March 28, 2007
Pulse of the Twin Cities picks Jason Leopold as a "Favorite Fool"
Our Favorite Fools
Pulse writers pick their favorite clowns, comics, pranksters, and holy fools
What kind of fool is Jason Leopold?
by Sid Pranke
March 28, 2007
The kind who has harnessed his OCD tendencies for both good and evil, and the kind whose shenanigans are just heart-wrenching and outlandish enough to steal a piece of your heart. After reading his 2006 memoir, "News Junkie," I found myself pulling for this guy, this indie media anti-hero--no matter (so far) what kind of mess he might find himself in this time. But that support probably comes partly because I'm not married to him, dating him, sharing a vehicle with him, or for that matter, editing him. Leopold was foolhardy enough to not leave out really incriminating details about his life, and he is still a young man with many more adventures ahead of him. It's likely he knew that pretty soon producers would be coming out of the woodwork in a bidding war for the movie rights to his life up until now.
Leopold has battled cocaine demons, which led to serious personal and relationship problems that no one would want to live through; his drug deals while working with a New York record label led him into a scam stealing CDs for the Mafia. And in his book, he wonders aloud why a certain media commentator from the New York Times (former local boy David Carr, who also beat a cocaine addiction) didn't mention Leopold's drug use as part of the book review.
I recently attended "Love, Janis," a musical at the Ordway about the life of Janis Joplin based on letters the rising star wrote to her younger sister. One of the lines in the play has Joplin telling a reporter that the public likes their celebrities depressed and broken. There is some truth to that statement, although that's not how I feel about it. I am more interested in the comeback than the breakdown.
Instead of crawling under a rock somewhere, Leopold picked himself up and reinvented himself as a news reporter, starting out at small California newspapers and moving on to the Dow Jones news wire, where he eventually wrote many investigative pieces on the Enron financial machine--many credit him with breaking the Enron debacle. Woo-hoo!
But wait--now Leopold has been discredited again, this time for publishing information from anonymous sources last spring at truthout.org in a story that reported that Karl Rove would be indicted in the Plamegate matter. That never happened--though Leopold maintains that the truth could still come out, and that he (Leopold) will be vindicated. The Plamegate-Rove connection is still topical--on PBS' "The McLaughlin Report" over the weekend, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asserted that Rove lied to Plamegate prosecutors, but that Patrick Fitzgerald allowed him to change his story. That assertion makes Leopold look better. To be continued ...
Read the rest of Pulse's favorite fools at Pulse of the Twin Cities.
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