Talk:Gary Webb

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Merge with CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking[edit]

I've merged much of the information on this page with the article CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking. It could probably be cleaned up there, and perhaps this article should link to that as a Main Article. Nooneisneutral (talk) 20:36, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't agree that the two articles are mergable, and moving substantial parts of Gary Webb over to the problematic CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking would create massive problems both here and there. I will put further comments over there. Given the relative content of the two articles, I think the use of a See also link from Gary Webb to CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking is preferable to citing CIA/Contra as a main article. Rgr09 (talk) 23:18, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree there is more work to be done on the other article, but some of the content in this article (like the federal investigations), although responding to Gary Webb's articles, is focused on the allegations, not Gary Webb. Those in particular belong on the other article, and comparing this to, for example, the Carl Bernstein and Watergate Scandal, and other articles, I see that the author's article rarely discusses their work in such detail.Nooneisneutral (talk) 07:31, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


Everyone knows he was killed by the CIA — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:540:C000:7B59:25E8:63CA:E31D:E195 (talk) 11:49, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Many people would not agree: his wife, his children, his biographer, and most of his friends have said they think he killed himself. To put your claim into the article, you need to come up with a reliable source (WP:RS will describe what that is). Without RS, the article will not incorporate your claim, unless/until Wikipedia abandons this policy. Rgr09 (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
What Rgr09 said^^^... An anonymous posting on a Wikipedia page is insufficient referencing for something everyone supposedly knows... Shearonink (talk) 17:17, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Many things that 'everyone knows' aren't reference in what Wikipedia determines as "Reliable Sources", which is generally the mainstream media. If the New York Times had published an article claiming he was killed by the CIA then it would be included in wWikipedia. But we all know that won't happen don't we? (talk) 01:51, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Most people know that 9/11 is an inside job, but mainstream media wouldn't admit it for obvious reasons. So it will always remain a conspiracy theory... Gary Webb's suicide is the "offcial" version of his death. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

You changed the article to say that Webb was shot twice in the back of the head. Who says so? How do you know this? The autopsy, as reported in multiple newspaper stories cited in the article, found that Webb placed a gun next to his right ear, and fired twice. He was not shot in the back of the head. Rgr09 (talk) 13:11, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia should simply state the undisputed facts. Webb died December 10, 2004, with two gunshot wounds to the head, and his death was ruled a suicide. This isn't the place to solve the debate about whether his death *actually was* suicide or not. (talk) 22:19, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

The article clearly says the facts you mention in the section on his death. Saying it was anything other than suicide (in the intro) is clearly trying to suggest an idea that was rejected by his own family.Rja13ww33 (talk) 05:00, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
The intro does not state it was anything other than a suicide. It states the known facts. Stating simply "Webb committed suicide" is clearly trying to dismiss the controversy. (talk) 18:10, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
The "controversy" (and details) is addressed in the section on his death. There is no proof it was anything other than a suicide and his family accepts that conclusion.Rja13ww33 (talk) 19:04, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I've sent a notice to another editor of this page and perhaps this will be resolved.Rja13ww33 (talk) 19:41, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
If there is a controversy or debate or dispute about Webb's death, there should be a reliable source on the subject. No one has yet provided this. The coroner's finding was suicide, and news reports make clear that the family agreed, based on personal details and knowledge of Webb's death. The main biography of Webb by Nick Schou goes into detail on the events of Webb's suicide, and mentions no dispute over Webb's suicide, except by people like Alex Jones, the host of an Internet radio show who has made obviously false claims concerning Webb's death, such as Webb confronting intruders at his house not long before his death. According to Jones, the intruders fled by jumping off the balcony, but as Schou p. 220 notes, Webb's house was a one story building and did not have a balcony. If this is the kind of stuff behind the idea that there is a dispute about Webb's death, forget it. If you have a reliable source that disputes Webb's death was a suicide, please post here, in the meantime I'm reverting to the original . Rgr09 (talk) 00:07, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Excellent points and thanks for the input Rgr09Rja13ww33 (talk) 00:43, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Would you accept any source as "reliable" other than the very media that destroyed his reputation? (talk) 15:30, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
You have been told how to address this issue. Either stop reverting this article or you will be reported.Rja13ww33 (talk) 16:51, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Reported for what? Show me the rule and I'll obey it. There are reliable sources already in the article for all the facts in my edit. (talk) 14:56, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Rgr09 told you the rule and what to do. If you will note on the article history page, a administrator said not to revert his edit without resolution here. And you have done just that. The edit you have up now has been tried before and was rejected. But if Rgr09 goes along with it, I will accept it. I have also notified an administrator to resolve this.Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:34, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Why was it rejected? (talk) 17:45, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
See above. Rgr09 explained it to you. Your only reply was to complain about media sources. That's not good enough.Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:49, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Nothing I have ever written on the article is disputed. Reliable sources were provided. You only disagree with the language. But you said the current version was "tried before and was rejected". Why was it rejected, and by who? (talk) 17:53, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Rgr09 is the one who made the decision on that. And I agree with it. It clearly is trying to make an innuendo about his suicide that is was something other than that. I would suggest we leave this to Rgr09 and the administrator I have notified to settle this since it appears we will not reach a consensus between ourselves.Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:58, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm merely stating all the facts. The fact that there were two gunshot wounds is probably the most notable fact in the whole story. (talk) 18:00, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Stop edit warring. You have gone over the bright line that Wikipedia set. I reported it on the edit warring noticeboard because it's not worth my time to try and keep up with an edit war. See what I wrote, see what the response on the the noticeboard is. Rgr09 (talk) 06:01, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Here is a link to my report on the edit warring noticeboard and's response. Rgr09 (talk) 21:25, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
I've revised the lead note on Webb's suicide. Summarizing the discussion on the edit warring noticeboard, previous discussions on the talk page, and my own understanding of Wikipedia standards, there are numerous reliable sources that state Webb committed suicide. Any claim that Webb was murdered requires the same. Much of the discussion of Webb's death on the Internet is not from reliable sources, and is therefore not acceptable in the article. Note that simply removing the word suicide, or putting it in scare quotes, does not free you from this basic requirement for all Wikipedia articles.
In addition, Webb's autopsy showed that he shot himself twice, a multiple gunshot suicide. This is mentioned in the infobox at the top of the article and is clearly stated and clearly sourced in the section on Webb's death. Repetitions of this in other parts of the article, especially the lead, can easily become undue weight, which conflicts with Wikipedia's requirement that all articles should be presented from a neutral point of view. Such additions should first be discussed on the talk page, and not inserted unilaterally. The burden is on the editor who wants to insert repetitious material to explain how it does not conflict with this requirement. Rgr09 (talk) 15:30, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your help in this Rgr09.Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:04, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Maxine Waters quote[edit]

An editor has added a quote from Maxine Waters in the legacy section. I have to ask: is this appropriate? Her views have already been captured elsewhere and she is hardly objective (for a variety of reasons including the fact she wrote the foreword to Dark Alliance).Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:43, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Webb and the SJMN Pulitzer[edit]

The San Jose Mercury News won the Pulitzer award for general news reporting in 1990. The award was to "the staff of the San Jose Mercury News" for "its detailed coverage of the October 17, 1989, Bay Area earthquake and its aftermath." Pulitzer staff awards are not unusual; the Washington Post and New York Times have received a number of these. These awards do not credit individual reporters, though they are based on specific articles by specific reporters.

Everyone who has written on Webb's career acknowledges that Webb's work played a role in the 1990 Pulitzer award to the SJMN, mostly citing the article mentioned in the text on the Cypress Viaduct collapse, which Webb wrote with Pete Carey. For instance, in Nick Schou's biography of Webb, Kill the Messenger, Schou writes that "Together, Carey and Webb exposed how bureaucratic delays in retrofitting local 'highways' had contributed to the earthquake disaster. Their work helped result in the paper's Pulitzer for team reporting that year" (Schou 57). This is a fair, balanced description of Webb's contribution to the SJMN award.

In general, Wikipedia does not credit specific reporters with Pulitzer awards for their contributions to staff awards. One prominent example is Bob Woodward, who was lead reporter on the Washington Post's coverage of 9/11. The Post staff won the National Reporting Pulitzer for their coverage, and Woodward's role in mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Woodward, but his infobox does not list a Pulitzer award. In fact, if Woodward were to list a Pulitzer for each staff award the Post has received since he got there, he would have at least three.

Since the 1990 Pulitzer was a staff award, and since general Wikipedia practice is as noted above, I have reverted the specific claim to Webb winning the Pulitzer in the lead. Webb's contribution to the SJMN Pulitzer is acknowledged in the second paragraph of the article. Please comment here if you think the wording in the lead needs changing. Rgr09 (talk) 03:28, 9 September 2016 (UTC)