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Sunday, June 18, 2006

TruthOut.org's Jason Leopold

Background: Leftie web-site TruthOut.org's reporter Jason Leopold falsely reports that Rove will be indicted.

Joe Lauria, in the Washington Post gives us a rare first-hand glimpse into Leopold's life and thinking: My Unwitting Role in the Rove 'Scoop'

... the supposed Truthout scoop by reporter Jason Leopold was wildly off the mark. It was but the latest installment in the tale of a troubled young reporter with a history of drug addiction whose aggressive disregard for the rules ended up embroiling me in a bizarre escapade -- and raised serious questions about journalistic ethics.

... 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. ... "Other journalists all whine about ethics, but that's a load of crap."

[After finding out that Leopold used his identity to get in touch with Rove's person:] I called Leopold. He gave me a profanity-filled earful, saying that he'd spoken to Corallo four times and that Corallo had called him to denounce the story after it appeared.

When he was done, I asked: "How would Corallo have gotten my phone number, one digit off?"

"Joe, I would never, ever have done something like that," Leopold said defiantly.

Except that he has done things like that. His memoir is full of examples. ...

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. ...

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.

After reading his memoir ... 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.

Not surprising that an "aggressive disregard for the rules" is one small step away from an equal disregard for the truth.

HT: Instapundit


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