Friday, October 10, 2014

CounterPunch (Jeff Cohen):
“It’s been almost a decade since once-luminous investigative journalist Gary Webb extinguished his own life.

It’s been 18 years since Webb’s ‘Dark Alliance’ series in the San Jose Mercury News exploded across a new medium – the Internet – and definitively linked crack cocaine in Los Angeles and elsewhere to drug traffickers allied with the CIA’s rightwing Contra army in Nicaragua. Webb’s revelations sparked anger across the country, especially in black communities.

But the 1996 series (which was accompanied by unprecedented online documentation) also sparked one of the most ferocious media assaults ever on an individual reporter – a less-than-honest backlash against Webb by elite newspapers that had long ignored or suppressed evidence of CIA/Contra/cocaine connections.

The assault by the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times drove Webb out of the newspaper business, and ultimately to his death.”

—>The NYT is not interested in reliving its role in protecting the CIA and banishing an honest journalist. See “Kill the Messenger” when it comes to your movie theater. 

UPDATE: The NYT finally reviewed the movie, and it's another hatchet job too. The NYT is still saying that Webb's reporting was "deeply flawed," and that rival newspapers easily "blew holes in his story." Our newspaper of record offers no examples of Webb's flawed reporting, but then again nothing substantial was offered the first time The NYT savaged his journalistic credibility. 

Most of the movie review is another thinly veiled attack on Webb's series, calling it a "lurid presentation" and criticizing "his willingness to draw causality based on very thin sourcing and evidence." Referring to its own supposed august position in the US media, The NYT concludes with the observation that "Sometimes, when David takes on Goliath, David is the one who ends up getting defeated."

Just in case anyone could miss how bad Gary Webb really was, he is described in the movie review as: "lurid," "overheated," "oversold," and "wrong." And that's before Tim Golden, a NYT reporter who had attacked him 18 years ago, is brought in to say, "the hand that struck Mr. Webb was mostly his own. Webb made some big allegations that he didn't back up..." 

And Tim Golden's qualifications? "Extensive background covering the CIA and Central America," according to The NYT. Of course, The NYT has learned nothing from Gary Webb's professional assassination, except that it is safer and more profitable being a whore to the CIA than to do honest reporting.

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Common Dreams:
“The administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo altered and delayed the findings of a key federal fracking study commissioned by the state, according to a review of internal government documents published on Monday.

An original draft of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) study, obtained and reported on by the Albany newspaper Capital, reportedly contained descriptions of environmental and health risks posed by the shale gas drilling technique. However, following ‘extensive’ email communication between the USGS representatives, study authors and state officials—also obtained in ‘heavily redacted form’ through a Freedom of Information Act request—those details were either ‘played down or removed’ from the final published report.

‘The messages reveal an active role by Cuomo's Department of Environmental Conservation in shaping the text, and determining the timing of the report's release,’ writes Capital reporter Scott Waldman.“ 

—>The NYT gave this story one sentence in its “City Room Blog.” Top politicians altering scientific reports to favor Big Oil isn’t deemed “fit to print.” 

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Common Dreams:
"Disappearances, Deaths of Leftist Mexican Students Spark Federal Investigation. Mexico is an ‘assassin state,’ charges human rights activist, saying Iguala tragedy is ‘not isolated.’

Responding to the discovery of a mass grave thought to contain the bodies of dozens of students who were attacked by local police last month, Mexican federal agents on Monday were dispatched to the city of Iguala in southern Guerrero state to investigate the scene.

On September 26, two busloads of students from a local teachers college, the Raúl Isidro Burgos Ayotzinapa Normal School, were attacked. According to surviving students who were interviewed by VICE News, local Iguala police and other armed men ‘surrounded and confronted the buses on the outskirts of Iguala,’ and opened fire. …

According to VICE News reporter Melissa del Pozo, the school is a ‘Revolutionary-era rural teachers college known nationally for the ardently leftist politics that guide everything the students do and study.’ “


—>Omitted from most mainstream reporting of the event, is the fact that the students were leftists. The NYT blames drug gangs, but why hide the government’s motive for killing these students?

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