Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Kill the Messenger


Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News when he discovered the history of some of the dirty dealings by those motherfuckers Ronald Reagan and Oliver North concerning arming the Contra “rebels” in Latin America, and what he claimed as active participation by American agents in the importation and distribution of crack cocaine into mostly black neighborhoods. But when the story was published he was subjected to a vicious campaign by the government, and very little support from more respected news outlets, who largely raked him over the coals. I mean, he doesn’t work for a serious newspaper, does he? It’s more like a shopping coupon rag, way down there in freakin’ San Jose!

I don’t know if it will all ever be sorted out. Probably not. He may have exaggerated here and there, but he has largely been proven right. So he lost his job, and his family, and the respect of his peers, who should have stood up for him. The story is hard to watch, from triumph to ignominy. And one fine day in 2004, he put a gun to his head and shot himself … twice. Huh? Well, you can’t say it doesn’t happen, but it’s rare. Ruled a suicide, and it probably was, if only because by then it would have been a waste of a bullet for the CIA to kill him. Would they have, if they needed to? I don’t doubt it for a second.