Archive for the 'free press heroes' Category

Robert Parry

A Tiny Revolution alerts us that Consortium News is having difficulty with its fundraiser.

In a healthy news culture Robert Parry would be editing a profitable Newsweek or hosting the NewsHour. But because our news media is controlled by hacks and parasites Parry labors in an obscure corner of the internet, keeping the craft of journalism alive. If you have disposable income, please send him some help.

If you are not familiar with Consortium News, here is a sample of Parry’s willingness to follow the facts wherever they take him.

ZOMG a newspaper sees thru school privatization

Via Madfloridian, we see this headline: Stop L.A. Unified’s ‘charterization’

Handing over L.A. schools to outside operators will turn out to be yet another failed attempt at reform. Expanding vocational education holds more promise.

Why we can’t have a better press corps

To answer Brad deLong’s question.

Paul Rosenberg talks about Froomkin

The same sort of fate has befallen some of the best journalists in modern times.  It happened to I.F. Stone, who was remembered this week on Democracy Now! He was so prominent he was on Meet The Press one week in 1949, challenging the editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association, who was leading the charge against national health care, and he was gone in a flash, not to appear on national television for another 18 years. It happened to famed foreign correspondent George Seldes as well, first subject to repeated censorship by his publisher at the Chicago Tribune, and later almost silenced by the blacklist under McCarthy.  It happened in stages to investigative reporter Robert Parry, who broke the initial story on Iran/Contra, and now runs  And it happened to Gary Webb, whose 1996 “Dark Alliance” expose of CIA/Contra involvement in the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s was later confirmed by CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz, but that didn’t save him from being driven out of journalism.  The overwhelming preponderance of this pattern makes it blindingly clear that (a) there’s nothing random or haphazard about it, and (b) the media establishment is not about quality newsgathering, it’s about ideological confromity, it’s about propaganda, it’s about hegemony.

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.

Mike Dennison, a hero for our time

Reporter’s Notebook: Why is single-payer health reform not viable?
Reporter’s notebook

HELENA – When it comes to health care reform in America, there is a relatively simple solution that will cover everyone’s basic health care, control costs and save businesses, most people and the country a lot of money.

It’s called a single-payer health plan, where the government collects taxes to finance national health insurance. The government, which is the “single payer,” covers all citizens and pays the bills when they visit private (or public) doctors, hospitals and other facilities for medical care.

Why ins’t Mike Dennison on TV? He clearly knows where of he speaks.

My hope is through Left in the West, I can do some small part to help deepen understanding of the differences between these bills. I’m also optimistic that with Dennison’s knowledge on these issues (even if he and I don’t seem to see eye-to-eye) that Lee will provide informative coverage of the debates.

Contra cocaine

Gary Webb’s exposé

Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery

The publisher of Robert Parry’s 1993 rare book, Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery, recently sent us 10 pristine copies that we are offering in an auction to raise money to help keep afloat.