"Dark Alliance" was flawed by exaggeration and leaps of logic, as Susan Paterno notes ("The Sad Saga of Gary Webb," June/July), but the series also omitted information that contradicted important parts of the story, making it an easy target for debunking. How would an editor have known this? At some point, editors have to trust the reporter to have gotten the whole story. The editors did what had to be done by setting the record straight and acknowledging their own mistakes. As Paterno notes, Gary was unwilling to pull back on any element of the story, creating a difficult situation for him at work that led to his departure.
San Jose Mercury News
San Jose, California