"Every government is run by liars and nothing they
say should be believed." --I.F. Stone
December 24 is I.F.
Stone's birthday (he would have been 98). His journalistic example is about as
good a reason as any to celebrate.
Feinstein, the incomparable I.F. Stone served as an editor at The Nation
and worked for several other papers before founding his own journal in 1953 . .
. with $3,000 borrowed from a friend and a 5,300-name subscription list inherited
from a handful of defunct lefty publications. I.F. Stone's Weekly
reached a circulation of 70,000 by the 1960s and Stone was widely praised -- even
by his enemies -- for his investigative skills and his ability to see through
Victor Navasky of The
Nation wrote that "Izzy" was "right about McCarthyism, right
about the war in Vietnam (he was one of the first to raise questions about the
authenticity of the Gulf of Tonkin incident), right about the Democrats'
repeated failure to live up to their own principles, right about what he
called, long before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the 'Pax Americana.'"
"I. F. Stone
was the modern Tom Paine -- as independent and incorruptible as they
come," said Ralph Nader. "Notwithstanding poor eyesight and bad ears,
he managed to see more and hear more than other journalists because he was
curious and fresh with the capacity for both discovery and outrage every new
sources or invitations to the big press conferences, Stone scooped the big name
reporters time and time again. He scoured public documents, studied the
transcripts of congressional committee hearings, and searched the large
newspapers for inspiration. Stone once told David Halberstam that the Washington
Post was an exciting paper to read, "because you never know on what
page you would find a page-one story."
never talked about was the effect he had on many reporters who, often without
attribution, 'lunched off' his scoops," said Nader. "He taught them
courage and insistence without ever meeting them . . . while others in his
profession cowered, he stood tall to challenge the abusers of power no matter
where they came from -- right, middle or left."
In an attempt to
explain why he risked his career and ventured out on his own to create the Weekly,
Stone explained: "To give a little comfort to the oppressed, to write the
truth exactly as I saw it, to make no compromises other than those of quality
imposed by [my] own inadequacies, to be free to follow no master other than my
own compulsions, to live up to my idealized image of what a true newspaperman
should be, and still be able to make a living for my family--what more could a
Excerpted from "50 American Revolutions
You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism" (Disinformation Books) by Mickey
Z. For more info, please visit: http://www.mickeyz.net.
Mickey Z. is the author of five books, most recently "50 American
Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism"