Jabulani Leffall: Of space aliens, eavesdropping and an on-air resignation

Wjabulani2e know the revolution won’t be televised. We know Jabulani Leffall is down on traditional journalism. We know he wasn’t on drugs. We know he offered an earlier “no comment.”

But until the Pitch wrote the definitive account yesterday of why the former KCUR hosted bailed on his “Central Standard” show last month, we didn’t know precisely why he quit or what was going through his mind. It’s still hard to tell the latter.

The Pitch’s Ben Palosaari wrote the story, and got Leffall to go deep into what precipitated the abrupt departure. The short of it: aliens, eavesdropping and KCUR treating him like a “black slave.”

He said he thought KCUR executives were eavesdropping on him, and that he made the decision to quit about a minute before his Jan. 16 show ended.

Leffall refused to talk about interoffice politics. He also hesitated to touch on the most startling things he’d said in his initial interview. Asked if he was going through a mental-health crisis, Leffall denied that he had been in any kind of trouble before acknowledging one factor contributing to his actions.

“Maybe. Possibly,” Leffall responded. “But when you lose sleep, that’s a mental-health component in and of itself.”

Palosaari writes of a bizarre moment in the Pitch’s initial interview with Lefall, shortly after he quit:

In the first interview, Leffall also said God’s existence was a lie, and that people don’t die; they go into space to be eaten by aliens. In the follow-up, he stepped back from that view. “Dude, if I call you at 4 o’clock in the morning, you might be on some stream-of-consciousness shit,” he says.

In an interview with The Star last week, he told columnist Jenee Osterheldt he was done with traditional journalism.

Journalism today, he said, is “a lie. Journalism is changing. Questions need to be approved before asked; advertisers need to be placated. It’s about ratings and Internet hits and business relationships.”

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One comment

  1. Pingback: The top 10 KC media stories of 2013 | MediaKC

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