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Kurtz Raps Leopold And Truthout’s “Scoop”

Of course we posted all of this on the day. And we were the first to bring up Leopold’s "storied" past.

But it’s nice to see the DNC’s house organ, the Washington Post admit it, however belatedly.

 

Rove Lawyer Has a Pet Peeve

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 22, 2006; C01

Robert Luskin, Karl Rove’s lawyer, says he spent most of the day on May 12 taking his cat to the veterinarian and having a technician fix his computer at home.

He was stunned, therefore, when journalists started calling to ask about an online report that he had spent half the day at his law office, negotiating with Patrick Fitzgerald — and that the special prosecutor had secretly obtained an indictment of Rove.

The cat’s medical tests, Luskin says, found that "the stools were free of harmful parasites, which is more than I can say for this case."

The claim that President Bush’s top political strategist had been indicted in the CIA leak investigation was written by a journalist who has battled drug addiction and mental illness and been convicted of grand larceny. That didn’t stop more than 35 reporters — from all the major newspapers, networks and newsmagazines — from calling Luskin or Rove’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, to check it out.

The reports appeared on the liberal Web site Truthout.org, run by Marc Ash, a former advertising man and fashion photographer in California. Jason Leopold, the author of the stories, directed inquiries to Ash, who says that "we stand by the story. We have multiple points of independent confirmation of what we originally reported. Our problem is, the prosecutor’s office is under no obligation to go public."

Leopold acknowledges in a new book, "News Junkie," that he is a past liar, convicted felon and former alcoholic and cocaine addict. An earlier version of the book was canceled by publisher Rowman & Littlefield last year.

Salon retracted a 2002 piece by Leopold involving Thomas White, then secretary of the Army. The online magazine apologized, saying it had been unable to confirm the authenticity of an e-mail that Leopold attributed to White. Leopold, a onetime reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Dow Jones, accused the online magazine of being "wimpy" and caving to pressure.

"Jason is a character, but he’s been straight with me and I’ve checked him out very carefully," Ash says.

In an interview with liberal radio host Ed Schultz, Leopold said his sources had given him "detailed information" about the alleged marathon meeting at Luskin’s law office that he said was attended by Rove and a Secret Service detail. Leopold said that while "I totally look like I’m wrong," he still believes the indictment story is true.

Rove has testified five times in Fitzgerald’s investigation of White House officials’ leaking to the press that Valerie Plame, the wife of an administration critic, was a covert CIA operative. Fitzgerald is examining whether Rove misled investigators by initially failing to recall that he had discussed Plame with Time reporter Matthew Cooper.

Leopold’s May 12 report said Rove had told the president and top administration officials that he would be indicted and planned to resign. The next day, a Saturday, Leopold reported that Fitzgerald had handed Rove’s attorneys an indictment of their client on charges of perjury and lying to investigators, and that an announcement was expected the next week.

Luskin calls the reports "absolutely bizarre. I’m waiting for him to tell me whether Fitzgerald had the chicken or the pasta. . . . There was no meeting, no communication with Fitzgerald’s team of any kind."

As the phone inquiries continued through that Saturday night, Luskin says, "some of the reporters felt somewhat demeaned by having to call. It’s the editors saying to them, ‘I don’t care what you think; call up and get some kind of response.’ . . . The cumulative weight of all this malicious speculation is really disruptive."

While no other news organization touched the report, word spread through blogs and Internet sites. According to the Detroit Free Press, the keynote speaker at a banquet of Michigan trial lawyers announced the indictment, bringing the heavily Democratic audience to its feet.

Was a bit of impersonation involved as well? Corallo says a man identifying himself as London Sunday Times contributor Joe Lauria called about the story, which Corallo told him "borders on defamation." The man left what turned out to be a wrong number. After Leopold told a liberal blogger that Corallo had told him that the story bordered on defamation, Corallo reached Lauria, who acknowledged that he had dinner with Leopold days before the call…

Reporter’s Money Trail

USA Today is standing by its report that BellSouth and Verizon were among the telecommunications giants cooperating with the Bush administration’s tracking of millions of phone calls, despite denials from the companies. Now the reporter who broke the story, Leslie Cauley, has come under criticism from conservative activists who accuse her of political bias. They point to records showing that in 2003 Cauley gave the maximum $2,000 contribution to Dick Gephardt’s Democratic presidential campaign.

USA Today policy says that staffers "should not openly support political campaigns." But at the time, spokesman Steve Anderson says, Cauley "was between jobs and was writing a book.

Typical of our professional media, they get even the simplest details bolluxed up:

Leopold acknowledges in a new book, "News Junkie," that he is a past liar, convicted felon and former alcoholic and cocaine addict. An earlier version of the book was canceled by publisher Rowman & Littlefield last year.

The first book does not mention his admissions, and it has been published (after a fashion). It was Leopold’s second book "Off the Record" which was cancelled.

By the way, at the risk of being immodest we note that we were also the first to report that the USA Today smear was based upon a five month old crackpot lawsuit rather than any actual news or "sources."

Something that our one party media is now only two weeks later starting to figure out.

Hilariously, the paid Howard Dean stooge (and terrorist lover) the Daily Kos is running a "poll":

Daily Kos

Did Gonzales Kill Rove Indictments
Yes   514 votes – 34 %
No   246 votes – 16 %
Yes, but Fitz will outfox them and eventually get a Rove indictment   715 votes – 48 %

These people are not delusional or anything.

Not much.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, May 22nd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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