Michael Isikoff (pronounced Issickoff, born 1952) is an American investigative journalist, formerly with the United States magazine Newsweek. He joined Newsweek as an investigative correspondent in June 1994, and has written 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.
On July 1, 2010, Isikoff became the national investigative correspondent for NBC News, a position which he resigned in April, 2014, citing the network's move in a direction that left him with "fewer opportunities" for his work.
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. His 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.
Isikoff 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. He graduated from Syosset High School on Long Island in 1970. 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 US 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 Qur'an 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 Koran at Guantanamo, including one incident in which urine was splashed on a Koran. Isikoff has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.