'This American Life' Pulls Three More Episodes

Stephen GlassStephen Glass

Photo: 60 Minutes

Just two weeks after “This American Life” retracted it damning episode on Apple and Foxconn, the show has pulled three more stories produced by Stephen Glass in the late 1990s, The Washington Post reports. Stephen Glass is a former New Republic writer who was fired for fabricating stories.  

Steve Myers and Craig Silverman of Poynter first brought attention to Glass’ stories while poking around the “This American Life” website in the aftermath of the Mike Daisey controversy.  

Three days later, on March 23, a blog posted to the show’s website explained that the stories were removed years ago but were placed back online during a 2010 website redesign.  

Transcripts of the show will remain online, but the audio versions will be pulled, the post said.    

This American Life explains:

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.

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