Yesterday I profiled Charles Leaf, a reporter for the New York Fox affiliate WNYW, whose investigation of figures related to the non-mosque that is not at ground zero (Cordoba House) was the subject of controversy.
As I noted in the profile, Leaf’s reporting was saturated with innuendo and unsupported allegations. He engaged in almost comical ambush escapades that produced nothing newsworthy, yet he still surmised that the reluctance of his targets to talk to him was evidence of some fantasy wrongdoing. His behavior demonstrated that he has a complete absence of journalistic ethics.
Today Leaf was featured again on Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly. Kelly is no stranger to sleazy, dishonest practices herself. But now a News Corpse commenter has provided information about Leaf’s past that sheds light on his despicable and unprofessional tactics. Here is what Denver’s Westword reported about Leaf back in 2005:
“During a stint at a station in Mobile, Alabama, he was the focus of a 1999 lawsuit that impugned him for a ‘willful physical attack’ against a local councilwoman; the case was eventually settled. Two years later, while working in Detroit, a man told police that Leaf spewed homophobic obscenities and tried to attack him after the reporter was pelted with eggs while covering a story. And Bobbi Barrow, spokeswoman for Denver Health Medical Center, believes Leaf misrepresented himself to get an interview with her boss, Dr. Patricia Gabow, at an event last November. ‘What he did was unprofessional,’ Barrow says.”
The behavior described above seems consistent with the obnoxious bullying Leaf resorted to in his confrontation with the Cordoba House developers. While Leaf aggressively slanders the targets of his investigations without any substantive basis for doing so, it turns out that he is the one who ought to be under investigation. Most reputable news organizations would never have anything to do with someone that had Leaf’s history of malfeasance. That’s why he works for Fox.