Let me start with the good news and then I will turn to the darker stuff. Sy decided to give an interview to the War Nerd podcast. War Nerd is Mark Ames. He is mentioned in Sy’s recent memoir. Sy did a terrific but unwelcome investigation on Gulf and Western. Sy writes, “I’ll let another voice discuss the outcome of our Gulf and Western work. Mark Ames, a freelance journalist who did much admirable work in Moscow, analyzed the G&W series and its impact in 2015 for an online journal. His finding was brutal, but pretty much on the mark.

Hersh’s massive Gulf & Western exposé was…13,000 words long, in three parts, revealing a private labyrinth of corporate fraud, abuse, tax avoidance schemes, and mobbed-up malfeasance. And yet—in spite of all the pre-publication hype, the story landed with a whimper. Something Hersh wasn’t at all used to. For one thing, the article’s language was unusually cautious and dull for a Hersh scoop. As New York magazine quipped, [T]he general reaction has been a big yawn. [U]nlike Hersh’s stories going after the CIA and the military, the Times was far more afraid, and careful, of the consequences of taking on a powerful private company…and getting sued out of existence….[T]he Times saddled Hersh with a team of editors and lawyers to vet his reporting, sucking the life out of the piece until it was almost unreadable. Among other things, the Times cut out all the colorful anonymous quotes that made his muckraking bombshells on the CIA…such memorable reads.”

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