Emails are circulating that Jason Leopold has apparently decided to leave Truthout to start his own site, BackgroundBriefing.org, sometime in the next few months. Truthout's Executive Director Marc Ash assured readers that Leopold's departure is in no way related to Leopold's reporting back in May of '06 that Karl Rove had been indicted and that he had tendered his resignation -- stories that every last one of us who waited so impatiently for Fitzmas remembers all too well -- stories that never panned out but Marc Ash asserts that Truthout "stood by the factual accuracy of our reports, and we stand by them now." While that's probably true enough as that all happened more than a year and a half ago, certainly that whole saga took a heavy toll on the organization ever since.
In Leopold's defense, perhaps we may yet find out someday that his sealed indictment story was right all along but it seems a safer bet that he was punked by Rove and Co., and in Jason's case, that sure wouldn't be the first time he tried to deliver the goods on a story bigger than most journos out there could handle and came out on the short end of the stick. I will say that there's something to be admired for even being willing to try to unravel one of the biggest corporate scandals of all-time and to come out so strongly against a venomous White House like he did, but there's also been a lot of harsh criticism of Leopold's work along the way: Two that stand out is this one in the Columbia Journalism Review and another in WaPo by Howie Kurtz, so it comes as quite a surprise (Nicole spotted it) that Howie apparently just last week decided to post a comment at the bottom of the year and a half old CJR article, blasting the author and defending Leopold's reporting, which he wrote "has since proved reliable and trustworthy."
That's quite an endorsement from a former critic-- if it's true that Howie Kurtz wrote it and it wasn't someone else posing as him in the comments. I'm just sayin', because if it was Howie, doesn't he owe Jason something in an article to that effect, and not just some buried comment on an ancient thread that seemingly goes against what he's previously said in print?