Journalists whose careers are destroyed by false allegations have an unusually high suicide rate. It takes a lot of lies to discredit a record based on accuracy and character. And it takes a lot more than that to ensure that an award-winning reporter with such a record isprevented from ever again working in journalism
The L.A. Times has never apologized for its baseless attacks on reporter Gary Webb, who took his own life after being relentlessly hounded out of mainstream journalism. After struggling to defend himself, and failing to be heard, Webb did not give up, because he did not want to die. Instead, he labored for months writing a book establishing his veracity. Webb was probably the only person who understood that he was fighting for his life. Every lie he rebutted was another silent reporter who stood back, unwilling to speak out, another realization that there was no one who considered him worthy of defense. Webb finally found got on as a stringer at a small weekly. Thls brilliant, award-winning reporter wrote about library funding and traffic-ticket shakedowns, and he did it beautifully. But the pay couldn’t cover his mortgage, and by the time he lost his home, Webb had also reached the end of his dwindling psychological resources. That day, he shot himself in the head.
But everyone in the media knows who killed Gary Webb.
@longdrivesouth Webb was killed by the silence of every reporter who didn’t speak up,betrayed by the phobic careerism that passes 4 ethics
— Claire Marie O’Brien (@ClaireO12872959) May 31, 2013