Friday, July 23, 2004

Shattered Glass

The movie was showing on a flight I took so I decided to watch it. The movie was quite bizarre, really, in so many ways -- a complete apologia for TNR. No one was responsible for what happened except for Stephen Glass. Michael Kelly was portrayed as a complete saint whose only crime was "standing up for his writers."

The movie just left out all the important context. It was noted that Kelly was brought in along with a very rigid editing and fact-checking process. I'll leave it to the readers to remember why it was thought that TNR needed improved fact-checking (hint: think former editors). We only quietly hear the reason why Kelly was fired - in the movie it's because Peretz thought the magazine had gotten "too nasty," something which was completely at odds with the sweet portrayal of Kelly and the young folk who were working for him, and which made it just seem like Peretz was being a jerk and firing him for no reason. But, more importantly, Kelly's rigid fact-checking system obviously was a joke because Glass's stuff wouldn't have gotten through if they had any real fact-checking going on (the movie tried to tell us that since Glass's only "sources" were his "personal notes" that his pieces could only be checked against them. Wuuuuh?)

Anyway, I'm a bit hazy on my TNRology from the past - there's a lot more to the story than this movie told. But, all in all it was a load of crap.