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Honoring Robert Parry

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jim Kavanagh       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Robert Parry's death is a profound loss to our country as a political and intellectual community. It's a shame that most Americans don't know that--and, indeed, don't even know who Robert Parry is. That ignorance is a sign of how impoverished our political and intellectual community has already become.

Those of us who have been following his work for decades know how principled and reliable, and what a great resource, that work was. We took him for granted as a touchstone of journalist integrity, to which we could always return to get a take on important issues that, whether we agreed with it or not, was unfailingly honest, thoroughly-researched, and demanding of our attention.

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We also took for granted his own life story of being blocked from doing that honest, principled work in the mainstream media, and having to continue his career through a self-financed independent newsletter and website (Consortium News), a trajectory that guaranteed his continuing integrity and his relative obscurity.

We took too much for granted.


As the rabid Red that I am, I also want to note that Robert Parry is not someone whom I would call (or who, I think, would have called himself) a "leftist," let alone a "socialist." I winced a little whenever I read him giving Obama such generous credit for good intentions. He was, I would say (and I think he would have), a liberal. He is also someone who worked according to the journalistic ethic of principled intellectual honesty that liberalism claims to represent. In the outpouring of shock and sadness from leftists like myself--who, it's clear from that outpouring, followed him with immense respect--I think we're recognizing him as one of the last of the honorable liberals. Seeing him go is like watching the death of one of the last magnificent individuals of a dwindled breed that was always smaller than it seemed.

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I recommend to everybody, especially those who don't know Robert Parry, to go forthwith and listen to Parry's conversation on Gary Brecher's Radio War Nerd podcast (starts at 33:30 in the stream).

It's a long interview, but it's amazing--a full course in American political and media history of the last forty years. Listen to it in segments if you have to.

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Former college professor, native and denizen of New York City. Blogging at www.thepolemicist.net, from a left-socialist perspective. Also publishing on Counterpunch The Greanville Post, Z, The Unz Review, and other sites around the net.

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