March 29, 2016

Stephen Glass, the former New Republic writer who was outed as a serial fabricator, says he’s making good on his pledge to reimburse magazines that published his work.

During a chat with a Duke University journalism ethics class Monday, Glass revealed that he’s paid $200,000 to The New Republic, Rolling Stone and the publisher of Policy Review as part of a campaign of remittance that was first disclosed in October when he cut Harper’s magazine a check for $10,000. The sum represents what he owes the magazines after interest, according to The Chronicle, Duke University’s student newspaper:

He reiterated that he did not blame people for being suspicious of all of his actions even now, almost 20 years after his journalism career ended. He said that he is trying to convince anyone he can of his current honesty. As an example of how he tries to make sure others know he is being as genuine as possible despite his past, Glass noted that he refused financial assistance from Duke for Monday’s visit.

Glass, who was fired from the New Republic in 1998 after a Forbes investigation exposed his deceit, has gone on to pursue a legal career at Carpenter, Zuckerman and Rowley, a personal injury firm in Beverly Hills, California. In January 2014, the California Supreme Court denied him entrance to the bar, citing a record of behavior “directed primarily at advancing his own well-being rather than returning something to the community.”

Glass gave an interview to the New Republic in 2014 for the magazine’s centennial edition in which he apologized for every facet of the fabrication episode. Hanna Rosin, Glass’ former colleague and the author of the article, ultimately accepted the mea culpa:

I would ask Steve about something he’d done. He’d pause, conjure the moment, parse every iteration of the crime, add whatever I’d forgotten to mention, and then apologize. If the first step of reforming yourself is acknowledging your sins, then Steve was determined to get an A-plus, along with extra credit.

Rolling Stone and the New Republic did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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