Last Friday, Truthout editor Marc Ash told his readers to “Expect a more comprehensive accounting of this matter on Monday, June 19.” It’s 5:45 p.m. on the East coast, and so far Ash hasn’t posted anything about Jason Leopold’s false report that Karl Rove had been indicted.
Perhaps that’s because yesterday, the Washington Post published a story that adds to the number of things Ash needs to explain. It’s by Joe Lauria — the journalist Leopold pretended to be as he tried to confirm his phony story:
Three days later, Leopold’s Rove story appeared. I wrote him a congratulatory e-mail, wondering how long it would be before the establishment media caught up.
But by Monday there was no announcement. No one else published the story. The blogosphere went wild. Leopold said on the radio that he would out his unnamed sources if it turned out that they were wrong or had misled him. I trawled the Internet looking for a clue to the truth. I found a blog called Talk Left, run by Jeralyn Merritt, a Colorado defense lawyer.
Merritt had called Mark Corallo, a former Justice Department spokesman who is now privately employed by Rove. She reported that Corallo said he had “never spoken with someone identifying himself as ‘Jason Leopold.’ He did have conversations Saturday and Sunday . . . but the caller identified himself as Joel something or other from the Londay [sic] Sunday Times. . . . At one point . . . he offered to call Joel back, and was given a cell phone number that began with 917. When he called the number back, it turned out not to be a number for Joel.”
A chill went down my back. I freelance for the Sunday Times. My first name is often mistaken for Joel. My cellphone number starts with area code 917.
That’s when Lauria realized that the phone calls were coming from inside the house!
Seriously, could this story get any weirder?
UPDATE: Yes, it can.