Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Free Press in America

No, really, the US does have a free press. Or not, depending on who you ask. This past Sunday, the London Independent asked the widow of San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb and she sounds like she disagrees. The story is, her ex-husband committed suicide a year ago December after losing his job and any prospects for a new job as a journalist, when the powers-that-be came crashing down on him for a series of newspaper reports called "Dark Alliance" which he did on the CIA's role in bringing crack cocaine to the now-devastated African American areas of Los Angeles, while at the same time using some of those profits to fund the Contras and other US-backed rebels in Central America. Here's an obit from last year, announcing his life and death. None of us will ever really know what happened here, but we do know that something went very wrong.

The lesson for the bewildered herd is this: don't undertake in publicizing the faults of your government, (David Kelly, are you listening way out wherever you are?) unless you've (A) got no reason to live or (B) have the resources to sustain your life post-facto -- this being the main reason why I believe high-profile celebrities should be more openly political -- can you imagine Brad Pitt railing against the White House for propagating drug use in the inner city? That'd be the day...

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