Sunday, December 20, 2015
Main Stream Media Censorship Part Two: Dan Rather and Gary Webb
Main Stream Media Censorship Part One was about media mergers, corporate mergers and how politicians as well as the media are lobbied by financial contributions from big business. Part Two is specifically about Dan Rather and Gary Webb.
Recently there was a movie made about the Dan Rather story called Truth. Wikipedia states: "Truth is a 2015 American political docudrama film written and directed by James Vanderbilt, in his directorial debut. It is based on American journalist and television news producer Mary Mapes' memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. The film focuses on the Killian documents controversy, and the resulting last days of news anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes at CBS News. It stars Cate Blanchett as Mapes and Robert Redford as Rather." Cinimablend reported that "One of the big premieres at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival was Truth." The headline of their article was Why CBS Doesn't Like Robert Redford's Dan Rather Movie. The sad thing is, the movie has been released but where is it? Like the movie about the Gary Webb story, most theatres aren't even showing it. It made news in Australia.
The sad reality is people don't care about the truth. In this article about media mergers and the possible demise of the National Post, one Canadian journalist from the CBC stated: "A lot of us in the business side of the media have been expecting bad news from the National Post chain for years. Can attaching itself to the Sun chain alter that? I, for one, never wished for the newspaper group's demise. One of my best friends works there. The media business is becoming a hit-motivated internet world, with news descending to the lowest common denominator equivalent of cat videos. But the Post chain has real reporters, digging for real original news." How true. The demise of investigative reporting isn't just because of Censorship from Corporate advertising. It's also because the consumers have become apathetic and are more worried about cat videos or movie stars love life than about anything that really matters. It is what it is.
Dan Rather was a very credible and well establish news reporter who was fired for reporting a true story about how George Bush got an elite assignment within the National Guard because of his father’s influence instead of going to Vietnam. On top of that he didn’t show up for a year. I remember the segment well. I was shocked at Dan Rather’s termination. It puts into question the freedom of the press. Dan Rather wrote a book about it called Rather Outspoken.
The Gary Webb story was similar but more profound. Gary Webb was an award winning investigative journalist that printed a series of articles claiming the CIA was responsible for the US Crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980's. The Agency fiercely denied it and embarked in a slander campaign against him. He ended up losing his job over it so he documented everything in a book called Dark Alliance. It is very factual and very compelling. I released my e-book on the 10th anniversary of his murder.
Gary Webb wasn't the first to claim the CIA had been smuggling cocaine into the United States to fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The Kerry Committee had already established that. Gary Webb found the link to the cocaine the CIA brought into the US and a crack cocaine dealer named Freeway Ricky who has his own web site about the ordeal. After the publication of his book to support his series of articles and a public meeting drew out more witnesses, Gary Webb died of a suspicious suicide. He shot himself in the head twice. Jeremy Renner made a movie about the Gary Webb story called Kill the Messenger. Mike Rupert also died of a suspicious suicide.
The question remains, if the CIA were capable of discrediting Gary Webb and covering up their long term drug trafficking what else were they capable of doing? Operation Northwoods was real. We still need to address that fact. Is the press till free? I think not. Freedom never is.