(Toledo, OH) I read with interest the column by Joe Lauria in yesterday's Washington Post. He detailed how reporter Jason Leopold used his name in getting his "scoop" that Karl Rove had been indicted in connection with his role in leaking CIA officer Valerie Plame's name to the media.
Rove, as it later turned out, was not indicted, and Truthout.org looked mighty foolish in running Leopold's story.
Lauria details some of Leopold's sordid past, which makes for titillating reading, but I was more struck by a comment that was attributed to Leopold.
"A scoop is a scoop," wrote Leopold in his memoir, News Junkie. "Other journalists all whine about ethics, but that's a load of crap."
As a working journalist I have been privy to more than a few stories that have been shelved because there was no way to corroborate the information. Journalists who choose to do otherwise sink to the level of gossip columnists, or worse, paid character assassins.
I am no fan of Karl Rove, but he deserves the same treatment as any other subject of an investigative journalist. Leopold, however, is sticking by his story, despite the fact that Fitzgerald publicly denied Rove will be indicted.
He speculates that a federal case numbered "06 cr 128" or "Sealed v. Sealed," is really an indictment of Karl Rove. Of course, Leopold has not actually seen the documents in the sealed case, but assures us that the fact that teh case was filed by the same grand jury hearing the Plame case is "proof" that Rove will be indicted.
Hmmm. I have never worked for an editor who would touch such an unsubstantiated story - no documents, no sources, just intriguing coincidences. Truthout and Leopold have sunk to new lows for themselves, and continue to lose credibility by printing rumor disguised as truth.
Jason Leopold - what price for your soul?