(Ken Silva, Headline USA) After the FBI raided journalist James Gordon Meek’s home last October, Rolling Stone magazine published a story suggesting that Meek may have been targeted by the DOJ over his reporting.
But the story was apparently false. Meek was charged on Feb. 1 with transporting child pornography.
NPR published a story today dissecting how Rolling Stone blundered yet another major story. In NPR’s report, a name that appeared often during the Trump administration resurfaced: attorney Mark Zaid.
A self-described advocate for whistleblowers, Zaid has worked on a wide variety of politically charged matters, including the first Trump impeachment. His clients have included Facebook’s dubious pro-censorship whistleblower, Frances Haugen; the brother of impeacher-turned-war profiteer Alexander Vindman; and a slew of CIA agents who’ve made numerous unfounded claims about having so-called “Havana Syndrome.”
According to NPR, Zaid also played a role in the latest Rolling Stone reporting scandal.
NPR reported that Zaid called a Rolling Stone editor to advocate for Meek as the magazine was preparing its story about the accused pedophile.
Zaid reportedly confirmed to NPR that he made the call, telling the outlet that “Meek was a longtime friend and client on Freedom of Information issues.”
“Zaid says he was representing Meek on any possible prosecution or investigation of his potential possession of classified material,” NPR reported.
NPR did not provide any more details about Zaid’s reported advocacy for accused pedophile Meek. After Zaid’s call to the Rolling Stone editor, the magazine published a story stripped of any reference to Meek’s possible possession of child pornography.
“In the hours leading up to publication, [the editor] changed [the] draft to remove all suggestions that the [DOJ] investigation was not related to Meek’s reporting. He left in the finding that federal agents had allegedly found ‘classified information’ on Meek’s devices,” NPR reported.
The editor who Zaid spoke with also reportedly made the decision to use a generic photo rather than one of Meek.
The reporter and editor who worked on the Rolling Stone piece did not respond to NPR’s requests for comment.
Meanwhile, Meek has been denied bail and awaits trial.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.