News Junkie

News Junkie

Jason Leopold

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 1940207231

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

News Junkie

Jason Leopold

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 1940207231

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In News Junkie, the cutthroat worlds of journalism, politics, and high finance are laid bare by Jason Leopold, whose addictive tendencies led him from a life of drug abuse and petty crime to become an award-winning investigative journalist who exposed some of the biggest corporate and political scandals in recent American history. Leopold broke key stories about the California energy crisis and Enron Corporation's infamous phony trading floor as a reporter for the Dow Jones Newswires. While he exposed high-rolling hucksters and double-dealing politicians, Leopold hid the secrets of his own felonious past, terrified that he would be discovered. When the news junkie closed in on his biggest story — one that implicated a Bush administration member — he found himself pilloried by angry colleagues and the president’s press secretary, all attempting to destroy his career. Introducing an unforgettable array of characters — from weepy editors and love-starved politicos to steroid-pumped mobsters who intimidate the author into selling drugs and stolen goods — News Junkie shows how a man once fueled by raging fear and self-hatred transforms his life, regenerated by love, sobriety, and a new, harmonious career with the independent media.

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the end of the month. He said he would give me one hundred dollars for expenses and cocaine so I wouldn’t slack off on the job. I didn’t dare argue. I felt defeated. I figured if things got out of hand I would just kill myself. I went back to my apartment. I had one new phone message. “Jason, it’s John at the office,” said the voice on the answering machine, “Give me a call. We were robbed last night. Someone emptied out the CD closet.” FUCK! I was paranoid. John is trying to tell me that he

said. “We’re taking action against Enron ‘cause we want to send a message out to the other energy companies that trade power. Just because our market is young and imperfect doesn’t mean you can get away with this type of behavior.” “Okay. What action?” “Enron is going to pay a 25,000-dollar fine to settle this,” Jesus said, “and promise that they won’t do it again. I’ll fax you a copy of the settlement.” “Cool. I’m gonna also call Enron for a comment.” “Can you call me back and let me know

I asked. “’Cause they said the analysts from Wall Street were coming and they wanted to impress them.” “That sounds weird.” “Yeah, it is weird,” Kim said, “’cause the phones weren’t even working and the computers weren’t plugged in. They told us that the analysts had to think that EES was a busy operation so we could get a good rating.” “Wait,” I said. “This was for EES?” “Yeah.” It all started to make sense. EES was set up in late 1997 to sell electricity to people who had just been freed

the Enron case. Aides to Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman and Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman enlisted me to help the federal government pursue charges against Secretary of the Army Thomas White for his role in the Enron scandal. I willingly provided them with the names and phone numbers of my sources who could testify against White and tie him to Enron fraud. I pursued White with a vengeance. I wrote scathing editorials for Nation calling for his resignation. I repeatedly placed White at

pattern of abuse at the highest level of state government. There was no way I could be ignored once I broke this story—this time I had documents to back it all up. On August 1, 2001, I called Oscar Hidalgo, spokesman for the Department of Water Resources, for a comment. “Yo, Oscar. What’s up, brother? It’s Jason.” I felt bad for the guy because I was about to tell him I was going to break news that would cause other reporters to ring his phone off the hook and force him to stay late at the

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