Monday, January 19, 2004

Stephen Glass at the New Republic, Jayson Blair at the New York Times. Now add to the liars' club Jack Kelley of USA Today. Nominated by that paper five times for the Pulitzer Prize.

Says former foreign editor of the paper, Johanna Neumann:
"He was this very earnest, moralistic Christian reporter,'' she said. "It made people trust him in ways they didn't trust other reporters. If he was reporting he had the diary of a Serbian girl, and no one else had it, you tended to say: 'He just has a way with people. People just respond to him.' ''
Kelley had claimed to be in possession of a young Serbian girl's diary. He quoted from this diary in his writings, and when the paper asked him to find out her full name so they could authenticate his article, he came up empty, despite help from United NAtions workers in tracking her down.

Kelley later claimed to possess a notebook with notes which linked Slododan Milosevic to "ethnic cleansing" in Kosovo. Kelley asked a woman to pose as the translator of the notebook, but eventually admitted--upon confrontation--that he had fabricated her role.

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