The media's prevailing view was that Americans were an historical people who were interested in news only as diversionary entertainment. They might relish stories about crime and sex or wallow in the pathos of war. But, it was said, they weren't attentive enough to read articles about how government really operated. As one of the reporters who had dug out much of the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press and Newsweek, I disagreed with this view. I knew too many Americans who desperately did want to know the truth. So, I thought it would be fairly easy to persuade some deep-pocket foundations or wealthy individuals to support our initiative as a way to counter the disturbing media trends of the 1990s. But I encountered surprising resistance to the plan . . . To my surprise, the notion of a consortium to finance independent journalism has turned out to be a consortium of citizens who share our belief that honest information is the lifeblood of democracy.
Robert Parry, in a Nov. 29, 2006 email to supporters
Photo Linked From: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKparryR.jpg
Robert Parry has worked as a journalist for The Associated Press, Newsweek and PBS Frontline and has reported from Grenada, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Israel and Haiti. In the 1980s Robert Parry broke many of the stories that later became known as the Iran-Contra affair. Those stories included the first story about the White House network led by Oliver North. He also co-authored the first story about Nicaraguan contra-cocaine trafficking. In 1984 Robert Parry won the George Polk Award for National Reporting.
Parry, who has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Journalism, is the author of Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, The Press & Project Truth (1992), The October Surprise X-Files: The Hidden Origins of the Reagan-Bush Era (1996) and Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004). He also runs the Consortium News website.
Part of the history of Consortium News from the website (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/122104.html):
Robert Parry writes:
"We founded the Consortiumnews.com Web site in 1995, back in the "early days" of the modern Internet. The site was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories that weren't welcome in the O.J. Simpson-obsessed, conventional-wisdom-driven national news media of that time.
A"s one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s, I was distressed by the silliness and downright creepiness that had pervaded American journalism by the mid-1990s. I feared, too, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.
"Also by 1995, documents were emerging that put the history of the 1980s in a new, and more troubling, light. Yet, there were fewer and fewer media outlets interested in that history. The memories of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were enveloped in warm-and-fuzzy myths that represented another kind of danger: false history that could lead to mistaken political judgments in the future."