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Former LA Times Reporter Apologizes for His Role in Gary Webb Tragedy

No one knows the story of late San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb (pictured) better than OC Weekly managing editor Nick Schou. So it’s always interesting when Schou chimes in about the matter, especially  just ahead of the production of a Hollywood movie inspired by Schou’s 2006 Webb biography Kill the Messenger.

Schou takes issue with a May 22 Los Angeles magazine article written by Jesse Katz. In that piece, Katz, a former LA Times reporter, in Schou’s opinion feebly apologizes for being one of Webb’s many media detractors. From Schou’s piece in – unusually – LA Weekly:

Katz buries and downplays his role in the debacle. Katz says he was just one of many reporters who ganged up on Webb. He apologizes only for bloating [Rick] Ross’ importance in his first Times piece on the dealer.

Contacted days ago, Katz said my interview of him for Kill the Messenger — “questions I didn’t really have good answers for” – in part inspired the new magazine article, but he had to edit out some of his self-reflection because the story ran too long.

The good news is that when Katz appeared on KPCC’s Air Talk with Larry Mantle, he put forth a more emphatic statement of responsibility. The not-so-good news for the LA Times is the Katz  magazine and radio pronouncements allow Schou to revisit the paper’s shameful comportment before and after Webb’s suicide. Read the full LA Weekly item here.

[Image of Webb courtesy Whale.to]

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