Wandering Eye: CIA complicity in coke trade, some backstory on prospective councilman Costello's juice, and Drew Daniel's anti-listicle listicle

The story of the CIA’s complicity in the cocaine trade is finally coming to the big screen next month, through the tragic story of Gary Webb, as told in "Kill the Messenger." Old timers will remember that Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, broke the story in a huge series called “Dark Alliance” in 1996, detailing how CIA contract employees used multi-kilo sales to a notorious LA crack dealer named Rick Ross (from whom that Rick Ross took his name) to finance the agency’s counter insurgency in Nicaragua. As Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept reports, Webb’s worst enemy was not in Langley, but in DC, New York, L.A., and Miami, where mainstream newspapers put squads of reporters on the task of picking his stories apart. The CIA, naturally, observed all this with glee. Webb committed suicide a decade ago, having seen his once promising career reduced to ruins (he was working for a tiny alt-weekly in the end). His work abides though (you can read it all here.) And he was mostly right. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

When website The Quietus asked Drew Daniel of Matmos and the Soft Pink Truth (winner of the Best of Baltimore award for "Best Thing Ever" for its album of queer house black metal covers, "Why Do The Heathen Rage") to contribute to their "Baker's Dozen" feature in which a musician picks their 13 favorite record of all-time, the Hopkins professor and member of Matmos instead offered up "13 Reasons Why I Can't Pick My 13 Favourite Records." Reasons include "It Is A Promotional Exercise And Thus Compromised," "It Is Frequently Racist And Sexist In Effect," and "It Is Driven By Ad Revenue Structure." He also quotes Lana Del Rey and includes some low-key braggy photos of his awesome record and CD collection, which includes everything from a Stockhausen boxset that has this list-loving music nerd salivating to Archie and Edith's "Side By Side," which my mom totally had in her collection of LPs. The effect though, if you stare at the photos long enough and read Daniels' witty, methodical argument is a massive list of recommendations exceeding 13. Just a few pictured or shouted out by Daniel: Psychic TV's "Themes," Wu Tang Clan's "Enter The Wu Tang," Van Dyke Parks' "Discover America," Kreator's "Flag Of Hate," Raymond Scott's "Manhattan Research Inc." This is how you feed the listicle beast on your own terms. (Brandon Soderberg)

 

The selection of Eric Costello as the Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young’s favored candidate to replace William Cole to represent the city’s 11th District prompted lengthy coverage  by the Baltimore Brew, including damning words about the process from Federal Hill leaders who have battled Costello over his support of proposed bars in the neighborhood. At the end of the piece is a reference that may explain how Costello got his juice: he was nominated by Adrian Harpool, a longtime public-relations player in area politics. Harpool, whose tactics have included shuttling drug-treatment patients to a rally in support of a political clients, has served many power players through the years, including the campaigns of former mayors Martin O’Malley and Sheila Dixon. (Van Smith)

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