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Filming to start on movie about former Merc reporter Gary Webb, who exposed CIA-cocaine link


Filming is set to begin this summer on “Kill the Messenger,” the story of former Mercury News reporter Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who committed suicide after being smeared for exposing the CIA’s role in helping Nicaragua’s Contra rebels import cocaine into California in the 1980s.

Jeremy Renner, star of “The Hurt Locker,” has been cast to play Webb in the film being produced by Focus Features International, a unit of Universal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

OC (Orange County) Weekly managing editor Nick Schou, author the book “Kill the Messenger,” writes:

Reporter Gary Webb in 1997.

With filming of the movie moving ahead, former LA Times reporter Jesse Katz apologized in this May 22 Los Angeles magazine article for being one of Webb’s media detractors:

Schou said that the NY Times and Washington Post buried the inspector general’s report and the LA Times didn’t acknowledge its release for months.

Because Webb shot himself twice in the head, with the first bullet going through his cheek, many have claimed that the CIA killed him. As Schou put it, “Katz, if not the rest of the Times crew, knows, it wasn’t the CIA that helped load the gun that killed Gary Webb.”
(Photo credits: Renner is a handout photo; Webb by Randy Pench, Sacramento Bee)

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