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Nick Schou writes in the LA Times about reporter Gary Webb's expose, 10 years ago, of the CIA's link to contra drug smuggling, and the Establishment Media's collective reaction to the story - which was not only turning a blind eye to the truth, but aggressively working to crush Webb for revealing it. It was a harbinger of Bush-coverage-to-come.Schou gets a quote from LA Times Washington Bureau Chief, Doyle McManus: Meanwhile, spurred on by Webb's story, the CIA conducted an internal investigation that acknowledged in March 1998 that the agency had covered up Contra drug trafficking for more than a decade. Although the Washington Post and New York Times covered the report — which confirmed key chunks of Webb's allegations — the L.A. Times ignored it for four months, and largely portrayed it as disproving the "Dark Alliance" series. "We dropped the ball on that story," said Doyle McManus, the paper's Washington bureau chief, who helped supervise its response to "Dark Alliance." I remember McManus appearing on Washington Week at the time, to voice his "disproving." He was a self-righteous pompous asshole, arrogant in his condescending pronouncements against Webb. He behaved exactly like all those so-called journalists of today who condemned Stephen Colbert for his DC Correspondents Dinner comedy routine: willfully blind, proud of it, and ready to stomp on the throat of anyone who dared call into question Establishment Wisdom. Now he says "We dropped the ball" - "we" as if he wasn't the damn Bureau Chief, the primary individual responsible for getting a story done right. And "dropped the ball" as if it was just some minor oopsie, like he forgot to capitalize properly in an email. Doyle McManus is a prime example of why the establishment press deserves the public distrust it suffers.story link via Kevin Drum