"In1996, 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," Robert Parry of Consortium News writes. Webb paid a high price for his "Dark Alliance" stories written for the San Jose Mercury News. He was attacked by journalistic colleagues and demoted by his paper, causing him to quit. Despite CIA internal investigations that later validated much of Webb's reporting, his career never recovered, and on Friday, Dec. 10, Gary Webb, 49, died of an apparent suicide. "Unintentionally,Webb also exposed the cowardice and unprofessional behavior that had become the new trademarks of the major U.S. news media by the mid-1990s," Parry writes. "Foreshadowing the media incompetence that would fail to challenge George W. Bushâs case for war with Iraq five years later, the major news organizations effectively hid the CIA's confession from the American people."
SOURCE: Alternet, December 14, 2004