The New Monicagate?

That's why it doesn't make sense that George Ventura has been hung out to dry, when, just last summer, Chiquita identified at least three current and former employees as potential leaks. And it doesn't make sense that no one is holding Gallagher's coreporter, Cameron McWhirter, and their editor Beaupre accountable for their roles in this mess. After all, it was Beaupre whom Gallagher informed when he broke into Chiquita's voice mail, and Beaupre who reportedly told Gallagher not to do it again. McWhirter not only traveled with Gallagher but also was present during taped interviews with Ventura.

But instead of going public with their accounts, Gallagher's colleagues have skedaddled. McWhirter now works for the Detroit News, and Beaupre has been quietly kicked upstairs to an executive job at Gannett headquarters. (In November, when Beaupre was transferred, Enquirer publisher Harry Whipple said that "Chiquita had nothing to do with it," while Beaupre boasted that no one at the Enquirer would be facing any criminal charges.)

The luckiest guy in this drama is Thomas Yannucci, Chiquita's outside counsel at Kirkland & Ellis, who is now using his success at silencing the Cincinnati Enquirer to drum up speaking engagements. Yannucci is scheduled to discuss his brand of First Amendment law at the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference this June, but organizers have yet to find a high-profile journalist to take him on. A likely candidate: Steve Brill.

Meanwhile, whatever happened to Gallagher's gnarly exposé? That question was raised in an NPR report April 19, in which Brooke Gladstone recalled that Gallagher's story "charged the company with bribing foreign officials, bulldozing an inconveniently located village and harming people and property with farm chemicals," and that it was heavily documented with sources besides the voice mails. But, Gladstone added, "No other newspapers have picked up on that story."

At least not yet. Susan Orenstein interviewed Ventura for a cover story in the May issue of The American Lawyer, in which the lawyer recounts his salad days in Honduras.


This year, as The New York Times has finally begun to critique the drug war, Rolling Stone wants you to know it got there first. In an editor's note of April 29, RS managing editor Robert Love quotes a March 13 Times editorial, headlined "The Drug War Backfires." Lauding the Times for its insight, Love writes, "If this kind of language sounds familiar to our readers, it should. We've been systematically exposing the waste and fraud of the War on Drugs since 1992." Love is not the only one who noticed. A 1998 Rolling Stone story on mandatory minimums by William Greider was nominated in the Public Interest category of the National Magazine Awards, the winners of which are to be announced April 28...

  • If you don't believe the drug war is a sexy topic, read Joshua Wolf Shenk's essay, "America's Altered States," in the May issue of Harper's. The writer's journey in search of magical medication leads him through two dozen kinds of prescription drugs to marijuana and MDMA...
  • Gregg Easterbrook takes a more policy-oriented crack at the drug war in the April 26 & May 3 issue of The New Republic. His essay, "The Class War on Crime," argues that because most U.S. prisoners are nonviolent drug offenders from the lower and middle classes, "We should either lock up the favored, too, or revise the sentencing process to render it humane."...
  • Tina Brown has added two new senior editors to the Talk staff: Danielle Mattoon, from Rolling Stone, and Janie Matthews, from Details. Go, girls!
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