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Salon's Daou Report on Jason Leopold's Credibility [View All]

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Unmarked Poster Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-14-06 09:36 PM
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Salon's Daou Report on Jason Leopold's Credibility
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Jason Leopold and the Alleged Rove Indictment - I've been watching with intense interest as Jason Leopold has written a series of stories that scoop every major news outlet in America. I've watched with intense interest as thousands of bloggers and message board users have welcomed his writing uncritically and have questioned why the traditional media have ignored his groundbreaking reporting. His latest piece is a seemingly authoritative report about Karl Rove's indictment, a report that has now apparently been refuted by Rove's spokesman in a conversation with Byron York at The Corner: "I talked with Rove defense spokesman Mark Corallo, who told me the story was completely baseless. "Part of our conversation: Did Patrick Fitzgerald come to Patton Boggs for 15 hours Friday? No. Did he come to Patton Boggs for any period of time Friday? No. Did he meet anywhere else with Karl Rove's representatives? No. Did he communicate in any way with Karl Rove's representatives? No. Did he inform Rove or Rove's representatives that Rove had been indicted? No."

I write this not to undermine two news organizations - Raw Story and Truthout - whose staff and senior editors I consider friends. I simply want to understand what's going on. How is Leopold the only reporter in America with access to such high-level (and such garrulous) sources in the White House, the RNC, and the prosecutor's office? In his story, Leopold writes the following: "Details of Rove's discussions with the president and Bolten have spread through the corridors of the White House, where low-level staffers and senior officials were trying to determine how the indictment would impact an administration that has been mired in a number of high-profile political scandals for nearly a year, said a half-dozen White House aides and two senior officials who work at the Republican National Committee." Is it possible that low-level staffers know about the indictment but not a single news story other than Leopold's has been written about it? Nothing from the dozens of reporters covering the story? Nothing from a Murray Waas who has been two steps ahead of the traditional press? I just don't get it.

From everything we've seen in public reports, it's very possible Rove will indeed be indicted this week. In fact it's looking more and more likely he will be. What was done to Valerie and Joe Wilson is a travesty and there will be justified celebration across America if Patrick Fitzgerald brings everyone who was involved in this repugnant and dangerous act to justice. Nevertheless, something just isn't adding up. I don't pretend to know what it is. This blog post is more a question mark than a statement. Perhaps other bloggers with more detailed knowledge of the investigation can weigh in.

My concern - and the reason I write this - is that Leopold's ubiquitous reporting has set expectations very high in the blog community. We're at a moment when blogs are under assault by prominent media and establishment figures. I wouldn't want to see him used as a cudgel to flog the progressive netroots as a bunch of conspiracy nuts. There's enough of that already. We don't need to provide ammo to our opponents.

(Reprinted with author's permission)
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