If you're a journalist, do you remember what you thought when you found out that Stephen Glass had been making up those amazing stories he used to publish in the New Republic? Did you think, well, boys will be boys, especially when they're young reporters on the make? No, me neither. What's more, Shattered Glass, the movie made about that sorry episode, may be the best movie about the press I've ever seen. So I guess I've got two points of disagreement with New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis.
One's that film. She thinks it was a little silly. This I just learned by reading her review of Breach, the new movie by the director of Shattered Glass, Billy Ray. "Mr. Ray's unapologetic seriousness is one of the film's strongest assets," writes Dargis of Breach. "Even so, only a filmmaker with a naive, blinkered view both of journalism and human nature, and with so little grasp of what can happen when youthful ambition meets institutional self-importance, could have been surprised by a Stephen Glass or reached such dizzying heights of outrage."
The other point of disagreement is over the business Dargis happens to be in. She should find someone to walk her through the Times newsroom and introduce her to a world of people capable of being surprised and outraged by a Stephen Glass--or by any impostor.