Journalist Robert Parry notes as a further example the mainstream, establishment press covering up numerous scandals for the Reagan Administration, including Nicaraguan drug trafficking and the infamous Iran-Contra:
At least since the 1980s, The New York Times has misreported or glossed over many international issues that put the United States and its allies in a negative light.In that same era, The Washington Post performed no better. Leonard Downie, its executive editor at the time of the Contra-cocaine scandal, has continued to reject the reality of Ronald Reagan’s beloved Contras trafficking in cocaine despite the 1998 findings of CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz that, in fact, many Contras were neck-deep in the cocaine trade and the Reagan administration covered up their criminality for geopolitical reasons.
For instance, the Times not only missed the Nicaraguan Contra cocaine scandal, but actively covered up the Reagan administration’s role in the wrongdoing through the 1980s and much of the 1990s.
The Times lagged badly, too, on investigating the secret operations that became known as the Iran-Contra Affair. The Times’ gullibility in the face of official denials was an obstacle for those of us digging into that constitutional crisis and other abuses by the Reagan administration. [For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “New York Times: Apologist for Power.”]
This scandal was not limited to the GOP covering its ass, but also the other wing of the decrepit vulture of our two party system when the Clintons were implicated in the CIA’s drug importation to Mena, Arkansas, through the journalistic work of Gary Webb. The Telegraph explains:
Webb summed up the heart of his Dark Alliance series thus: “It is one of the most bizarre alliances in modern history. The union of a U.S. backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the uzi-toting “gangstas” of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles.
Perhaps most damningly, Webb wrote that crack was virtually unobtainable in the city’s black neighbourhoods before “members of the CIA’s army” began supplying it at rock-bottom prices in the Eighties. “For the better part of a decade,” he wrote in the intro to the first piece in the trilogy, “a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tonnes of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles, and funnelled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.