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Michael R. Isikoff (born June 16, 1952) is an American investigative journalist who is currently the Chief Investigative Correspondent at Yahoo! News. He is the co-author on an upcoming book with David Corn entitled; Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, scheduled for publication on March 20, 2018.
Isikoff in October 2007
June 16, 1952 |
Syosset, New York
|Alma mater||Washington University (A.B., 1974)
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University (M.A., 1976)
Mary Ann Akers (m. 2007)
From July 2010 to April 2014, Isikoff was the national investigative correspondent for NBC News. He resigned from NBC, citing the network's move in a direction that left him with "fewer opportunities" for his work. He had previously worked for Newsweek, which he joined as an investigative correspondent in June 1994, and wrote extensively on the U.S. government's War on Terrorism, the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, campaign finance and congressional ethics abuses, presidential politics and other national issues.
Isikoff had been prepared to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but several hours before going to print, the article was killed by top Newsweek executives. As a result, the story broke first on Matt Drudge's Drudge Report the following morning. Isikoff's book on the subject, Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story, was named Best Non-Fiction Book of 1999 by the Book of the Month Club.
Early life and careerEdit
Isikoff graduated from Syosset High School on Long Island in 1970. He received his A.B. from Washington University in 1974, with a junior-year-abroad at the University of Durham, England, and obtained a masters from the Medill School of Journalism from Northwestern University in 1976.
Isikoff is the co-author, with The Nation reporter David Corn, of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War, a 2006 book about the selling of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq to the U.S. public and the ensuing Plame scandal. The book was a New York Times best-seller.
His online column with fellow journalist Mark Hosenball, "Terror Watch," won the 2005 award from the Society of Professional Journalists for best investigative reporting online. Isikoff was a part of the Newsweek team that won the Overseas Press Club’s most prestigious award, the 2001 Ed Cunningham Memorial Award for best magazine reporting from abroad for Newsweek's coverage of the war on terror.
In the May 9, 2005, issue of Newsweek, Isikoff co-wrote an article that stated that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay "in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Quran down a toilet." Detainees had earlier made similar complaints but this was the first time a government source had appeared to confirm the story. The article caused widespread rioting and massive anti-American protests throughout some parts of the Islamic world (causing at least 17 deaths in Afghanistan). The magazine later retracted the story after noting that the anonymous official who was their source subsequently could not remember important details. A subsequent June 4, 2005, report by the Pentagon, however, confirmed multiple instances of desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo, including one incident in which urine was splashed on a Quran. Isikoff has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.
Isikoff was a creator of the short film "64 Hours In October: How One Weekend Blew Up The Rules Of American Politics" regarding events around October 7–9, 2016 relating to Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
The subject authored a Yahoo News article which was used by Federal authorities in a FISA application to justify the surveillance of the foreign policy Trump adviser, Carter Page's alleged connection to Russian authorities during the 2016 presidential campaign. The highly controversial Nunes memo makes reference to Isikoff's September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article. Isikoff told History.com in a February 2018 interview that Linda Tripp had offered to take the infamous blue dress from Monica Lewinsky's closet and hand it over to him. But Isikoff refused, saying he didn't want to take possession of stolen property and did not have access to President Bill Clinton's DNA to test the evidence on the dress anyway.
In January 2007, Isikoff married former Washington, D.C. political gossip columnist Mary Ann Akers, who wrote "The Sleuth" for The Washington Post. They have a son, Zachary Akers Isikoff, born in 2009. He was previously married to Lisa Stein, with whom he has a daughter, Willa Isikoff.
- Colford, Paul D. (May 12, 1999). "Michael Isikoff & Friends / The reporter gets honored these days for revealing the story of Bill and Monica. / But that doesn't stop the guys from hometown Syosset from ribbing him". Newsday.
- Russian Roulette.
- Stelter, Brian (June 7, 2010). "NBC News Hires Newsweek's Michael Isikoff". The New York Times.
- "Michael Isikoff leaves NBC News".
- Silbiger, Steve (May 25, 2000). The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 190.
- "Gertrude L. (Albert) Isikoff's Obituary on Newsday". Newsday. May 4, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- "Michael Isikoff mixes it up with Hugh about the run up to war in Iraq. « The Hugh Hewitt Show". The Hugh Hewitt Show. April 29, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- "Michael Isikoff, Investigative Correspondent". MSNBC. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Kurtz, Howard (May 16, 2005). "Newsweek Apologizes: Inaccurate Report on Koran Led to Riots". The Washington Post.
- "Pentagon details mishandling of Quran". June 4, 2005.
- "Newsweek: Inspector General Report Reveals CIA Conducted Mock Executions". Democracy Now!. 2009-08-24.
- Yahoo! News Staff (6 October 2017). "64 Hours In October: How One Weekend Blew Up The Rules Of American Politics; A firsthand account of the drama that unfolded during Oct. 7-9, 2016". HuffingtonPost.com. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
- Stableford, Dylan. (2 February 2018). "Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff describes crucial meeting cited in Nunes memo." Yahoo News website Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- Associated Press. (2 February 2018). "Read the full GOP memo on the Russia investigation." Isikoff's article was wrongly used by the FBI as independent corroboration for the Steele Dossier when in fact the dossier's author was the article's source. PBS website Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- "'Linda Tripp Offered Me the Blue Dress': Revelations from the Man Who Uncovered the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- Glover, Mary Clare (June 1, 2007). "Luxury Homes: June 2007". Washingtonian. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Dornic, Matt (October 6, 2009). "Isikoff and Akers Welcome Baby Zach!". AdWeek. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Allen, Mike (October 8, 2009). "Little one coming home". Politico. Retrieved June 2, 2017.