The investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, in his memoir “Reporter,” describes a moment when as a young reporter he overheard a Chicago cop admit to murdering an African-American man. The murdered man had been falsely described by police as a robbery suspect who had been shot while trying to avoid arrest. Hersh frantically called his editor to ask what to do.
“It is dangerous to be right when your country is wrong.”
And self-censorship is the final victory of fear over truth.
Another telling example of this is the story of another journalist, Gary Webb. There are a couple of books, Dark Alliance and The Killing Games, and a video, Kill the Messenger, which I just happen to watch recently, about his efforts.
There is - in the long run - what we could call a Karmic balance, or revindication of natural loving ethics. Whether or not cumulative damage to planet by these insensate manipulators ends life as we know it is another matter.
Each time those whose machinations are dependent on obstruction achieve their desire, they, like a bobble-head manikin, deepen their rut of habit and scorn the the greatest gift of the human mind: creativity. I look at people like Kissinger and Milton Friedman and so many others heralded as some sort of genius when they are precisely the opposite. Cowardly belly button gazers handing their lint to those who have been sufficiently flattered, dehumanized, numbed, cowed and threatened to serve as little more than planted posts from which to hang a flag.
Our task is to come to terms with the lies and consequences, establish the integrity of societal foundations drawing on the wisdom so richly provided in the breadth of diversity these numbskulls scorn and demonize. The simple things in life are so valuable. To have dragged the clarity of these treasures of human experience into the rut of late empire is a societal muscle building challenge that gets the brain circulation going and humor busts through the garbage.
The fight is on!
Also a VERY good book about Webb,the press, the CIA and drugs -
Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press
If the people who rely on Capitalism’s Propaganda Wing (FKA American Journalism) can’t see the light when all the networks attack the orange imbecile for doing what the people want, getting out of a Country we shouldn’t be in, they never will.
A magnificent example of what Mr Hedges describes happened this morning in the Washington Post: A note singing Trump’s praises for his success in Syria, written by some General, was on the paper’s front page. A journalistic piece in the Washington Post praising Trump for his success in Syria. Very telling of where things are headed.
What a wonderful piece. In the end, all solid reporting is investigative journalism. Is Hersh the best, as Hedges says? Who the hell knows? But he continues to do the job of substantiated truth-telling, even though his work is virtually exiled from U.S. media outlets. And here’s a glimpse (from Wikipedia) how real reporters were made, long before Tweets killed any hope of real journalism on a mass basis:
Hersh was born on April 8, 1937 in Chicago to Yiddish-speaking Lithuanian Jewish parents who emigrated to the US from Lithuania and Poland and ran a dry-cleaning shop in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a history degree, Hersh found himself struggling to find a job. He began working at Walgreens before being accepted into University of Chicago Law School but was soon expelled for poor grades. After returning for a short time to Walgreens, Hersh began his career in journalism as a copyboy, then police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago in 1959. He later became a correspondent for United Press International in South Dakota. In 1963, he went on to become a Chicago and Washingtoncorrespondent for the Associated Press. While working in Washington Hersh first met and befriended I. F. Stone, whose I. F. Stone’s Weekly would serve as an initial inspiration for Hersh’s later work. It was during this time that Hersh began to form his investigative style, often walking out of regimented press briefings at the Pentagon and seeking out one-on-one interviews with high-ranking officers. After a falling out with the editors at the AP when they insisted on watering down a story about the US government’s work on biological and chemical weapons, Hersh left the AP and sold his story to The New Republic . During the 1968 presidential election, he served as press secretary for the campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy.
After leaving the McCarthy campaign, Hersh returned to journalism as a freelancer covering the Vietnam War. In 1969, Hersh received a tip from Geoffrey Cowan of The Village Voice regarding an Army lieutenant being court-martialled for killing civilians in Vietnam. His subsequent investigation, sold to the Dispatch News Service, was run in thirty-three newspapers and exposed the My Lai massacre, winning him the Pulitzer Prize in 1970.
In 1972, Hersh was hired as a reporter for the Washington bureau of The New York Times , where he served from 1972 to 1975 and again in 1979. Hersh reported on the Watergate scandal, though most of the credit for that story went to Carl Bernstein and Hersh’s longtime rival Bob Woodward. Nonetheless, Hersh’s Watergate investigations led him in 1983 to the publication of The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House , a portrait of Henry Kissinger that won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
In 1975, Hersh was active in the investigation and reporting of Project Azorian (which he called Project Jennifer), the CIA’s clandestine effort to raise a Soviet submarine using the Howard Hughes’ Glomar Explorer . This was one of the most complex, expensive, and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War at a cost of about $800 million ($3.8 billion in 2015) dollars.
Never let truth or facts get in the way of a good story is the mantra a majority of politicians and media have prioritized during my six plus decades of observing human activity on earth.
Mr. Hedges is always worth reading, but In case one does not want to read the entire article:
If you watch, listen or read the MSM, you are being brainwashed because they banish truth.
The entire Middle East civilian death toll climbed sharply under DJT. Battle theaters increased. Israeli sharpshooters murdering and maiming unarmed civilians. The deplorable siege of Yemen. You can bet odds reassigned soldiers will be sent to other battle zones fully armed and propagandized.
Thank you! Great podcast.
I worked as a journalist for a quarter century, in a variety of newspaper jobs and related writing and editing positions. What Hersh says about American journalism is absolutely true - who needs government censorship when the reporters and editors themselves self censor? The “profession” is rife with mediocrity, ass kissing, ignorance of history, conformity and plenty of gutless chickenshits. If you try to do your job honestly and fairly, good luck; you’ll be doing something else in time. But if you pretend to be a journalist while intentionally spinning reality in an effort to avoid pointing the finger at real problems, real injustices, real abuses of authority (crime, corruption, lies, injustice), you’ll probably go real far, be in a management position in no time. It stinks.
A great tribute; from one outstanding journalist to another.
hilarious video, thanks
I’m not ignoring it. I’m just saying the death toll increased to many more deaths under DJT’s administration. Don’t give me your shit that Obama as O-liar. The Antifa movement has too many stupid freaks to make real progress. You can confront racists, but real fascists wear business suits. I don’t see Antifa taking on the real powers nor do I see their impoverished strategy leading to anything but failure. Fokking Phonies.
Sad to say, your excellent description above describes many of the “professionals”; in business, government, media, medicine, law, education and entertainment.
The anti-fascist fighters in Spain during the 1930’s were incognito, hidden in plain sight. All Antifa does is give rightwing racists an excuse for a brawl and riot squad police an excuse for a show of force. You’re the one in clueless denial of Antifa’s counter-productive tactics. Your activist drivel is taken from the rightwing provocateur playbook. It’s a good thing you don’t have much of any consequence to say.