Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Compare And Contrast

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 25, 2007

Robert Novak spews a cynical column that’s pretty darned near fact-free, and nothing will happen to him because of it. (Other than maybe getting a Pulitzer.)

Paul Krugman makes a good-faith cite of an item in an Enron story by Jason Leopold, an item that Leopold couldn’t vouch for 100% (although to be honest it was a lot more credible than what Judith Miller had been writing on Iraq on behalf of her neocon buddies for over a decade) and Krugman and Salon are made to grovel while Leopold loses his job.

What was that about a “liberal” media?

20 Responses to “Compare And Contrast”

  1. Michael said

    Has Jason Leopold shown reliability since?

  2. Michael said

    I make no excuses for our own. It isn’t enough to say that Novak is a cretin, which is true enough. We have to be better than that.

  3. Actually, Michael, it appears that Leopold has been vindicated. More on this later.

  4. MEC said

    The Leopold case was a perfect example of the double standard applied to liberal and conservative journalists. The likes of Judy Miller or Robert Novak can spout outright lies and they get a pass, no matter how many people point out that it’s a pack of lies. Leopold can’t vouch for one detail of his story, and forever after he “lacks credibility”. It’s the dark side of “truthiness”.

  5. Michael said

    You’re right, MEC. Judy Miller and Robert Novak should get no pass. They are not journalists at all, just propaganda and smear merchants.

    As for Jason Leopold, his coverage of the supposed indictment of Karl Rove was pretty lacking in evidence.

  6. j leopold said

    I should remind you that Patrick Fitzgerald has not commented on what happened with Rove nor has the letter he supposedly sent Rove been made public. In fact, Waxman is has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to get a copy of that letter. I did an on camera interview with Valerie Plame and we discussed this. Perhaps you should watch it.

    Lastly, judging me or judging my entire body of work based on a single story, a story involving Karl Rove of all people, who is capable of anything, is something maybe you should think about. That story was published nearly two years ago. I have done much good work since then. Please take the time to check it out.

  7. Michael said

    Jason, I appreciate your correspondence and I hope you are borne out, but there is simply no public evidence at this time.

  8. Michael said

    If you can provide a link to the interview with Valerie Plame or other substantiation of the claim that Rove was indicted, I’d be glad to check it out.

  9. Charles said

    I feel like that scene in the Woody Allen movie in which he just happens to have Marshall McLuhan.

  10. Michael said

    Well, the internet really is a global village and a cool media. I’m personally glad to hear from someone I was critical of, and if I was wrong then I’ll be sorry. As the man said, there may be hidden evidence pertaining to this.

  11. j leopold said

    Hi there

    Here’s a link to my interview with Valerie Plame.

    And of course if I had more evidence to show that Rove is/was indicted I would shout it from the rooftops. What I am saying and have said is that the public should keep an open mind and understand that there are and were bigger forces at work after I published my story. Hopefully, Waxman will be successful in obtaining the docs related to this issue and more will be revealed.

    I understand people were upset about my Rove story. I am asking not to be thrown out with the bathwater. That’s all.

    I love that Woody Allen movie btw.

  12. Charles said

    I very much appreciate your comments, Jason. I have always felt you were treated unfairly by Salon and that that episode colors impressions of your later work.

    It was a shock to have no indictment after your announcement of it. Right-wingers had a lot of fun with us. But I am content to wait and see what we learn with time.

    I think Michael may forget how many reporters have stories that for one reason or another don’t pan out as expected. The US hasn’t bombed Iran and I don’t see anyone pounding Hersh. We all understand that there are external events that shape the actions that decision-makers take. Only after the long elapse of time and the release of information formerly hidden do we really know.

  13. Michael said

    I’ll have to wait until later to watch the video Jason supplied, as I’m visiting family at the moment and don’t want to put the politics on the audio right now. One thing about Seymour Hersh is that he may very well be influencing the events he is reporting on, and of course that is his intent. If his reportage prevents a war, who should say he was wrong?

  14. j leopold said

    Thanks to PW and to both of you, Charles and Michael, for the opportunity to respond here. I appreciate the civility of our discussion.

    Let me just add a response to the original question and issue that PW brought up here and that is Paul Krugman. He and I are still close. My story on Thomas White was borne out during the trial of Jeffrey Skilling and Krugman even verified it in his book the great unraveling. During the time that this episode went down, October 2002, no one in the media was challenging the White House, except for Krugman and yours truly. When Krugman picked up my Salon story Howell Raines, then exec editor, came down hard on Krugman and said “we shouldn’t be challenging the Secretary of the Army when the country is preparing for war.” Mind you this episode took place at the same time Judith Miller was writing flawed stories on WMDs and Jayson Blair was running loose. When my story on White was finally vindicated at the Skilling trial the Howard Kurtz’s of the world did not bother to follow it up or say that I in fact was right. There is a good story in the Village Voice under the headline Smear for Smear by Cynthia Cotts that has some fine quotes by Krugman about the story and its veracity. Moreover, I published more than 75 pages of documents, my source material, online after this went down in hopes that it would save me from the buzzsaw. The docs are still online if anyone wishes to see it.

    Lastly, PW’s statement about the double standard is true. People like Krugman are excoriated for making spelling errors while Novak is allowed to run free and leave a trail of destruction in his wake.

    All best folks

  15. Charles said

    The Cotts story is here.

    On my computer, the Plame interview breaks down midway on both segments, so it’s not clear to me how it comes out. She does say that she has no direct knowledge of Fitgerald’s dealings with Rove.

    The greatest irony in all this? Salon (indirectly) replaced Jason with Farhad Manjoo, whose only talent is being so consistently wrong that his readers actually can figure out what’s going on by taking what he says and assuming the opposite. I would say Truthout got the better end of the deal.

  16. j. leopold said


    Sorry about that glitch. You can also see the video here on YouTube if you’d like.

    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    and thank you, sincerely, for the kind words :)

    Happy New Year, my friend.


  17. Charles said

    And to you, Jason. :-)

  18. Michael said

    Hi Jason, I just got back home this evening and watched the interview you did with Valerie Wilson. I think you did an excellent job of asking probing questions and letting her story come out. As to the portion where you asked about the supposed Rove indictment, she didn’t know anything about it, but you indicated that an otherwise reliable source had given you this information. I believe you, but cannot be sure that this source might not have burned you with speculation perhaps. In any case I think you reported it in good faith and you clearly are not someone who sets out to deceive your audience. I’m not sure we’ll ever know whether it really happened, nor does it much matter if he’s not going to be put on trial. Maybe there was a negotiation, and the indictment was quashed somehow if there was one. It’s only speculation no matter what until or unless some reliable source come forward or the records are unsealed. That might not happen in the next fifty years, going by past history.

  19. Michael said

    Oh, and by the way, if you’re right and there’s a sealed indictment that will be presented when this administration can no longer pardon him, then that will be fantastic, and you will be well recognized for having called it ahead of time.

  20. Michael said

    Happy holidays to all.

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