Truthout backs off

Now that we know that Leopold’s sources got things badly wrong, let’s hear who they were and what they said.

Marc Ash:

On Saturday afternoon, May 13, 2006, TruthOut ran a story titled, “Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators.” The story stated in part that top Bush aide Karl Rove had earlier that day been indicted on the charges set forth in the story’s title.

The time has now come, however, to issue a partial apology to our readership for this story. While we paid very careful attention to the sourcing on this story, we erred in getting too far out in front of the news-cycle. In moving as quickly as we did, we caused more confusion than clarity. And that was a disservice to our readership and we regret it.

As such, we will be taking the wait-and-see approach for the time being. We will keep you posted.

Marc Ash, Executive Director – t r u t h o u t

No, I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, either. I’m quite willing to believe that Leopold and Truthout were victims of an elaborate hoax. But I don’t understand “taking the wait-and-see approach.” Leopold announced that if his sources had deceived him he would burn them. Howsa bout?

It seems to me that Blue Blogistan has, by and large, conducted itself admirably on this occasion. Compared to what both the Red media and Red Blogistan did with the phony “Kerry intern” story, our side has been a model of self-restraint.

Now we can get back to waiting for Fitzgerald to let the other shoe drop. I still think an indictment is more likely than not.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

161 thoughts on “Truthout backs off”

  1. It's possible that Leopold's sources have given him some assurances, or possibly proof, to save themselves from his revenge.
    It seems very unlikely that Leopold would be the victim of a hoax, make the promise of burning his source and then not do it, though. This cryptic statement makes it appear that Leopold and Truthout continue to believe in their story, since they opt not to retract it.
    In another forum, the editor of Truthout claims that the story has three independent sources. Perhaps they, like me, couldn't believe that Truthout would have 3 sources where nobody else had more than one (at least, Leopold claims one of his sources is a source for the networks too), and figured that the big nets would give them the corroboration that they so obviously need to be believed. They didn't get this corroboration — thus they got 'too far in front of the news cycle.'

  2. Leopold was never going to burn his "sources"; he was either going to wait it out, blame Karl Rove's Evil Machinations, or pick three names at random from the White House web site and let them deny it.
    However he chose to play it, he was quite correct in expecting that the left would play along.

  3. In another forum, the editor of Truthout claims that the story has three independent sources. Perhaps they, like me, couldn't believe that Truthout would have 3 sources where nobody else had more than one (at least, Leopold claims one of his sources is a source for the networks too), and figured that the big nets would give them the corroboration that they so obviously need to be believed. They didn't get this corroboration

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