As ‘Truth-Tellers’ Are ‘Controversialized,’ Others Rise

“Amid all the recent negatives in the worlds of intelligence and journalism,” Consortium News‘ Robert Parry (6/2/09) has spotted “one encouraging development”: “the recognition of common ground between two beleaguered groups, honest U.S. intelligence analysts and honest American journalists, two groups that previously had been on opposite sides of the secrecy divide.” The strangeness of which is not lost on Parry, who says that “what brought them together, ironically, was that they both were targeted by the same dishonest forces”:

Through the 1980s, the neocons spearheaded an assault on the CIA’s analytical division by pushing a politicization of intelligence that reversed the tradition of giving policymakers the best possible information. Instead, careerists got rewarded for tailoring intelligence to fit the neocon agenda–and those who wouldn’t go along were pushed aside or out the door.

Simultaneously, within the Washington news media, the neocons and allied right-wing attack groups took aim at journalists who dug up unwanted information. Instead of rewards for such work, there were punishments. Many truth-telling reporters were “controversialized,” while journalists who played ball moved to the center of the profession.

That last point is on a phenomenon Parry is regrettably quite familiar with–see the FAIR magazine Extra!: “America’s Debt to Gary Webb: Punished for Reporting the Truth While Those Who Covered It Up Thrived” (3-4/05) by Robert Parry.