism when it was discovered he fabricated more than half of his brilliant stories. The link I just posted has a few of his articles. But this is the one that brought his downfall, and one that the movie covers quite extensively, it’s called “Hack Heaven”.
This is the best movie I’ve seen in years. The acting will keep you riveted, it is a very intelligently filmed (watch the director’s commentary, it’s absolutely fascinating) story about truth, ethics and good journalism. Peter Sarsgaard is my new favorite actor. The movie was so good, we watched the whole “60 Minutes” Interview with Stephen Glass, and after parts of the Director’s commentary, we stayed a little longer to talk about it. I think it was pretty unanimous taht this movie was the best we’d all seen in a very long time…
As a bonus, I found the article written by Adam Penenberg of Forbes magazine that was the clarion call of Glass’s career. I also found this article, an interesting post-mortem on Stephen Glass by a fact-checker he fooled.
Watching this fantastic movie has really given a whole new meaning to Baha’u’llah’s mention of the role of newspapers in His Tablet of Wisdom:
“In this day the mysteries of this earth are unfolded and visible before the eyes, and the pages of swiftly appearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world; they display the doings and actions of the different nations; they both illustrate them and cause them to be heard. Newspapers are as a mirror endowed with hearing, sight and speech; they are a wonderful phenomenon and a great matter. But it behooves the writers and editors thereof to be sanctified from the prejudice of egotism and desire, and to be adorned with the ornament of equity and justice. They must inquire into matters as fully as possible in order that they may be informed of the real facts, and commit the same to writing. Concerning this wronged one, what the newspapers have published has for the most part been devoid of truth. Good speech and truthfulness are, in loftiness of position and rank, like the sun which has risen from the horizon of the heaven of knowledge.”