I knew Steve Glass and was fairly friendly with him. I use the past tense because he’s dead to me now. Okay, not really. But I have little desire to rekindle the relationship either. I knew him primarily through the gang at Slate when I used to work next door to them. But I am a bit proud of the fact that during all of the hullabaloo about what an amazing journalist Glass was, I insisted that he made up his stuff. The only other person I knew who was willing to say so publicly (though sadly for both of us not in print) was Seth Stevenson, then a writer with Slate and now, I believe, a freelance writer. I distinctly remember getting into an argument with a liberal co-worker and several others about Glass’ C-PAC piece — which purported to reveal orgiastic, drug addicted gropers among young conservatives. With echoes of the Bennett story, my colleague couldn’t get over her glee that young conservatives were secretly and hypocritically twisted pervs and didn’t want even to entertain the idea that a reporter at the sainted New Republic could be making something up.
Of course, the Church of George Bush piece was flatly absurd. And so on. Seth and I used to debate what Glass’s motivations might be and developed all sorts of uncharitable theories — and everyone thought we were nuts. Anyway, I feel sorry for the guys at the New Republic, because they’re going to have to endure the self-promoting b.s. of someone who doesn’t deserve a second act at the expense of their good name and reputation.