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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Behind the Rove Indicted Leopold Story

Today's WaPo gives us another look into the Rove-Leopold Story - this time from Joe Lauria. Lauria was the journalist that Leopold pretended to be when he called Mark Corallo for confirmation of the Rove Indicted fake story.

"...but I felt some sympathy for the affable, seemingly vulnerable 36-year-old. Before we parted, I told him a bit about myself -- that I freelance for numerous newspapers, including the Sunday Times of London. His publicist had earlier given him my cellphone number..."
"Merritt had called Mark Corallo, a former Justice Department spokesman who is now privately employed by Rove. She reported that Corallo said he had "never spoken with someone identifying himself as 'Jason Leopold.' He did have conversations Saturday and Sunday . . . but the caller identified himself as Joel something or other from the Londay [sic] Sunday Times. . . . At one point . . . he offered to call Joel back, and was given a cell phone number that began with 917. When he called the number back, it turned out not to be a number for Joel."
"I called Corallo. He confirmed that my name was the one the caller had used. Moreover, the return number the caller had given him was off from mine by one digit. Corallo had never been able to reach me to find out it wasn't I who had called. He said he knew who Leopold was but had never talked to him."

"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."

Lauria pulls no punches in his article and paints an even more unflattering picture of the TruthOut go-to-guy.

"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."

and this...

"Except that he has done things like that. His memoir is full of examples. He did break big stories, but he lied to get many of them. He admits lying to the lawyers for Enron executives Jeffrey Skilling and Andrew Fastow, making up stories to get them to spill more beans. "I was hoping to get both sides so paranoid that one was going to implicate the other," he wrote."

In closing out the article, Laurie wrote one of the best descriptions of today's media that I have ever read...

"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."

Meanwhile, TruthOut continues to report its "exclusives" and is "standing down" on the Rove Indicted story. No apology - no correction - nothing except a plethora of depressed libs trying to spin the Leopold story into another tin-foil hat conspiracy. Pathetic - yes. A disgrace - yes. Typical of the smear first, don't worry about the facts, throw it against the wall & see what sticks media - Hell Yes!

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