SHATTERED GLASS tells the true story of a young reporter working at a famous liberal political magazine who is caught inventing false stories under the noses of his editors.
The movie opens with reporter Stephen Glass regaling the office at the New Republic, the leading liberal magazine in the United States, with wild funny stories that he’s uncovered. Both his bosses and co-workers thoroughly enjoy the stories and the magazine dutifully prints them under his byline.
Stephen’s world begins to unravel when his story about computer companies buying off computer hackers leads an editor at an Internet site on computers to ask his star reporter, Adam Penenberg, why he didn’t get the story. Perplexed, Adam starts checking the alleged facts in Stephen’s story and begins to smell a rat. He asks the New Republic for information about the people and organizations mentioned in the article. When Stephen’s new editor, Chuck Lane, asks Stephen to provide the information, Stephen’s edifice of lies starts crumbling.
Hayden Christensen, who plays the young Darth Vader in the new STAR WARS movies, delivers an excellent performance as the affable, obsequious, deceitful Mr. Glass. His portrayal shows that Glass loved to be the center of attention, but was eager to please and became overly apologetic when even slightly confronted. Peter Sarsgaard is wonderful as the increasingly irate editor, Chuck Lane.
SHATTERED GLASS tells a sobering, enlightening tale of journalistic deceit and journalistic integrity. When the staff applauds Mr. Lane for taking a moral stand against the popular, slippery Mr. Glass, it makes viewers want to stand up and cheer as well. A major flaw in the movie, however, is its inability to connect the political dots. The movie fails to consider the fact that some of the false stories filed by Mr. Glass seem to be liberal hit pieces. The liberals at the New Republic apparently failed to question some of Mr. Glass’s more fanciful lies, because they fed into liberal prejudices against conservatives and capitalists.
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SUMMARY: SHATTERED GLASS tells the true story of a young reporter working at a famous liberal magazine who is caught inventing false stories. SHATTERED GLASS is a sobering, enlightening, well-acted story of journalistic deceit and journalistic integrity, but it contains some foul language and unresolved political correctness.
(BB, PC, Ho, LL, S, AA, DD, M) Moral worldview upholding journalistic ethics, wherein young reporter makes up false, politically correct article about crude, pot-smoking young conservatives, but movie fails to question the liberal mentality that would make up such a story in the first place, and homosexual reference where man says another man kissed him; 15 obscenities including two or three “f” words, six strong profanities, and three light profanities; no violence; sexual references include reporter invents a scene of young conservatives making rude fun chasing a heavyset woman, condom reference, man says another man passionately kissed him, and prostitutes mentioned in passing; no nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness during fictitious wild party; smoking and marijuana use depicted; and, bearing false witness and phony corporation, lying, and inventing stories for magazine.