|Born||1971 (age 42–43)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Shalit graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University in 1992. Early in her career she wrote for GQ and the New York Times Magazine before becoming an associate editor for The New Republic at the age of 24.
Shalit's reporting first brought controversy in the fall of 1995, after she wrote a 13,000-word piece about the growing backlash against affirmative action at The Washington Post. Shalit admitted to "major errors" in the article, such as an assertion that a DC contractor who had never been indicted had served a prison sentence for corruption; misquoting a number of Post staffers; and numerous factual errors, such as mistakenly claiming that certain jobs at The Post were reserved for black employees.
Shortly after the piece appeared, it was discovered that several other Shalit articles had copied several nearly verbatim passages from other writers' stories. Shalit blamed sloppy computer habits—accidentally splicing together published stories with her own notes—for the incidents. Nevertheless, Shalit was fired from the New Republic for plagiarism.
After leaving journalism, she took a job at Mad Dogs and Englishmen, a New York advertising agency. She then wrote about advertising for Salon magazine and ELLE magazine. At Salon she also was again accused of inaccuracies, and Salon corrected seven errors in her article "The Name Game." Similarly, Shalit's article in Elle entitled "Girl Crazy" was pulled from the Elle website due to inaccuracies and a threatened lawsuit for defamation. Her article, "A Star Is Born," highlighted irregularities of former U.S.Senator Carol Moseley Braun and her then fiancee, Kgosie Matthews, who worked illegally in the US while on a student visa.
Ruth Shalit is the sister of author Wendy Shalit. She married internet executive Robertson Barrett in September 2004, becoming the stepdaughter-in-law of Edward Klein. She now lives in the Los Angeles area.
- "Diversity Had Nothing to Do With Reporter's Deceit". Washington Post. May 13, 2003. Retrieved 2006-10-29.
- Truth or dare: The strange case of Ruth Shalit and the Washington Post by Dan Kennedy, September 29, 1995
- Lieberman, Trudy (July–August 1995). "Plagiarize, Plagiarize, Plagiarize...". Columbia Journalism Review.
- Shepard, Alicia C. (December 1995). "Too Much Too Soon? An Interview with Ruth Shalit". American Journalism Review.