Activism and blogging is my fulfilled passion. It is not near as lucrative as developing software. Generating income from these sort of activities is a difficult seven day a week ordeal. One has to love making a difference to do this. And that was the instantiation of Robert Parry. Robert Parry is the investigative journalist that broke the Iran-Contra scandal. After working for the Associated Press as an investigative journalist for several years, he created his own site, Consortium News, where he was editor and publisher.
I remember reading many of Parry's articles on other well-established websites. I wanted his articles on my website too. One of my 90.1 FM KPFT Houston brothers secured an interview with him and I secured his email. I emailed him to ask him for permission to publish his articles. He checked out my sites and then wrote back and said I could. I was ecstatic. One of America's leading investigative journalists allowed me to republish his material.
Well, today this post from Consortiumnews appeared in my feed.
It is with a heavy heart that we inform Consortiumnews readers that Editor Robert Parry has passed away. As regular readers know, Robert (or Bob, as he was known to friends and family) suffered a stroke in December, which – despite his own speculation that it may have been brought on by the stress of covering Washington politics – was the result of undiagnosed pancreatic cancer that he had been unknowingly living with for the past 4-5 years.
He, unfortunately, suffered two more debilitating strokes in recent weeks and after the last one was moved to hospice care on Tuesday. He passed away peacefully Saturday evening. He was 68.
Those of us close to him wish to sincerely thank readers for the kind comments and words of support posted on recent articles regarding Bob’s health issues. We read aloud many of these comments to him during his final days to let him know how much his work has meant to so many people and how much concern there was for his well-being.
I am sure that these kindnesses meant a lot to him. They also mean a lot to us as family members, as we all know how devoted he was to the mission of independent journalism and this website which has been publishing articles since the earliest days of the internet, launching all the way back in 1995.
With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life. I can recall kitchen table conversations in my early childhood that focused on the U.S.-backed wars in Central America and complaints about how his editors at The Associated Press were too timid to run articles of his that – no matter how well-documented – cast the Reagan administration in a bad light.
Included in the post is a prescient paragraph echoing President Obama and the failure to fund Independent Progressive media.
One recurring theme of articles at the website during the Obama era was the enduring effect of unchallenged narratives, how they shaped national politics and dictated government policy. Bob observed that even a supposedly left-of-center president like Obama seemed beholden to the false narratives and national mythologies dating back to the Reagan era. He pointed out that this could be at least partially attributed to the failure to establish a strong foundation for independent journalism.
In a 2010 piece called “Obama’s Fear of the Reagan Narrative,” Bob noted that Obama had defended his deal with Republicans on tax cuts for the rich because there was such a strong lingering effect of Reagan’s messaging from 30 years earlier. “He felt handcuffed by the Right’s ability to rally Americans on behalf of Reagan’s ‘government-is-the-problem’ message,” Bob wrote.
He traced Obama’s complaints about his powerlessness in the face of this dynamic to the reluctance of American progressives to invest sufficiently in media and think tanks, as conservatives had been doing for decades in waging their “the war of ideas.” As he had been arguing since the early 1990s, Robert insisted that the limits that had been placed on Obama – whether real or perceived – continued to demonstrate the power of propaganda and the need for greater investment in alternative media.
Ironically, Robert Parry accepted and Interview Request to be on my show Politics Done Right to discuss Donald Trump and Russia. He had a different view than the mainstream media.
Please read the entire post at ConsortiumNews. Suffice it to say, the site will go on. We will miss Robert Parry. His death was untimely.