• January 31, 2014

Since the late 1980’s, an ad campaign has run where, at the moment of athletes’ triumph, an unseen reporter in the crowd shouts, “What’s next?!” and the jubilant stars answer that they are heading to Disneyland or Disneyworld.

This comes to mind when I come across news of some convicted wrong-doers. When your massive fraud is uncovered, when you have been brought down and called out, where to from there?

It is probably not a great idea to try to become a licensed lawyer.

Stephen Glass was a supposed journalist who lied, lied, lied, lied, and then, he lied some more.  When he was caught lying, he lied some more after that.  And this week California’s Supreme Court decided that there is no place in the California bar for Mr. Glass.

Minnesota had its own variant of this surprising post-implosion career choice several years ago.

I am very sympathetic to the morally flawed, to those who give in to temptation, to those who cross lines not to be crossed and who ask for a second chance or for forgiveness. We should all be.

But why would a reformed kleptomaniac seek a job as a bank guard? Why would a recovering drug addict seek work as a pharmacist? Such a list of almost comic disconnects makes for a fun party game. (OK, that overstates it. Maybe a road trip game?)

The bottom line is that Stephen Glass, for better or worse, has an international reputation for dishonesty. There are many interesting and rewarding careers in professions that are not built on a foundation of honesty as being a lawyer is in our society.

There was something extreme and compulsive about Mr. Glass’ extraordinary journey in the land of make-believe and this desire to pivot to the world of law seems to be a meta-detour in that same fanciful trip.

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