Stephen Glass perpetrated one of the great journalistic frauds in modern American history. In 1998 Glass, a 25-year-old rising star at the New Republic, was caught making up one of his stories. An internal investigation by the magazine followed, and the number of discredited stories ballooned to 27, in addition to major pieces he penned for Rolling Stone, George and Harper's, whose editors were also duped by Glass' wonderfully lurid tales of drug-abusing young Republican activists.
My favorite described a bond-trading firm that had turned its offices into a shrine to Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, complete with a glass case containing "two Bic pens Greenspan supposedly used in 1993." Traders, reported the magazine, would come in to gaze at his photograph and meditate throughout the day.