And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

December 19, 2004

Lack of Information

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 9:54 am

I am just reading a story about the suicide of Gary Webb, the reporter who in 1996 wrote about the connection between the crack epidemic in this country and the Iran-Contra scandal. For details about the scandal, refer to an article this date on AlterNet titled “Kicking a Dead Man” by Marc Cooper. It is a tale of betrayal and deception that left me feeling sickened and sad.

It seems that Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, wrote a story about the way the CIA looked the other way as the Contras sold cocaine in this country so as to finance their fight against the Sandinistas. This country wanted the Contras to take over Nicaragua and return it to a dictatorship so as to keep it under control ensuring that BIG business interests in this country could keep making BIG profits.

Then when Webb reported on this in 1996 it sparked a CIA investigation, which confirmed his findings. Findings I might add that had been confirmed by the CIA and the investigation by the Senate, led by John Kerry. Many of the mainstream papers, which were scooped by Webb, then began to vilify him and his findings. Then a few days ago Webb killed himself. He had lost his job, his wife, and his reputation as a result of telling the truth.

One of the interesting parts about this is that instead of being celebrated by the press, he was castigated. It just shows that today truth is not only not sought after; it is suppressed at all costs. Instead of talking about the problems caused by the connection between the CIA and the Contras, the press spent all of their time going after the messenger. I recently heard a quote from one of the Neoconservatives that said that since this is now an Empire they would be making the news and the agenda and while we were sorting out the details they would move on to their next subject.

In an interview with Bill Moyer on his last episode of NOW on PBS, Richard Viguerie, said that journalism is only opinion anyway, so if FOX or any news source reports lies, it is all right. This seems to me to show a frightening trend toward very biased reporting as the norm. Most people rely upon the press to help them be informed about what is actually going on. Today if you only rely upon the mainstream press you are going to be woefully under informed and you will have a true lack of information. There are many factors that contribute to this; the consolidation of the press into fewer and fewer big corporations, the fact that the Fairness Doctrine was abolished by the Regan administration in 1980’s, the lack of information being distributed by the White House, the fact that reporters are “embedded” (translated to in bed with) with the troops in Iraq, and the fact that so many people have little time to find the facts for themselves, and you have a situation which is perfect for the truth being lost and hidden.

The only thing that gives me hope in this situation is the Internet. Here I am able to find alternative information from sources such as: AlterNet, Common Dreams, Democracy Now, Bush Watch, Buzz Flash, KOS, and the international press. There are others, please feel free to post a comment that lists them.

We are in a most peculiar situation right now. It is incumbent upon all of us to start to look for truth and not just swallow the media’s spin. If you know of something being misrepresented, post it. We need to stick together as never before.

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