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Charles Lane (journalist)

Charles Lane
Born United States
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Journalist

Charles "Chuck" Lane is an American journalist and editor who is an editorial writer for The Washington Post and a regular guest on Fox News Channel. Lane was the lead editor of The New Republic from 1997 to 1999. After the New Republic, Lane went to work for the Post, where, from 2000 to 2009, he covered the Supreme Court of the United States[1][2] and judicial system issues. He has since joined the newspaper's editorial page.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Controversies 3
  • Popular culture 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6

Early life and education

Charles Lane earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1983. As a Knight Fellow, he earned a Master of Studies in Law from Yale Law School in 1997.


Lane is a former foreign correspondent for Newsweek and served as the magazine's Berlin bureau chief. His coverage of the former Yugoslavia[3] was featured in the book Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know, edited by Roy Gutman and David Rieff.

The New Republic's owner, Marty Peretz, appointed Lane editor in 1997 after firing Michael Kelly. Kelly had published a series of articles that Peretz felt were too critical of President Bill Clinton.[4] In 1998, a scandal arose at The New Republic when fabricated reporting by Stephen Glass was discovered. Lane fired Glass and received praise from Peretz for his efforts to "put the ship back on its course."[5][6] Peretz replaced Lane with Peter Beinart in 1999. Lane reportedly learned of his firing from the media before he heard about it from Peretz.[7]

Lane has taught journalism at Princeton University.

In 2008 Lane published The Day Freedom Died, about the Colfax massacre of 1873 in Louisiana and its political repercussions during Reconstruction, including the resulting Supreme Court case, United States v. Cruikshank.


In 2011, Lane wrote that he hoped that Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was unable to speak as a result of having been shot in the head a few weeks earlier, would speak out against union workers in Wisconsin if she "could speak normally".[8] Lane's statement was criticised by some bloggers.[9][10][11]

Popular culture

The 1998 journalism scandal at The New Republic was portrayed in the 2003 film Shattered Glass. Lane was portrayed by actor Peter Sarsgaard.

Also in 2003, Glass himself published a "biographical novel" entitled The Fabulist about his career of journalistic fabrication. A fictionalised version of Chuck Lane, "Robert Underwood" was a major character in the "novel". Reviewing the book for the Washington Post, Chris Lehmann wrote that the Underwood character "is meant to induce in-the-know readers to think poorly of Charles Lane."[12]


  1. ^ Lane, Charles. "Full Court Press".  
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Crimes of War Project The Book – Contributors". The Crimes of War Project. Retrieved 19 October 2007. 
  4. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (6 September 1997). "New Republic Editor Dismissed Over Criticism". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Penenberg, Adam L. (11 May 1998). "Lies, damn lies and fiction". Forbes. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Elder, Sean (1 December 1999). "The new kid at the New Republic". Salon. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Tyranny in Wisconsin, Part 4". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Wrong Lane". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Helpful WaPo Columnist Tells Us What Giffords Would Think About Wisconsin". Wonkette. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Lost Weekend". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Lehmann, Chris (13 May 2003). "Stephen Glass's Novel, More Than Half Empty". The Washington Post. 

External links

  • Marshall Poe, "Interview with Charles Lane", New Books in History, 7 Aug 2008
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