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Sun Nov 16, 2014, 05:23 AM

"Kill the Messenger" Kills a Chance to Comment on Real Reagan Atrocities

"Kill the Messenger" Kills a Chance to Comment on Real Reagan Atrocities
Friday, 14 November 2014 13:27
By Dan Falcone, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

The film, Kill the Messenger, based on a true story, recounts a California reporter named Gary Webb. It discussed his real life effort to link the CIA with the 1980s crack epidemic and funding of the Contras. Webb implied that drug smuggling by Nicaraguans into American cities was intentionally overlooked by the CIA and a Reagan Administration weapons program in order to supply right wing anti-democratic fighters in Nicaragua. Webb maintained that the CIA knew of the drug trafficking operation. Reagan needed that operation since following passage of the Boland Amendment Congress would not help fund any Contra-oriented operation.

The movie essentially shows how Webb took on the world while no one else listened. The San Jose Mercury News decided to let him run his "Dark Alliance" series in 1996 and the story brought Webb notoriety. Other larger newspapers such as the LA Times, New York Times and Washington Post coalesced to marginalize the Mercury's editors and Webb, claiming that the story lacked credibility. They argued this was justified since Webb never nailed down a completely verifiable CIA source. They thought the story was plausible and interesting, but too circumstantial in proportion to the magnitude of its accusations and assertions. There is however, now evidence, based on the work of Robert Parry, that the CIA used its connections with the major print news publications to undermine Webb's work. Webb put himself out there and the mainstream news media (as well as his own publication) left him hanging out to dry.

A small news outfit like the Mercury was trying to enhance its reputation and the overly enthusiastic journalist Webb launched his efforts forward, based on probability and reliable secondary sources of evidence. The larger newspapers were beaten to the punch and had to be publically skeptical of the story, based on the fact that they didn't report it first.

The film conveys a few important concepts historically.

First, it reinforced the mid-1990s Luddite type of idea, that anything on the Internet was second rate reporting when compared to elite establishment newspapers. Since then, we have learned that the net can be a liberating tool, or an instrument of limited thought and coercion. The major media found themselves dedicated to promoting the latter during the period the film covers.


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Reply "Kill the Messenger" Kills a Chance to Comment on Real Reagan Atrocities (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 2014 OP
Old Nick Nov 2014 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Nov 16, 2014, 07:22 PM

1. K&R


Hey, what good is it if nobody sees it?

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