A Website Note

Mar 23, 2012

One upshot of the recent news coverage about our show: we learned that stories by Stephen Glass were in our online archive. We'd taken these down years ago and then they went back up without any of us noting it when we did a redesign of the website in 2010. (The people executing the new design didn't know we'd removed those shows and Ira and the radio producers on staff didn't think to inform them; they hadn't thought about those stories in years.)

We're taking those shows back down again today.

Stephen Glass was a reporter who fabricated stories that appeared in several national magazines. His story was the subject of the film Shattered Glass.

In the very early days of the radio show, we had Stephen Glass (who's no relation to Ira Glass), come on the show and retell stories he'd published in magazines. This is standard practice on public radio. We trust that since we're talking to fellow journalists who already published their work in mainstream publications, the work had been edited and vetted as true. Glass wrote a story for Harper's magazine about working as a telephone psychic and then told it on our episode How to Take Money from Strangers. He told a story in Delivery about Federal Express that had appeared in The New Republic in November 1996. We sent him out with a tape recorder for a story he reported both for The New Republic and for us, about interns who played slaves at Mount Vernon, George Washington's home. We transcribed and edited the tape he recorded (this was in the early days of our program; today we have enough producers that one of us would've gone with him) and now believe that all the recorded quotes he brought back are real, while the ones he didn't manage to record are probably fabrications.

As with Mike Daisey's story, we'll be pulling the audio of these stories down from our website, but will leave the transcripts up, for anyone who's interested.