A ‘Challenge’ or Matching Grant

From Editor Robert Parry: A medium-sized foundation, which is considering a $20,000 grant to Consortiumnews.com, has first challenged us to see if we can match that amount from reader donations. So, if you are thinking about contributing to our unique news site, this would be a good time.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry

Robert Parry is a longtime investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 to create an outlet for well-reported journalism that was being squeezed out of an increasingly trivialized U.S. news media.




What We Do — and Why

From Editor Robert Parry: Honest journalism is vital to a genuine democracy. But what we’ve seen from the U.S. mainstream media – of which I was a part for many years – is something dangerously far from honest. It has become a propaganda megaphone for a corrupt and self-interested establishment.

By contrast, what we’ve tried to do at Consortiumnews.com over the past 22 years is maintain principled journalistic standards, which include considering all responsible sides of a story and recognizing that the U.S. government and its many flacks are not the fount of all truth. Of course, that doesn’t mean that other viewpoints are necessarily correct either. But an open mind is a vital feature of honest journalism.

We also don’t take corporate advertising, nor do we have any big-dollar benefactor who can dictate our content. We can maintain our independence because we rely on contributions from readers and because we operate on a very tight budget.

But that does mean that our three annual fundraisers (spring, early fall, and end-of-year) must reach their fairly modest targets. Right now, we are struggling to match our early fall goal of $35,000.

If you wish to help, you can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry

Robert Parry is a longtime investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 to create an outlet for well-reported journalism that was being squeezed out of an increasingly trivialized U.S. news media.




Early Fall Fund Drive Target: $35,000

From Editor Robert Parry: We are setting our Early Fall Fund Drive target at $35,000, an amount needed to continue our independent  journalism which has been challenging misguided conventional wisdom for almost 22 years.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

(To minimize the nuisance of fund drives, we only hold three a year: Spring, Early Fall and End of Year. So each one is very important to our survival.)

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry




Oliver Stone Honored with Press Freedom Award

Director Oliver Stone – in recognition of his brave work in documentary films – has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Though most people know Oliver Stone as a famous screenwriter and movie director, he has also lent his talents and resources to a number of documentary films that embrace the core journalistic idea that there are usually two sides – if not more – to a story.

In doing so, Stone has taken on controversial subjects, both in challenging conventional history as with Showtime’s “Untold History of the United States” and daring to treat foreign leaders – who were undergoing demonization by the U.S. government and media – as complex figures who deserve to have their say as well.

Not surprisingly, Stone has faced intense criticism for deviating from mainstream U.S. groupthinks, which seek to portray international adversaries as cardboard villains deserving only of American hatred and bombs.

But Stone learned as a decorated young soldier in the Vietnam War how that propaganda process can lead to unspeakable horrors, including the unnecessary deaths of millions of people and the devastation of entire nations and regions.

The Vietnam War – and the U.S. government’s lies that justified it – taught Stone a powerful lesson that is as true now as it was then, that a healthy democracy should encourage a diversity of viewpoints, appreciate all sides of a conflict, and have the courage to engage in serious self-criticism, not simply assume that what the authorities are saying is true.

Stone’s documentaries have included close-up studies of Latin American leftist leaders challenging U.S. hegemony in the hemisphere, including Cuba’s Fidel and Raul Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, the Kirschners of Argentina, Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo.

Stone recently produced a documentary on the Ukraine crisis, entitled “Ukraine on Fire,” which offered a nuanced understanding of Ukraine’s modern history as well as explaining the behind-the-scenes story of the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the secret U.S. hand in turning Ukraine into a flashpoint for a new Cold War.

In June, Showtime is scheduled to release Stone’s series of interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin, spanning two years, entitled “The Putin Interviews.”

Because of his courage and tenacity in presenting sides of important stories that many powerful interests in the United States would prefer the American people not hear, the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Independent Journalism (which publishes Consortiumnews.com) presents Oliver Stone with the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award for 2016.

Background of Award

The award is named in honor of investigative reporter Gary Webb who in 1996 courageously revived interest in one of the darkest scandals of the 1980s, the Reagan administration’s tolerance of cocaine trafficking by the CIA-organized Nicaraguan Contra rebels who were fighting to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.

The Contra-Cocaine scandal was originally exposed by Associated Press reporters Robert Parry and Brian Barger in 1985, but the major U.S. newspapers accepted the Reagan administration’s denials and treated the story as a “conspiracy theory.”

So, when Webb revived the story in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News and described how some of the Contra cocaine fueled the spread of crack across urban America, the major newspapers again rallied to the defense of the Contras and the Reagan administration’s legacy.

The assault on Webb was led by The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times – and was so ferocious that Webb’s editors at the Mercury News sacrificed him to protect their own careers. Webb found himself cast out from the profession that he loved.

It didn’t even matter that an internal CIA investigation by Inspector General Frederick Hitz confirmed, in 1998, that the CIA was aware of the Contra cocaine trafficking but had put its goal of ousting the Sandinistas ahead of any responsibility to expose the Contra criminality.

Because of the false impression that Webb had manufactured a fake story, he remained unemployable in mainstream journalism. In 2004, with his life in tatters and his financial resources spent, Webb took his own life, a tragic casualty in the difficult fight for a truly free press in America, a press that doesn’t just rubber stamp government propaganda and accept official lies as truth.

[For more on that history, see Consortiumnews.com’s “The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).




Last Call for Spring Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: Our Spring Fund Drive ends tonight – and we are about $500 short of our goal of $30,000. If you can help us reach our target, we would be most appreciative.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry




Wrapping Up Spring Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: Thanks to the generosity of our readers, we have gotten to within about $5,000 of our spring fund-drive goal of $30,000, an important target so we can continue this important independent news Web site.

If you haven’t contributed yet, any amount that you can afford will help. You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry




You Protect Our Independence

From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we’ve never had some billionaire who pays our bills and pulls our strings. From our start in 1995, we’ve relied on readers to support our work and to protect our independence. We also operate on a very tight budget, especially for a daily news operation that plays such a big role in challenging the many misguided groupthinks of Official Washington.

This combination of our own frugality and the generosity of our readers has enabled us to survive more than two decades and to become a burr under the saddle of the Establishment, which prefers nothing more than to deliver its propaganda to the citizenry without question or resistance. But the reason that we are viewed as such a problem is that we challenge the slick propaganda with sound journalism and solid reasoning.

Also, because we know our readers are busy, we limit our special fund appeals to three times a year: early spring, late summer/early fall, and the end of the year. We are now in our spring fund drive and need your help to reach our rather modest $30,000 goal.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry




Spring Fund Drive Begins

From Editor Robert Parry: We are setting our spring fundraising goal at $30,000, so we can continue publishing this independent-minded news site, which produces journalism that demands real facts from all sides in important public debates while rejecting Washington’s groupthinks.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

What makes Consortiumnews special is its commitment to old-fashioned journalistic principles. We try to be evenhanded and fair toward everyone regardless of popularity (or lack thereof) – and we insist on evidence before serious accusations are made.

We don’t simply run with the media pack, which I realize can annoy some people at times when they want us to join in supporting a favored political agenda. But that is not our job. Our job is to objectively evaluate evidence and put it into a reasonable context, which is why we are often out of step with the mainstream media.

But that is also why our stories, overwhelmingly, stand the test of time. And our commitment to honest journalism is our promise to you, our readers. Thank you for your support.

Robert Parry




Last Call for Consortiumnews’ Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: We are within $5,000 of our end-of-year fundraising goal. So, in the last few days of 2016, please help us get over the top so we will have the capability to keep a close watch on the incoming Trump administration.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew @ aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

And, we are offering a special thank-you gift for those who can give $125 or more – or if you set up a recurring monthly donation by credit card or PayPal.

You can receive a Consortiumnews’ tote bag and a signed copy of any one of my six books — Fooling America, Trick or Treason, Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege, Neck Deep, or America’s Stolen Narrative. After making your donation simply send an email to info@consortiumnews.com and tell us which one of the six books you would like included in your tote bag. (Or you can send us a note by snail mail to the above mailing address.)

As always, thank you for your support.

Robert Parry

Robert Parry is a longtime investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 to create an outlet for well-reported journalism that was being squeezed out of an increasingly trivialized U.S. news media.




Why Consortiumnews Depends on Its Readers

From Editor Robert Parry: When I started Consortiumnews 21 years ago, I had hoped to secure significant financing from a variety of wealthy people in support of truly independent journalism. But what I discovered was that most of these potential funders didn’t really want independent journalism. They wanted stories that would support their causes or candidates – and that was something that defeated the very idea of what we were trying to do.

So, Consortiumnews has been kept alive by mostly small donors who appreciate the fact that we pursue information as we see it – without fear or favor – even when our findings are sometimes inconvenient to a particular partisan or ideological interest. I thank you for understanding what many of the richer folks didn’t – that democracy requires journalists acting as honest brokers.

As we enter today’s “Trump era,” we promise to apply the same standards to hold the new administration accountable. During the campaign, we pointed out areas of serious concern and some areas of hope, but we will not prejudge anything.

We will be your eyes and ears inside Washington now as we have been for more than two decades. That’s why our end-of-year fund drive is so important. We have set a modest goal of $60,000 and are now about three-quarters of the way there. Reaching our goal will let us budget for the kind of aggressive coverage that you have come to expect from Consortiumnews.

You can donate by credit card online (we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), by PayPal (our PayPal account is named after our original email address, “consortnew@aol.com”), or by mailing a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201.

We also are registered with PayPal’s Giving Fund under the name Consortium for Independent Journalism. And, since we are a 501-c-3 non-profit, donations by American taxpayers may be tax-deductible.

And, we are offering a special thank-you gift for those who can give $125 or more – or if you set up a recurring monthly donation by credit card or PayPal.

You can receive a Consortiumnews’ tote bag and a signed copy of any one of my six books — Fooling America, Trick or Treason, Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege, Neck Deep, or America’s Stolen Narrative. After making your donation simply send an email to info@consortiumnews.com and tell us which one of the six books you would like included in your tote bag. (Or you can send us a note by snail mail to the above mailing address.)

As always, thank you for your support.

Robert Parry

Robert Parry is a longtime investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 to create an outlet for well-reported journalism that was being squeezed out of an increasingly trivialized U.S. news media.