Gary Webb, American hero, American tragedy

Consortium News

Webb ended his life because people who should have supported his work simply couldn’t be bothered.

Though Gary Webb was horribly betrayed by his colleagues in the news business – and especially his editors at the San Jose Mercury News – he also was taken advantage of by people in the progressive movement, who sometimes exploited his celebrity by having him speak at their events for little or no money.

There is a deeply troubling attitude within the American progressive movement that it bears next to no responsibility for people who speak truth to power and suffer terrible consequences, as Webb did. While sometimes progressives cheer the heroism, they rarely back it up with anything sustainable.

Maybe instead of sending money to politicians who go out of their way to insult us, maybe we should send money to those who are doing to hard work of progressive politics.

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