Charles "Chuck" Lane (born 1961) is an American journalist and editor who is an editorial writer for The Washington Post and a regular guest on Fox News Channel. He was the lead editor of The New Republic from 1997 to 1999. After the New Republic, he worked for the Post, where, from 2000 to 2009, he covered the Supreme Court of the United States and judicial system issues. He has since joined the newspaper's editorial page.
Born to a Jewish family in 1961, Lane went to Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, where he was managing editor of the school newspaper, The Tattler. He 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 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 as editor in 1997 after firing Michael Kelly. Kelly had published a series of articles that Peretz felt were too critical of President Bill Clinton. 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." Peretz replaced Lane with Peter Beinart in 1999. Lane reportedly learned of his firing from the media before he heard about it from Peretz.
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. He explored its political repercussions during Reconstruction, including the resulting Supreme Court case from United States prosecution of perpetrators, United States v. Cruikshank. The Court ruled that actions of individuals were not covered by constitutional protections and suggested that individuals should seek relief in state courts. But during and for many decades after Reconstruction, these rarely prosecuted and never convicted white men for offenses against blacks.
Glass published a "biographical novel" entitled The Fabulist (2003) about his career of journalistic fabrication. "Robert Underwood" was a major character in the "novel" and taken as a fictionalized version of Charles Lane. 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."