Fraudulent Journalist Stephen Glass Hired by Rolling Stone to Write about Canada
Above: Stephen Glass was a respected journalist until it was discovered that his stories were completely fictitious.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (SP) — Satiric Press has obtained an exclusive copy of an article written by Stephen Glass for Rolling Stone magazine about Canadian marijuana laws. Highlights of the article include detailed descriptions of Canada's igloo-based architecture, the emergence of Raelianism as one of the country's most popular religious movements, and the nation's deep infatuation with singer Celine Dion.
Several years ago, Glass had been considered one of America's most promising young journalists until his editors at the New Republic magazine discovered that most of the stories he had written were completely fabricated, and most of his interview subjects did not really exist. Glass was fired by the New Republic, and spent the next several years attending law school, where he says he was able to learn how to behave in a more ethical manner. He also
wrote a book that was a thinly-veiled, fictionalized account of the events which led to his downfall.
Until very recently, it seemed fairly certain that Glass's journalistic career was at an end. But then Glass received a call from Jann Wenner, the owner and publisher of Rolling Stone, asking if he'd be interested in getting up to speed on weed north of the border. Glass eagerly accepted the assignment. "I was very anxious to show the world that I'm still capable of being a serious journalist, and I'm very grateful to Jann for this amazing opportunity," Glass told SP in an exclusive interview. "I'd also like to thank Jason Blair [formerly of the New York Times] for providing me with many of my contacts and much of the background information that I used to write this story."
Many were taken aback by Wenner's decision to give Glass another chance, considering that a previous article Glass wrote for Rolling Stone - about D.A.R.E., an anti-drug program -contained fictitious information about the program that resulted in a lawsuit against the magazine. However, Wenner became convinced that Glass was the right person to cover this story. "Most Americans don't know a lot about our neighbors to the north, other than that they all speak French and play hockey, and I felt that Stephen was just who we needed to enlighten our readers," Wenner said.
Glass told SP that in order to understand the attitude that Canadians have about marijuana use, one must begin by considering the harsh Canadian climate. "Given that Canada is located entirely within the Arctic Circle, the country is completely covered with ice and snow year-round, and the temperature remains below zero degrees Fahrenheit for all but a few weeks per year," Glass said. "As a result, Canadians are constantly battling the elements to try and stay warm, and smoking pot provides them with one of the most practical means of heat retention." In his article, Glass cites a study which estimates that over 50 million Canadians would have suffered from frostbite or hypothermia in 2002 but for the fact that they had smoked marijuana.
Glass also explains that Canadians are often forced to endure direct and prolonged exposure to the cold, given that the country's primary modes of transportation are snowmobiles and dog sleds. Even when Canadians seek refuge from bone-chilling temperatures by heading indoors, it isn't significantly warmer because almost all architectural structures in Canada are made out of ice, rendering them unable to withstand such basic, modern conveniences as furnaces or electrical heating systems. Glass notes that Joe Shuster, the Canadian co-creator of Superman, based the comic book hero's Fortress of Solitude on the ice palace which for over a hundred years has served as the official residence for Canada's Prime Minister.
Above: An R.C.M.P. officer guards the Prime Minister's Fortress of Solitude.
Glass also argues that public support for decriminalizing marijuana in Canada merely reflects the fact that Canada is far to the left of the United States on the political spectrum. He points specifically to the fact that Canada sells firearms in shopping malls and convenient stores without requiring any form of licensing or registration. "As a society, we simply assume that any citizen who has reached the age of majority [which in Canada is 12 years old] can decide for themselves whether they need to be carrying a loaded firearm," says Canadian Prime Minister Jean Poutine, as quoted by Glass in his article. "It's also a matter of personal safety, given the number of vicious polar bears, seals and walruses that roam freely across this great land, even through the streets of Toronto."
Glass also identifies support for marijuana use within certain elements of the Canadian religious establishment. The Raelians made headlines internationally last year when one of their members purported to have given birth to the first successful clone of a human being. When they failed to provide any evidence to support this allegation, most people dismissed them as nothing more than a crazy Canadian cult. However, according to Glass, a recent national census rated Raelianism as being the fourth most popular religion in Canada, behind only Protestantism, Catholicism and Jedi Knights.
Above: Glass reports that Raelianism has become one of Canada's most popular religious movements.
Raelian leader Rael told Glass that he strongly advocated smoking marijuana, as well as a variety of hallucinogenic drugs, as a means of attaining spiritual enlightenment. He also said that what most people fail to understand about the Raelians is that they are seeking to clone humans for purely humanitarian and patriotic reasons. "I can think of no higher calling than ensuring that such national treasures as Pierre Trudeau and Mordecai Richler walk this earth again," said Rael.
Glass also identified strong grass roots support for marijuana use within the Canadian artistic community. He spoke with Canadian movie star Keanu Reeves, who told Glass that he had smoked marijuana in order to 'find his character' when preparing for roles in such films as 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' and 'the Matrix'. Reeves argued that by facilitating this kind of creativity, the liberal use of marijuana in Canada had led to the cultivation of many prominent Canadians in the entertainment industry. He also suggested that pot smoking may have enhanced the performance of Canadian athletes such as Olympic snowboarding gold medalist Ross Rebagliatti, even if the smoke was of the second-hand variety.
When asked by Satiric Press what he found most surprising in the research he did for the Rolling Stone article, Glass said that it was the extent to which Celine Dion is idolized by all Canadians. "I knew she was a popular singer, but I had no idea that her fan base within Canada was unanimous," he said. "I also found it interesting to learn that her Oscar-winning rendition of 'My Heart Will Go On' from the Titanic soundtrack was recently chosen to replace 'O Canada' as the country's national anthem."
As for why Dion enjoys such overwhelming adoration in her native land, Glass suggests it's because she represents the very embodiment of the Canadian dream, which is to become rich and famous enough to be able to leave Canada and move to the United States.
Above: Celine Dion is living the Canadian dream, although her success has left some green with envy.