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'Kill the Messenger' author revives story of journalist Gary Webb




The new film
The new film "Kill the Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner, is based on a book of the same name about investigative reporter Gary Webb. In 1996, Webb wrote a series of controversial stories titled "Dark Alliance" for the San Jose Mercury News. In it, he connected the crack epidemic, which swept through Los Angeles in the 1980s, to the CIA-backed Contras in Nicaragua.

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The new film "Kill the Messenger" is based on a book of the same name about investigative reporter Gary Webb. In 1996, Webb wrote a series of controversial stories titled "Dark Alliance" for the San Jose Mercury News. In it, he connected the crack epidemic, which swept through Los Angeles in the 1980s, to the CIA-backed Contras in Nicaragua.

Related: Jeremy Renner: Gary Webb story 'too important to pass up'

It was the biggest story the newspaper had ever published, but shortly after, several news sources discredited Webb's series and his own newspaper even backed away from him. Webb eventually left the San Jose Mercury News and never worked in daily newspaper again. He later committed suicide. 

Journalist Nick Schou delved into Webb's story in his book "Kill the Messenger" and explains how Webb's reporting did eventually yield a federal investigation. In his book he details the CIA's involvement with drug traffickers and how it discouraged the DEA from investigating Contra-cocaine shipments.