Razer's Class Warfare

Feb 8, 2018

Razer: true reporters, like the late Robert Parry, strive to be despised

Robert Parry, the reporter who uncovered the Iran-Contra affair, showed us that journalism at its best is not a popularity contest with the powerful.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

Contemporary journalism may be short on hard investigation. Sure got long, though, on accounts of its own critical role. Seems that for every yard of shoe-leather reporters don’t wear through, they will walk a ten-mile parade.

Robert Parry, an investigative journalist who died unexpectedly last month, deserved a parade in life. He didn’t get one. The man who broke the truly scandalous elements of the Iran-Contra scandal was relegated to the margins from the time he began to reveal the deceptions of Ronald Reagan.

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13 thoughts on “Razer: true reporters, like the late Robert Parry, strive to be despised

  1. David Thompson

    A fine piece of baseball battery, H, with potency in the contrasts to local ‘survivors’.
    I, too, found Lyons’ contribution re Assange and W’leaks to be the output of a particularly odious individual. Plus, given his claims were misrepresentations, at best (it was the operatives at the Grauniad who made the ‘security key’ available on their site, after Assange had reluctantly agreed to curate the data to spare the at risk from early exposure), Lyons’ contribution might best be described as “fake news”.

  2. Jack Robertson

    HR, extraordinary obit-huzzah for an extraordinary journo. Thank you so, so much. This, meanwhile, is an early candidate for Crikey line of the year:

    ‘Seems that for every yard of shoe-leather reporters don’t wear through, they will walk a ten-mile parade.’


  3. cp

    Wow, I followed the nasty Reagan contra-gate story, but never gave a thought about the real journalism behind it. Thanks for remembering Parry the real hero.
    Whoever bought and donated the Canberra filing cabinets to the ABC is probably the most pissed off person in Australia at the moment. More so if any photocopiers were in the lot and weren’t used. Maybe Crikey could market a list of reputable “drop-off sites”, and disreputable ones like the ABC.

    1. David Thompson

      Parry also helped Gary Webb with the “Dark Alliance” bust of Iran Contra drugs flowing to ‘Freeway Rick Ross’ in LA, and part of his reason for starting “Consortium News” came from the utterly disgraceful treatment meted out to Webb by the ‘journalists’ at the NYT’s, WaPo and the LA Times.
      The Big 3 puts teams of people on to discrediting Webb, and they used bog standard ‘intelligence sources’ misinformation and dissembling to do it. Years later, in Congress, Webb was vindicated but, by then, he was dead by his own hand (maybe). Using the principle of the ‘efflux of time’, the vindication of Webb got buried.
      Parry and Webb informed the work of Jeffrey St.Clair and Alexander Cockburn (“Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press”), various of Douglas Valentine’s efforts, and even the ‘fictional’ “Power of the Dog”, and later, “The Cartel”, by Don Winslow.
      Winslow was fascinated by Parry’s and Webb’s work, and spent 5 years in Latin and Central Amerika researching for PotD, using Parry’s and Webb’s work as his roadmap.
      Parry was a giant.

  4. AR

    Excellent piece MzRaz, well worth the price of entry.
    It’s a sad, sad situation we are facing and one which can only deteriorate, given the number of stenographers shaming the name of the Fourth Estate, eager to give tongue baths on cue to the powerful.

  5. Damon

    Thank you for posting this, Helen. How is it this is the first I have heard of Robert Parry? I guess your article answers this question.

    1. David Thompson

      Damon, you might like to Google (or DuckDuckGo) “Parry MH-17” to find another example of Parry’s exceptional and bolt rigid objective journalism.
      And, for a bit of fun, try “Parry Russia-gate”

      1. Helen Razer

        The search string “Parry Russiagate” is like an antidepressant to me.

        1. David Thompson

          H, for a further boost to the spirits, you might like to try finding a talk Professor Stephen Cohen gave in early December. You can find it at thenation.com or, even better, because of the supplementary commentary, at unz.com.
          Also try finding Tony Kevin and “Return to Moscow”. Kevin is a former Oz diplomat who spent his early years, and then some, at the Oz embassy in Soviet Russia. Last night I saw him interviewed by Oksana Boyko on “Worlds Apart” at (shudder, shudder) RT. A fabulous interview with a very intelligent, and concerned, Australian (who is still an Emeritus Professor at ANU).

          1. Helen Razer

            Thanks, D. Also, the statements of Colonel Larry Wilkerson, former CoS to Powell, are pretty handy. They guy is now in his seventies and, like a few of the older intel and military guys, feels an obligation, perhaps guilt-borne, to be extremely frank. He’s not just strong on “Russiagate”, but challenges orthodoxy on Syria, Afghanistan, and is rather clear that Chavez and Venezuela were squeezed into impotence/starvation by the USA. Spent a lot of the weekend listening to and reading his stuff, and his assertion that US foreign policy continues to pursue the same goals set long ago, even under Trump, is fascinating. He’s now a Prof of IR and obviously a Realist, in chief. Still. That a disenchanted Republican (one who refuses to leave the party) can draw similar conclusions to, say, Immanuel Wallerstein or a local academic like Tim Anderson is really fascinating to me.
            Anyone who explicitly sees the USA as empire in decline is very interesting, I think.

          2. Helen Razer

            I would also like to restate your props to The Nation. Not always a fantastic read, but really insightful throughout much of the US election.
            I recall they did a long series on Haiti, based on WikiLeaks docs and in partnership with Haitian journalists which was also grouse.

          3. David Thompson

            Wilkerson had a piece published at the NYT’s late last week. One indy outlet republished it with the headline (dunno what the NYT’s headline was – won’t read it);
            “I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again.”
            The “false choice”, of course, was Iraq, when he was Powell’s CofS.
            This time he fears for war with Iran.
            The indy outlet I read prefaced Wilkerson’s article with;
            “The New York Times was one of the main forces in America pushing for the Iraq war, including planting misleading information in many stories in extremely suspicious circumstances.
            The only reason we can imagine that they would publish an Op-Ed like this now is because they knew Wilkerson would run it in the alt-media anyway, and publicize the fact that The Times refused to run it. It creates a smokescreen of credibility to cover their relentless, pro-israel war-mongering.”
            You might also ‘enjoy’ Greenwald from o/n, reflecting on a ‘misspoken’ fess up from the new Dutch Foreign Minister. For icing, try searching the new Foreign Minister and “laughing stock”.
            Unfortunately for the new FM, he’s soon off to Moscow for talks with Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov will be like a kitten with a ball of wool, and then…….?
            The world has not seen a diplomat of Lavrov’s calibre since Chou En Lai.

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