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Gary Webb died for our sins.
The stories and opinions in this book reflect a long lost treasure embedded in our Constitution. The press is the only private enterprise so honored. Its role is to protect our democracy from corruption, stupidity and greed. Reporters like Webb did that job, and paid for it.
Gary Webb died because he couldn't stomach the ugly truth that his reporting revealed. Not the corruption, stupidity and greed of government - that was no surprise to anyone who was paying attention. Webb discovered that the constitutionally ensconced press was itself corrupt, stupid and greedy.
Webb's most important story is the one that cost him his career, and ultimately everything else he had or would ever have. That story, by the way, has been confirmed as accurate with each subsequent release of declassified information.
The corrupt, stupid and greedy people who subverted democratic institutions throughout the world have, in Malcolm Ex's words, come home to roost.
If we wish to restore a functioning, democratic government to our country, we must be willing to stand up and fight for it. Not with bombs or guns, but with the truth.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Gary Webb was one of the last great investigative journalists. He didn’t wait for Wikileaks or Snowden to drop a story in his lap. He sniffed out trouble like a bloodhound. Through relentless research, and a disarming charm, Webb again and again dug up the real dirt.
What Webb found under the shiny surface in America was more corrupt, more fetid, more bathed in blood than even David Lynch could imagine.
This audiobook opens with “The Coal Connection,” a nearly unbelievable look at “exotic international financial swindling” that involved every kind of low-life, from petty crooks to future-president Reagan. It’s infuriating, reads like a thriller—and it’s all true.
Other stories range from “Driving While Black” to “And the Mighty Wurlitzer Played On” Webb’s account of the fall-out from his series “Dark Alliance,” which he wrote for The San Jose Mercury News about the connection between Iran-Contra, the CIA, and the outbreak of crack in Los Angeles that the paper refused to back up. In this essay he concludes,
“Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It's free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff -- stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking -- that's where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today's media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion.”
Anyone interested in the straight dope need look no further.
A word about narrator, Kevin Stillwell, he has the chops to bring these complicated stories to life, to make them fresh, immediate and clear.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful