Search Results for: Gary Webb

Mar
01
2005

America's Debt to Gary Webb

Punished for reporting the truth while those who covered it up thrived

In 1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that forced a long-overdue investigation of a very dark chapter of recent U.S. foreign policy—the Reagan/Bush administration’s protection of cocaine traffickers who operated under the cover of the Nicaraguan Contra war in the 1980s. For his brave reporting at the San Jose Mercury News, Webb paid a high price. He was attacked by journalistic colleagues at the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, American Journalism Review (11/96, 1-2/ 97, 6/97) and even the Nation magazine (6/2/97). Under this media pressure, his editor, Jerry Ceppos, sold out the story […]

Dec
17
2004

Jeff Cohen on Gary Webb, Eileen Loh Harrist on Youngstown strike

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Award-winning investigative reporter Gary Webb died at the age of 49 on Friday, December 10, from an apparent suicide. In 1996 Webb's courageous work linked cocaine traffickers to the CIA's Contra army in Nicaragua and to the West Coast crack scourge. We'll be joined by FAIR founder Jeff Cohen to discuss Gary Webb's work and the backlash he suffered at the hands of an establishment media bent on protecting the powerful. Also on the show: Workers at the Youngstown Ohio daily the Vindicator are on strike. So what does that have to do with […]

Jul
01
1997

Gary Webb Defends Gary Webb

CounterSpin Transcript

In August, 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published its "Dark Alliance" series by reporter Gary Webb, revealing the links between the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras and crack cocaine trafficking in the U.S. The series became a national controversy after wide transmission on the Internet and in independent and black-oriented news media--followed by a savage backlash against the series by national dailies like the New York Times and Washington Post that had spent years downplaying or distorting evidence of the contra-cocaine link (See "Snow Job," Extra!, 1-2/97). On May 11, 1997, as if displaying the white flag of surrender, Mercury News […]

Aug
21
2009

Matt Taibbi on Goldman Sachs

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Goldman Sachs, Wall Street profiteering and... vampire squids. Wait, what was that last one? Journalist Matt Taibbi wrote a long takedown of the venerable Wall Street firm in Rolling Stone. Business journalists pronounced themselves mostly unimpressed with Taibbi's analysis, and troubled by his language—like calling the company 'a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.' Subtle it is not. But what should we make of the reaction to the piece, from Wall Street and from other reporters? And does reporting like […]

May
01
2009

FAIR & Media Justice

Fighting for inclusion and access since 1986

fair-salsa-header

Back in the mid-1980s, when Jeff Cohen founded FAIR, large-scale progressive media activism was still more than a decade away, and the media justice movement lay in the even more distant future. But FAIR set out to focus attention on race/ethnicity, class and gender bias in the media from the beginning, and to draw connections between corporate control of media outlets and the persistent underrepresentation of socially disadvantaged groups. One of FAIR’s most effective approaches was to study the demographic and institutional profiles of the sources used in mainstream news reports—who gets to speak. FAIR research revealed not only the […]

Feb
07
2006

Fighting Back

FAIR's media activism successes

If FAIR's work consisted entirely of quantitative studies and the well-documented criticism that appears in every issue of Extra!, the group would be akin to a conventional think tank. But throughout FAIR's history, it has had a significant emphasis on media activism—treating media giants just as one would any other powerful political or government institution, by directly confronting news outlets when they misinform readers and viewers, keep the lid on stories that should be on the front page, or bombard communities with hateful stereotypes. FAIR didn't invent media activism, but we have helped to develop and refine the techniques that […]

Feb
01
2006

20 Stories That Made a Difference

For better or worse

FAIR was founded on the belief that journalism matters—that getting out the truth can improve the world, while news that distorts or denies reality can have terrible consequences. To illustrate this conviction, we've compiled a list of 20 news stories published since FAIR's 1986 debut that had a major impact on society—for good or for ill. The list is not meant to be a comprehensive collection of the most momentous stories of the past 20 years, but rather to be illustrative of the power of media. Stories that should have led to serious changes, but were underplayed by corporate media, […]

Jan
01
2006

SoundBites

'A Hell of a Time Getting Published' "After reading your May issue on the Persian Gulf War coverage [Extra!, 5/91], I thought you might be interested in the attached. My editor and I had a hell of a time getting this published in our own newspaper and as far as I know, only the Seattle Times and a paper in Huntsville, Ala. picked it up. The great irony of this story, of course, is that at the same time George Bush was whipping the public into a love-fest for The Troops, his lawyers were going to court to screw their […]