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Letter to D.A.R.E. from Stephen Glass

Editor's note: In May, 1998, The New Republic fired writer Stephen Glass. Editors disclosed after a review of his work that Glass had fabricated all or parts of 27 out of 41 articles he had written for The New Republic. One, "Don't You D.A.R.E.," published March 3, 1997, attacked the popular drug-education program. On the basis of The New Republic article, Rolling Stone asked Glass to write a second article about D.A.R.E., which it published March 5, 1998. After The New Republic fired Glass, D.A.R.E. sued the author for $10 million. That libel suit was settled when Glass agreed to a provide a substantial financial settlement to D.A.R.E., to provide D.A.R.E. with information about the "origins, preparation, and editing" of his story, and to write a letter of apology to the organization. On February 2, 1999, D.A.R.E. filed a $50 million libel suit against Rolling Stone. Glass's letter appears below.

January 25,1999

Mr. Glen Levant, President
9800 La Cienega Boulevard, Suite 401
Inglewood, California 90301

RE: "Don't You D.A.R.E." - The New Republic, March 3, 1997
"Truth & D.A.R.E" - Rolling Stone, March 5, 1998

Dear Mr. Levant:

I want to express my regret and apology for falsely disparaging D.A.R.E. in the above-referenced articles by willfully fabricating several incidents and quotes about D.A.R.E. and its supporters in the articles, mostly attributed to anonymous sources. I did this in order to sensationalize the stories without regard to the harm and detriment my fabrications and falsehoods would cause to D.A.R.E. and people affiliated with D.A.R.E.

As the articles reflect, I communicated frequently with people and organizations whom I knew to support, and who (in some cases) told me they supported, legalization of illegal drugs and were anti-D.A.R.E. In preparing the articles, I gave credence to what I heard from the anti-D.A.R.E. people and did not credit the information D.A.R.E. supplied me. Officials at D.A.R.E. provided me with information such as copies of evaluations of the program's effectiveness, most of which I discounted and was not ever published in the articles.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, I specifically acknowledge that, contrary to statements in the articles, I did not ever learn from D.A.R.E. critics or anyone else of any threats or other wrongful or criminal activity in which D.A.R.E. or any of its employees or supporters ever engaged. To my knowledge, such conduct as stated in the articles did not take place.

I further acknowledge that the March 1997 article in The New Republic, which contains many of the same fabrications as are in my March 1998 article for Rolling Stone, played a significant role in attracting the interest of Rolling Stone and its editors. In editing the Rolling Stone article, I referred Rolling Stone's fact checkers to my prior article in The New Republic, or to sources cited therein.

In closing, I want to reiterate my sincere regret for the harm, damage and detriment I have caused D.A.R.E. America, its D.A.R.E program, the thousands of D.A.R.E instructors and volunteers and the millions of school children who benefit from their efforts.

Stephen Glass


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