Fox News has launched the careers of some of the most ignorant, unethical, anti-journalists, ever to fondle a microphone. Some have had great success like Glenn Beck. Others have disappeared into media black holes likes Jesse Watters.
Following in the footsteps of Watters is a reporter for the Fox affiliate in New York (WNYW), Charles Leaf. With an obnoxious bearing and a devotion to dishonesty, Leaf has been falling all over himself to fabricate a story where none exists. It’s no wonder that he has found himself promoted to numerous segments on the Fox News Channel. He has been featured with Fox & Friends and Greta Van Susteren. And Megyn Kelly has virtually adopted him and moved him into her den.
The story Leaf has been investigating is related to the controversial non-mosque that is not at ground zero. His premise is that persons associated with the project are either corrupt or connected to terrorists. However, his reports haven’t even provided enough evidence to start a rumor.
First Leaf conducted an ambush interview on real estate developer, Sharif El-Gamal, that yielded nothing to support his contention that El-Gamal was corrupt. Leaf merely insinuated that something must be wrong because El-Gamal was a waiter eight years prior to investing in the Park51 project. The implication being that anyone who starts a small business, works hard for nearly a decade, and achieves success, is deserving of suspicion.
Then Leaf turned his focus to investor Hisham Elzanaty. Again, Leaf ambushed Elzanaty without acquiring any usable information. The only purpose for Leaf’s ambushes is to suggest something sinister when the target declines to talk to him. To that end Leaf made wild accusations about Elzanaty’s contribution to a Muslim charity. As it turns out, the charity, the Holy Land Foundation, was later investigated for ties to Hamas. But that wasn’t until two years after Elzanaty’s donation, and the feds acknowledged that contributors would not have known about the organization’s relationship with Hamas as it was deliberately concealed.
Both of these reports failed completely to produce evidence of any wrongdoing. They were exercises in insipidness and their only purpose was to insinuate and intimidate. They were utterly unprofessional and potentially libelous. Yet Leaf exalted himself as if he had exposed Watergate. And Fox News (particularly Megyn Kelly) went along by broadcasting Leaf’s empty innuendos and affirming the unsupported conclusions.
The most recent edition of this phony story shows Leaf continuing to ambush unsuspecting figures with highly-charged questions that have no basis in fact. In a new segment broadcast on Fox News by Megyn Kelly, Leaf approached both New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at separate events and asked a loaded question to the effect of: Do you still support the right to build the mosque now that you know it’s developer contributed to a terrorist organization?
What a dishonest piece of tabloid excrement Leaf is. First of all, neither Bloomberg nor Gillibrand “knew” of the allegations prior to Leaf making them. And there was certainly no reason to take his word for it based on his shoddy reputation. Secondly, Leaf outright lied by asserting that Elzanaty contributed to a terrorist organization. The HLF was a credentialed charity at the time of the donation and there is no evidence that he had any knowledge of any untoward activities. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary.
Charles Leaf is on the fast track to Fox News stardom. He is demonstrating the skill set so admired by Fox News, and Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, its executive masters: dishonesty, partisanship, sensationalism, and aggression. He has a gift for innuendo and for advancing false premises. He expertly exploits the ignorance of his audience who are not likely to research the subject matter themselves. And he will barge into any affair and assert his bogus inquisitions without embarrassment.
Yes, Charles Leaf will go far in that environment. And we need to be aware of him as he climbs the Fox ladder of propaganda. We need to watch as this slimeball advances to the mothership and spreads his brand of sophistry and deceit. He is the embodiment of the Fox ethic and the quintessential Fox blowhard. Remember his name.
Update: Megyn Kelly hosted Charles Leaf again today, even though he had nothing new to add. He just repeated his slanderous accusation that Elzanaty had contributed to a terrorist organization. Leaf is an irredeemable liar, and Kelly is his enabler.