Out, out damn truth!

As more and more information comes in on the Jason Leopold-Truthout Karl Rove indictment non-story, it looks more and more like the story was without truth. Our sources within the Patrick Fitzgerald investigation, ones who have proven reliable in the past, tell us Rove wasn’t indicted 10 days ago and may never be indicted (even though Fitzgerald still considers him a target). If an indictment is to come, it has not come yet. The case, they say is incomplete.

In the meantime, Eric Umansky, who writes the "Today’s Papers" blog for Slate, weighs in:

Don’t trust Truthout.org. Their stories have always struck me as hyperbolic and careless, which is one of the reasons I didn’t bother writing about the Truthout by story Jason Leopold that Rove had been indicted. (The other reason I didn’t write about it: Leopold’s well-spotted career*.)

Anyway,  want more evidence of Truthout’s role as a crackerjack, upstanding news organization? Check out their "partial apology" to the "Rove Indicted!" story:

Does this new "wait-and-see approach" involve waiting until news actually happens, say for example, not reporting  Rove is indicted until he actually is? How novel.

* I had originally written "Leopold is a fabulist." That was unwise, a point hammered home when Jason emailed me and after calling me "lazy" and "self-righteous," threatened to sue.

Does this new "wait-and-see approach" involve waiting until news actually happens, say for example, not reporting  Rove is indicted until he actually is? How novel.

* I had originally written "Leopold is a fabulist." That was unwise, a point hammered home when Jason emailed me and after calling me "lazy" and "self-righteous," threatened to sue

"Unless you can provide documented proof for calling me a ‘fabulist,’ an actual story in which I was accused of making something up out of whole cloth I will take that statement you have written seriously and go out of my way to pursue the proper course of action to have you retract that statement."

He’s right.  Apologies, Jason. I don’t have concrete evidence. Instead, there is only  plenty of evidence showing you are, at best, sloppy, and oh, you plagarized.

Slate can hardly be called part of the "vast right win conspiracy."

On the other hand, Byron York of National Review Online is not what you might call a friend of the left and he has been raising questions about the Leopold stories since it ran:

It’s just the latest in a series of improbable scenarios about the CIA-leak case that have flown around the Internet. To take another example, last week Madsen reported that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales went to the U.S. courthouse on Friday, May 12, where he met with the grand jury and was told about the Rove indictment. An announcement of the indictment, Madsen reported, was set for Friday, May 19.

But that scenario didn’t work out, either. May 19 came and went, with no indictment. And Justice Department officials told NRO that Gonzales did not go to the courthouse on Friday, May 12. In addition, the attorney general has recused himself from the case and cannot take part in any aspect of it. “Not only am I recused from making decisions or participating in decisions regarding this investigation, I am recused from receiving information about the investigation,” Gonzales said last October. “I do not receive briefings. I do not receive any information about this particular case.”

Another theory shot down. But for the moment, it appears that nothing will stop the sort of viral speculation that is going on about the CIA-leak case. Even if Rove were indicted—and no one outside Fitzgerald’s office can say with any confidence whether or not that will happen—everything that has been reported in this latest round of theorizing would still be wrong. And if in the end Rove is not indicted, there will undoubtedly be confidently worded reports that he was saved only by some sort of corrupt dealing. What this latest round of Internet theorizing shows is that there are people who have a deep emotional investment in the belief that Rove is a criminal, and that those people will suspend their critical faculties to accept almost any scenario that supports their belief. Nothing that happens—or doesn’t happen—will change that.

We wouldn’t trust Alberto Gonzales as a credible source on this story so basing a conclusion strictly on his denial is, at best, risky.

However, it looks like we can’t trust Jason Leopold either. And Truthout, despite their vigorous denials and "partial apology," may be having second thoughts. Up until the Rove indictment story, Jason Leopold was writing stories for them at an average of two-to-three a week. They have published nothing by him since questions surfaced on his Rove indictment story on May 13 and he refuses to respond to inquiries, referring all questions to Truthout executive director Marc Ash.