Charles Lane
Born1961 (age 62–63)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Yale University (MSL)[1]

Charles Lane (born 1961) is an American journalist and editor who is deputy opinion editor for The Washington Post and a regular guest on the Fox News Channel. He was the editor of The New Republic from 1997 to 1999. During his tenure, Lane oversaw the work of Stephen Glass, a staff reporter who fabricated portions of all or some of the 41 articles he had written for the magazine,[2] in one of the largest fabrication scandals of contemporary American journalism. After leaving the New Republic, Lane went to work for the Post, where, from 2000 to 2007, he covered the Supreme Court of the United States[3][4] and issues related to the criminal justice system and judicial matters. He has since joined the newspaper's editorial page.

Early life and education

Born to a Jewish family[5] in 1961, Lane attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, where he was managing editor of the school newspaper, The Tattler. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from Harvard University in 1983.[6] As a Knight Fellow, he earned a Master of Studies in Law from Yale Law School in 1997.[7] He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[8]


Lane is a former foreign correspondent for Newsweek and served briefly as the magazine's Berlin bureau chief. For his coverage in Newsweek of the former Yugoslavia, Lane earned a Citation of Excellence from the Overseas Press Club."[9]

The New Republic's owner, Marty Peretz, appointed Lane as editor in 1997 after firing then-editor Michael Kelly.[10]

In 1998, one of the worst journalistic scandals in contemporary American history arose at The New Republic when fabricated reporting by a staff writer, Stephen Glass, was discovered. Lane fired Glass.[11] The Glass fabrications constituted "the greatest scandal in the magazine's history and marked a decade of waning influence and mounting financial losses," The New York Times would later report.[12]

When Lane learned in 1999 that Peretz was planning to replace Lane with Peter Beinart, Lane only first found out about it from the media.[13][14][12]

Lane became an editorial writer for The Washington Post. Later, Lane covered the Supreme Court for the Post, before then rejoining the Post's editorial board in 2007. During his second stint on the newspaper's editorial board, Lane wrote primarily about fiscal and economic policy.[8]

Lane has also taught journalism part-time at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and at Princeton University.[7]

In 2008 Lane published The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction, about the Colfax massacre of 1873 in Louisiana of blacks by white militia, including the murder of surrendered prisoners.[citation needed] The book received a favorable review in the New York Times.[citation needed] He also authored the nonfiction book Freedom's Detective, which was published in 2017.

Popular culture

The 1998 journalism scandal at The New Republic was the subject of the 2003 film Shattered Glass. Lane was portrayed by actor Peter Sarsgaard.[15] Lane himself appears on the commentary on the DVD, alongside writer and director Billy Ray. After the film was released, Lane was interviewed by Terry Gross in an episode of Fresh Air.[16][17]

In 2003, Glass published a biographical novel entitled The Fabulist about his career of journalistic fabrication. A character named "Robert Underwood" was a significant figure in the novel and interpreted as a fictionalized version of Lane. Reviewing the book for The Washington Post, writer and critic Chris Lehmann wrote that the Underwood character "is meant to induce in-the-know readers to think poorly of Charles Lane." Glass wrote of Lane/Underwood: "Underwood is a domineering, macho control freak. Glass's idea of meting out punishment to this fictional alter ego of his former boss is to impugn his masculinity; even as his office reeks with 'the hairy-chested smell of a man rising to the occasion.'"[18]

Personal life

Lane is married to a German immigrant from the former East Berlin. They have three children.[5]


  1. ^ "Charles Lane - The Washington Post". 13 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Stephen Glass is still retracting his fabricated stories — 18 years later". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  3. ^ Lane, Charles. "Full Court Press". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 October 2007.
  4. ^ "Washington Post Is Now Chuck Lane's Show". 16 February 2010.
  5. ^ a b Charles, Charles (30 May 2017). "Why I shed tears this Memorial Day". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ "Charles Lane". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Bio - Charles Lane". Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Charles Lane". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Crimes of War Project The Book – Contributors". The Crimes of War Project. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2007.
  10. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (6 September 1997). "New Republic Editor Dismissed Over Criticism". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  11. ^ Penenberg, Adam L. (11 May 1998). "Lies, damn lies and fiction". Forbes.
  12. ^ a b Rodrick, Stephen (24 January 2011). "Martin Peretz Is Not Sorry. About Anything". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Elder, Sean (1 December 1999). "The new kid at the New Republic". Salon. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Lane Steps Down at the New Republic". Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Shattered Glass (2003) - Cast - IMDb". IMDb, Inc. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Former Editor of 'The New Republic' Charles Lane". Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  17. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (20 November 2003). "VIDEODVD Review: Shattered Glass". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  18. ^ Lehmann, Chris (13 May 2003). "Stephen Glass's Novel, More Than Half Empty". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012.