The Longform Guide to Journalism Hoaxes, Pranks and Lies
Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, Janet Cooke and the best April Fool's in magazine history.
The Curious Case of Sidd Finch
A profile of a previously unknown rookie pitcher for the Mets who dropped out of Harvard, made a spiritual quest to Tibet, and somewhere along the line figured out how to throw a baseball much, much faster than anyone else on Earth. Also, the greatest April Fools’ Day prank in the history of journalism.
Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made
Over six days in 1835, the New York Sun reported a stunning development—life had been found on the moon.
One of the most famous fabrications in journalism history, Janet Cooke’s Pulitzer-winning invention of an 8-year-old boy with a heroin habit.
See also: Bill Green’s 14,000-word post-mortem on “Jimmy’s World.”
Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night
Nearly 20 years after its publication, Cohn revealed that his story, which was the basis for Saturday Night Fever, was a fake—a fact that still isn’t noted on New York’s website.
The definitive profile of Stephen Glass, 25-year-old wunderkind reporter and serial fabricator.
See also: Sixteen years later, a former colleague confronts Glass.
Correcting the Record: Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
The paper of record comes clean about Jayson Blair.
There is an island in the Florida Keys, the author said, where men fish for monkeys.
There was no island, no men, and no monkeys.