Gained attention for attempted “ambush interview” with “Ground Zero Mosque” developer
A two-time Emmy-winning reporter from New York’s Fox 5 team has been arrested and charged with a lurid sex crime, multiple reports indicate.
NBCNewYork reports, “Fox 5 Investigative Reporter Charles Leaf faces three sex crime charges in the alleged assault of a 4-year-old girl.”
The formal charges are aggravated sexual assault on a minor, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to sources.
Leaf was being held at the Bergen County Jail Thursday night. Bail was set at $250,000.
However, New Jersey’s Cliffview Pilot reports, “Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli tonight confirmed that two-time Emmy award-winning FOX 5 reporter Charles Leaf is formally accused of digitally penetrating a minor and masturbating in front of the youngster several times in recent weeks. The victim is a 4-year-old girl, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.”
Jerry DeMarco’s article adds,
A graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Leaf began his career in Yuma, Arizona. He also served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, leaving the military with the rank of non-commissioned sergeant.
Leaf also worked for the U.S. State Department, with assignments at the American Embassy in Warsaw and Canberra, Australia, among other places.
He’s run into trouble in many of them, according to private detective Bill Warner.
The detective told the Cliffview Pilot that ten years ago Leaf was arrested for a “willful physical attack” against a Mobile, Alabama councilwoman, and DeMarco writes, “two years later, in Detroit, a man told police that Leaf shouted homophobic obscenities at him after being pelted with eggs while covering a story.”
A report at www.NorthJersey.com adds,
Earlier in his career, Leaf was a reporter in Mobile, Ala., for WPMI, where he became known for his “in-your-face” style, according to the Mobile Register.
In 1999, he left the station abruptly following a well publicized incident with a local councilwoman, who sued him for allegedly assaulting her while attempting to interview her for a story, according to the newspaper.
The suit claimed he slammed a car door on her arms and legs as she tried to get into a car and leave. No criminal charges were filed, and Leaf called the suit “baseless,” the paper reported.
A year earlier, police responded to the television station to investigate a reported fight between Leaf and a cameraman. Again, no criminal charges were filed, and Leaf said the incident was blown out of proportion, according to the paper.
The married father of two began working for the station in 2006 and has won two Emmy awards, according to his resume on MYFOXNY.COM.
“Fox 5 is aware of the situation and is looking into the matter,” said a spokeswoman for the station.
At Mediaite, Colby Hall writes, “The reporter has been identified as Charles Leaf, who received some national attention for an attempted ambush interview with Sharif el-Gamal, the developer behind the so-called ‘Ground Zero Mosque,’ back in late August of this year.”
At Crooks and Liars, David Neiwert blogged,
One of Fox News’ affiliates, WNYW, sent out a reporter named Charles Leaf to conduct an “investigation” of the “money trail” in the patented Fox Ambush Squad style, and yesterday the results ran a couple of times on Fox itself: First Megyn Kelly carried it on her morning “news” show, then Laura Ingraham featured it on The O’Reilly Factor, including an interview with Leaf, who tried to pretend that what he was doing was real journalism.
What’s peculiar about this report is that it zeroes in on a few minor functionaries in the financial chain behind the construction of the mosque — loan guarantors and the like. Leaf invades their homes, follows them into foyers, and tries to run after them in parking lots. All this, ostensibly, to follow the “money trail” behind the mosque.
Of course, they somehow neglected to try talking to one of the imam’s more generous backers — Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Maybe that’s because Talal is the No. 2 shareholder in Fox News.
It’s bad enough that they sicced their camera crews on a bunch of unsuspecting bankers, accountants and real-estate developers who are, unsurprisingly, not willing to have their lives destroyed by a scandal-mongering bunch of fake journalists on a witch hunt. But the pernicious part of this kind of reportage is the way that it implies guilt — for some unnamed misdeed — simply in the refusal to go on-camera.
Newscorpse called Leaf “a dishonest piece of tabloid excrement” and the “new most repulsive Fox News reporter” for “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.
Moon may be richer in water than thought — and it could help propel humans farther from earth
There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published Monday raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment -- and maybe even fuel -- on the lunar surface.
The Moon was believed to be bone dry until around a decade ago when a series of findings suggested that our nearest celestial neighbour has traces of water trapped in the surface.
Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy on Monday suggest there could be much more water than previously thought, including ice stored in permanently shadowed "cold traps" at lunar polar regions.
Asymptomatic coronaagvirus sufferers lose antibodies sooner: study
Asymptomatic coronavirus sufferers appear to lose detectable antibodies sooner than people who have exhibited Covid-19 symptoms, according to one of the biggest studies of its kind in Britain published on Tuesday.
The findings by Imperial College London and market research firm Ipsos Mori also suggest the loss of antibodies was slower in 18–24 year-olds compared to those aged 75 and over.
Overall, samples from hundreds of thousands of people across England between mid-June and late September showed the prevalence of virus antibodies fell by more than a quarter.
The research, commissioned by the British government and published Tuesday by Imperial, indicates people's immune response to Covid-19 reduces over time following infection.
Early voting to be hit by heavy rain and flooding as Hurricane Zeta barrels towards the Gulf Coast
Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall near Louisiana's border with Mississippi on Wednesday evening as campaigns work to get supporters to the polls and convince any undecided voters to back their candidate.
"Hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are possible along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect," the National Hurricane Center warned.
"Between Tuesday night and Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states near and in advance of Zeta. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding," the center explained.