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More Details On The Jason Leopold Non Scoop On The Rove Non Indictment

There is an incredibly interesting story in the Washington Post by Joe Lauria, a journalist that unwittingly became embroiled in the Truthout story on the Rove non indictment. It explains a lot.

In his nine-year reporting career, Leopold has managed, despite his drug abuse and a run-in with the law, to work with such big-time news organizations as the Los Angeles Times, Dow Jones Newswire and Salon. He broke some bona fide stories on the Enron scandal and the CIA leak investigation. But in every job, something always went wrong, and he got the sack. Finally, he landed at Truthout, a left-leaning Web site.


I met Leopold once, three days before his Rove story ran, to discuss his recently published memoir, "News Junkie." It seems to be an honest record of neglect and abuse by his parents, felony conviction, cocaine addiction -- and deception in the practice of journalism.

Leopold says he gets the same rush from breaking a news story that he did from snorting cocaine. To get coke, he lied, cheated and stole. To get his scoops, he has done much the same. As long as it isn't illegal, he told me, he'll do whatever it takes to get a story, especially to nail a corrupt politician or businessman. "A scoop is a scoop," he trumpets in his memoir. "Other journalists all whine about ethics, but that's a load of crap."

---

Leopold still stubbornly stands by the story, claiming that something happened behind the scenes to overturn the indictment. Marc Ash, Truthout's executive director, said last week that his site will "defer to the nation's leading publications" on the Rove story, but he declared his continuing faith in Leopold.

We may never know what really happened. Most mainstream news organizations have dismissed the Leopold story as egregiously wrong. But even if he had gotten it right and scooped the world on a major story, his methods would still raise a huge question: What value does journalism have if it exposes unethical behavior unethically? Leopold seems to assume, as does much of the public, that all journalists practice deception to land a story. But that's not true. I know dozens of reporters, but Leopold is only the second one I've known (the first did it privately) to admit to doing something illegal or unethical on the job.

After reading his memoir -- and watching other journalists, such as Jayson Blair at the New York Times and Jack Kelley at USA Today, crash and burn for making up stories or breaking other rules of newsgathering -- I think there's something else at play here. Leopold is in too many ways a man of his times. These days it is about the reporter, not the story; the actor, not the play; the athlete, not the game. Leopold is a product of a narcissistic culture that has not stopped at journalism's door, a culture facilitated and expanded by the Internet.

In the end, whatever Jason Leopold's future, he got what he appears to be crying out for: attention.

Read the whole article to find out how Leopold pulled Joe Lauria into the story.


Comments (7)

These days it is about t... (Below threshold)
Publican:

These days it is about the reporter, not the story; the actor, not the play; the athlete, not the game. Leopold is a product of a narcissistic culture that has not stopped at journalism's door, a culture facilitated and expanded by the Internet.

How true is this? Just look at Dan Rather, George Clooney, and Terrell Owens (I am still horrified that the Cowboys picked his sorry arse up).

Lorie, your link for the Wa... (Below threshold)

Lorie, your link for the WaPo story by Joe Lauria goes to your Townhall column "No Excuses" instead.

A true Rather clone at hear... (Below threshold)
914:

A true Rather clone at heart.

Honor among thiefs,see how ... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Honor among thiefs,see how a casual conversation turns into identity theft. There is no longer honor in the print media period.dishonest polls dishonest editorials,dishonest head lines. Might as well be Provda,no wait they where more honest.

'Leopold still stubbornly s... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

'Leopold still stubbornly stands by the story, claiming that something happened behind the scenes to overturn the indictment.' ... 'We may never know what really happened.'

Lauria also still clings to the moonbat belief that Rove didn't get indicted because of some unknown (but probably crooked) reason. Otherwise, any honest journalist would have written that Leopold wrote a bogus story. Instead of Leopold stating that he 'stands by his story', you have another member of the MSM supporting a writer who lost his credibility; much the same way that the NYT supported Blair, until he became too much of a liability.

Here's the <a href="http://... (Below threshold)
LibraryLady:

Here's the Washington Post article

and Jerralyn Merritt at Talk Left had an interesting confirmation of Leopold pretending to be Lauria.

TL readers may remember that my first foray into investigative reporting occurred after Jason Leopold's May 13 article stating that Karl Rove had been indicted. After Byron York reported that Mark Corallo, Karl Rove's media spokesman, denied speaking with Jason, I spoke with Jason and published his account of his conversations with Corallo. Then I spoke with Corallo and published his denials.

Corallo said Jason had misrepresented himself as Sunday Times (London) reporter Joe Lauria.

My bet is they knew ther... (Below threshold)
megan:

My bet is they knew there would NOT be an indictment, but needed to get out in front of it, take the sting out of it. Just being out there in inself gives "lingering doubt" about the truth. Just like Rathers fake documents its out there and so the story becomes "we may never know" so their mission is accomplished...




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