Stephen Glass, who literally wrote the book on how to lie as a journalist (it’s called The Fabulist); Sabrina Rubin Erdely, whose retracted gang rape article in this month’s Rolling Stone suggests a cult member’s lack of objectivity, and Jessica Pressler, who has so little journalistic street smarts that she believed a high schooler who claimed to have amassed $72 million by trading stocks are teaming up to launch a video game called Fact or Fiction? Readers will compete for cash prizes by finding the truthful passages hidden throughout news articles, which otherwise will be be nothing but a pack of lies designed to generate page views and advance political agendas.
Glass and Erdely are a match made in heaven: They overlapped as undergrads at the University of Pennsylvania, where Erdely worked under Glass, who at some point was executive editor. Things go deeper into the twilight zone when you consider that
- Glass, of all people, once disciplined Erdely for submitting a fabricated story,
- Erdely wrote what now seems like a Pecksniffian review of Shattered Glass, the movie that traces Glass’s rise and fall as a lying journalist, and
- in her now largely debunked Rolling Stone article, Erdely assigns to one of the accuser’s friends the pseudonym “Randall,” which is Stephen Glass’s middle name.
Of course, it makes sense that Pressler would join them. Like Erdely, she’s a terrible writer. Pressler: “…Damir is tall, slim, and cocky, like a cigarette wearing a fedora.” Erdely: “Four weeks into UVA’s 2012 school year, 18-year-old Jackie was crushing it at college.” Also like Erdely, she’s perfectly willing to print a story without bothering to check the important facts (so are we at Bud Fox News, but we say so right up front).
According to capitalnewyork.com, Bloomberg News, in a move that seriously calls into question its talent-judging ability, has offered Pressler a job in its investigative unit. Although some people think Bloomberg will pull its job offer in light of Pressler’s recent turd of an article and its implications about her integrity, she might be OK. As long as Bloomberg only asks her to write on Ponzi scheme architects, insider traders, penny stock scammers and the like, then her disregard for the truth shouldn’t be too much of a problem: After all, she’ll be able to relate to her subjects.