Off the Record: An Investigative Journalist's Inside View of Dirty Politics, High Finance, and Corporate Scandal
By Jason Leopold
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Off the Record is the story of the cutthroat worlds of journalism, politics, and high finance told by Jason Leopold, who survived a life of drug abuse and petty crime and went on to become one of the most highly regarded investigative reporters of the last few years, uncovering some of the biggest scandals of corporate America, the office of the governor of California, and even the White House.
During his tenure at the Los Angeles Times and the Dow Jones Newswires, and as a guest reporter on CNBC, Leopold was one of the first reporters to break stories on the California energy crisis and on Enron Corporation's now-infamous phony trading floor. During this time, Leopold lived a double life, exposing high-rolling hucksters and self-righteous politicians in his investigative pieces while hiding the secrets of his own felonious past, terrified that he would be discovered.
Finally, as Leopold closed in on his biggest story to date--one that would implicate a Bush administration member--he found himself surrounded by angry colleagues and pilloried by the press secretary of the president of the United States in an attempt to end his journalism career. Off the Record is the story of how it all happened.
About The Author
Jason Leopold is the 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, The Financial Times, and other publications. Leopold currently writes about politics online for publications such as Utne Reader, Alternet, and CounterPunch. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.
Praise for Off the Record
"Investigative superstar Jason Leopold spares no one, least of all himself, in this devastatingly accurate first-hand exposé of corporate, political, and journalistic corruption from Enron to the New York Times. Hollywood's younger action heroes will be fighting for the star role in Off the Record because of the cocaine, personal betrayals, and wildly dysfunctional emotions coursing through this unrestrained account of what happens to a young man who, even more than fame, respect, or drugs, craves knowledge of the truth. Just beneath its tempestuous surface, however, Off the Record 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
"I love this book. I love Jason Leopold. When other U.S. reporters were licking Ken Lay's loafers, Leopold went for Enron's thieving throat. But Leopold is a fool and a fascinating, readable one at that: 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. In Off the Record, you'll get a hard-core story of a true investigative journalist hunted down and professionally exterminated, a hero cut down by the lazy fat pricks we call 'mainstream reporters.' 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
"Off the Record is a page turner. Jason Leopold is an excellent writer. A brutally honest, behind-the-scenes account of obsession, addiction, and paranoia."—James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces
"Having told the truth for years as a first-rate reporter, Jason Leopold now comes completely clean about himself and also sheds some 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 Tony 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, author of Etiquette for Outlaws
"Jason Leopold bravely and unsparingly chronicles his life in journalism, by turns shining light on corporate scandal, then turning our attention to his own previous double life. 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