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NEWS JUNKIEby Open-Publishing - Tuesday 25 April 2006
by Jason Leopold
Please consider buying a copy from Amazon or at a bookstore near you. Check out www.newsjunkiebook.com for a preview and a sample chapter
From Publishers Weekly
Leopold, one of the reporters who broke the Enron story, is now breaking his own story: how he got addicted to cocaine, committed grand theft, cleaned himself up and found happiness as a "news junkie." While residential rehab programs and an incredibly committed wife were key to his turnaround, what saved his life was his discovery of the adrenaline high of news scooping. After a few small successes, Leopold got lucky when he began investigating insider trading by aides to California’s Gov. Grey Davis and stumbled onto the extraordinary scandal of Enron’s manipulation of utility deregulation in California. By the time Leopold was pressured into resigning from Dow Jones in 2002, he was one of the few reporters who’d actually interviewed Enron president Jeff Skilling. He then rushed to publish a flawed exposé of the secretary of the army’s Enron connections, seriously damaging his journalistic credibility. Disillusioned by the institutional biases of mainstream media, Leopold finally decided to freelance with independent, Internet-based news services. While there’s a lot of lying admitted to in this scrappy memoir, from Leopold’s hiding of his criminal past to his playing of sources to get his scoops, it’s (probably) not an untruthful memoir-indeed, it might become required reading for aspiring journalists. (May 9)
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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.
Jason Leopold introduces us to 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.
In the end, 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.
Jason Leopold is a former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He has worked for the Los Angeles Times and has been a frequent guest on CNBC; his articles have appeared in The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times. Leopold is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and currently writes for CounterPunch, Political Affairs, and Z Magazine.
Advance Praise for NEWS JUNKIE:
"I love this book. When other U.S. reporters were licking Ken Lay’s loafers, Leopold went for Enron’s thieving throat. Leopold is a journalist who insists on real investigative reporting-inside documents, inside sources, hard knife-in-the-gut evidence-detective-style reporting that is just about illegal in the U.S.A. Bravo and my personal Pulitzer to Jason Leopold. Every journalist in America should read this, then quit or riot."
– Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
"Investigative superstar Jason Leopold spares no one, least of all himself, in this devastatingly accurate first-hand exposé. News Junkie provides the best account so far of how, and why, current American journalism has become so pharisaical, spineless, and detached from the truth."
– T.D. Allman, journalist and author of Rogue State, Unmanifest Destiny, and Finding Florida
"Having told the truth for years as a first-rate reporter, Jason Leopold now comes completely clean about himself and also sheds light on his imperiled profession. A riveting account of just how hard the truth can be."
– Mark Crispin Miller, author of Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order
"Frighteningly honest. What Anthony Bourdain did to the world of cooking in Kitchen Confidential, Leopold will do to the world of journalism. It’s Sid & Nancy meets All the President’s Men."
– Rob Cohen, coauthor of Etiquette for Outlaws
"This memoir is one of the most brutally honest books I’ve ever read. You will grow to believe, and cheer on, this flawed hero as he gains a liberating knowledge of himself."
– Joe Loya, author of The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber