CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE

THE CIA-CRACK STORY PUT BLACK REPORTERS IN A BIND

If there was any gloating at The New York Times, Washington Post or Los Angeles Times over executive editor Jerry Ceppos' abject pullback from the San Jose Mercury News's series about the crack-contra link, there shouldn't have been. Gary Webb's stories were seriously flawed, but so were the stories those papers produced in an attempt to debunk him. All three, to a greater or lesser extent, committed the same journalistic sin for which they indicted the Mercury News: playing up evidence that Webb was wrong while burying proof to the contrary.

Take the highly selective coverage of a Senate hearing last...

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