Saturday, July 28, 2007

Huffington Post - Jonestown Filmmakers Missing the Mark

Pat Lynch was an investigative producer for "NBC Nightly News" with John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw for almost 20 years. Winner of two Emmys and a Dupont Columbia award for investigative journalism, Ms. Lynch now is a freelance writer and author of two books. She also was nominated for ten Emmys for investigative journalism. Ms. Lynch lives in New York City and Southampton, New York.

In this post she talks about her first hand experience with a coverup:

"...For me, the story began May 2, 1978. My crew and I were filming the Synanon cult's property from a deserted public road in Marshall, California, when armed men, women and children with shaved heads held us captive for three hours. The story flashed across the AP wire, phoned in by Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Mitchell, owner of the Point Reyes Light weekly. My employer, NBC News, ignored the story. I didn't understand why, but it was a foreshadowing of what would happen when my far more dangerous story about Peoples Temple was ready for air in October, 1978..."

She says "...I didn't realize the extent of the media cover-up until I began revisiting these issues 28 years later. How could NBC lose -- or worse, destroy historical footage of an event like Jonestown? Why? And what about my interviews with the people who predicted from firsthand experience what would happen if the Ryan party entered Jonestown? The documentaries aired recently as the anniversary approaches are a revisionist history of the event. "Lovely people. Tragic story."

The real story has yet to be told and must be told for at least three reasons. First, there's the matter of accountability for 918 needless deaths. Second, there's the issue of journalistic responsibility. Those who made these fateful decisions at NBC, including former company president Fred Silverman, former NBC News president Les Crystal and NBC lawyers, are still alive. Finally, at a time when the media is criticized for missing the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for its own lack of transparency, telling this story is not only a way to come clean but a cautionary tale for all news organizations..."

"...In two years all the classified material about the massacre is supposed to be released to the public. The government has kept their secrets well for almost 30 years..."

Read the whole post.


  1. make you wonder what little Timmy Stoen is up to ?

    At least he's in Mendo!

  2. robin shelley7/29/2007 8:16 AM

    Oh, my gosh! The NBC archivist's name isn't Rosemary Woods, is it?!!

  3. Let's hope not. The release of all the documents should be interesting. I wonder if they are going to give the originals to "the Jonestown Institute."

  4. 471 DAYS, pretty amazing


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