[Alexander Cockburn foto]Alexander Cockburn, a mouthpiece for Scientology

Journalist Alexander Cockburn has written several articles critical of prozac, the (original) cult awareness network, or the german government. All these articles supported the agenda of Scientology, and all these articles seem to have been spoonfed to him by Scientology, instead of being the result of investigative reporting. Why is this so? Why doesn't this guy make an attempt to check his facts? A NEXIS search made me suspect that the core of it is simply that he dislikes Richard Behar, the journalist who wrote the excellent TIME magazine article  Scientology: The thriving cult of greed and power. Let's first see the "hall of shame" of Cockburn journalism:
 
Publication
Title
Critical description
File name 
(for me)
The Nation 
4.5.1992
TIME's attack on The Nation 
Reporter Richard Behar's defense of Bill Clinton 
Attacks Behar for his article on Terry Reed; claims that Behar's Scientology article was so bad that it resulted in sympathy for Scientology. (Cockburn parrots the "flourish and prosper" propaganda that Scientology uses after every critical article)  920504.txt
New Statesman & Society
27.11.1992
Consider the Lilly: Dispute between Eli Lilly and Co. and Church of Scientology Weird conspiracy story about president Bush and prozac  921127.txt
The Nation
7.12.1992
Paradigms of Power: The Case of Eli Lilly  Same as above, except that "National Enquirer" (mentioned in article above) has now been replaced by "National Journal" 921207.txt
The Nation
12.3.1993
A La Recherche du Temps Perdu: Or, How TIME Saved Clinton's Ass  Mentions the lawsuit by Terry Reed against TIME, the lawsuit by Scientology against TIME (both later dismissed), and parrots scurrilous allegations by Earle Cooley that Behar is colluding with kidnappers, and claims that TIME itself is a cult 930712.txt 
The Los Angeles Times
27.4.1993
From Salem to Waco, by way of the nazis Claims that the cult awareness network is responsible for the Waco disaster. Attacks Rick Ross, Patricia Ryan, Priscilla Coates and of course TIME magazine.  930427.txt 
New Statesman & Society
30.4.1993
100 days of Clinton; includes related information on Army's domestic spy network and its investigations of African American leaders since 1917 Similar to the LA Times article 930430.txt 
The Nation
31.1.1994
Karl Popper and the march of science  An attack on psychiatry, probably spoonfed by CCHR 940131_2.txt
The Nation
9.5.1994
Waco, a year later Claims that the FBI murdered a harmless religion, attacks exit counsellor Rick Ross 940509.txt
The Nation
25.11.1996
Still Germans after all these years Attacks Germany for being critical on Scientology. Claims that a German school in Denmark denies scientologist children to attend. Calls Heber Jentzsch his friend. 

Neglects to tell that the parents of these children actually sent their children to an illegal German Scientology school in Denmark, and were trying to infiltrate the german minority association, which had to protect itself.

Calls for a boycott of Braun products. (Braun is owned by Gillette, an american company!!)

961125.txt
The Los Angeles Times
13.3.1997
Scientologists Take Offensive in Reich Land Another attack against Germany 970313_2.txt 
New Statesman 7.3.1997 And don't upset the Scientologists Same article as above, although it does not mention Chick Corea, and doesn't have the "don't bother writing me about the evils of scientology" segment from the LA Times. 970307.txt
The Seattle Times
2.4.1998
Germans lose their cool on the topic of Scientology Jumps to the rescue of John Travolta, after "Primary Colors" flops at the box office. 

Claims that 160 investigations against scientologists resulted in nothing, neglects to mentions that the two highest IAS donors ever landed in jail for tax evasion.

Claims that scientology is attacked in Germany because investigators found vitamin C at the home of a scientologist, neglects to tell that this scientologist died by multiple organ failure, had received huge amounts of vitamins in shoe boxes from The Netherlands, had ruined his whole family, and had no health insurance (very unusual in Germany!) because he believed to be healthy forever thanks to scientology. 

980402.txt
The Las Vegas Review-Journal 4.7.1999 

Also in CounterPunch 15.7.1999

Bombs waiting to explode Claims that the Unabomber was a volunteer in "CIA mind control experiments". Additionally, the usual rant against anti-depressants, mentioning that Eric Harris was on Luvox and Kip Kinkel was on Prozac. 990704_4.txt
The Las Vegas Review-Journal 23.8.1999 On George W, the prez, Buford Furrow and drugs An attack against NY Times columnist (and scientology critic!) Frank Rich, who had dared to suggest psychotherapy for President Clinton. Additionally, a rant against neuroleptics and antidepressants. 990823_2.txt
Creators Syndicate
12.6.2002
Guinea Pigs in freedom's cause  Claims that the CIA sent a railroad car of shredded documents to the scientologists in response to a FOIA request, and that the scientologists patiently pieced enough of the millions of scraps of
paper together to figure out that in 1951, the U.S. Army had secretly
contaminated the Norfolk Naval Supply Center in Virginia with infectious bacteria. He then advertises his book about alleged CIA experiments.
020612.txt
CounterPunch
3.4.2004
Anti-Depressants a Problem? We're Shocked! The usual anti-psychiatric propaganda from Scientology and from Insight, a moonie magazine 040403.txt
CounterPunch
2.4.2005
Death, Depression and Prozac More of the usual anti-psychiatric propaganda, but Scientology & co are not named as his sources 050402.txt
CounterPunch 30.12.2005 The Making of Mental Patients
Inside TeenScreen
By Sandra Lucas of CCHR
anti-psychiatric propaganda against TeenScreen, a programme to prevent Teen suicide 051230.txt

My impression is that Alexander Cockburn happily swallows whatever Scientology tells him, without checking any facts; The Nation prints it without checking any of the facts; Scientology then "quotes" Alexander Cockburn: the cycle is closed. Richard Behar explained the beginning of Alexander Cockburn's anger to his friend Paulette Cooper:


From: paulettec@aol.com (Paulettec)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: More on Cockburn versus Behar
Date: 8 Apr 1998 17:37:45 GMT

I asked Rich Behar (author of Time magazine anti-Scientology cover story) to
write up something for a.r.s. readers about the reasons Cockburn has been
attacking him and promoting Scientology.  Here it is -- I think you'll find the
last paragraph especially interesting.

Paulette Cooper

Paulette, you can post this:

     In the spring of 1992, I reported and wrote an expose of Terry Reed, who I
had concluded was a con man. Reed, you may recall, is the alleged "CIA"
operative who has linked President Clinton to contra training and drug running
at the Mena Airport in Arkansas.  My in-depth investigation found that many of
Reed's former employers claimed he had stolen money from them (or attempted to
steal money).  Reed then weaved some of these people into his Clinton tale,
which I concluded was just a fantasy.
   Alex Cockburn had been Reed's biggest champion in the press and yet he never
bothered to fully investigate the guy. In my article, I decided to take a shot
at The Nation for being so "credulous."  Unfortunately, I was in the Middle East
on a vacation when my story ran and an editor decided to attack Cockburn by
name.  The name he chose was "Andrew," Alex's brother, and a fact-checker at
TIME didn't catch the blunder. Nor did I.
   Cockburn gleefully pointed out the mistake, and he went on to attack me in
column after column -- defending Reed (to my utter amazement), while also
condemning my Scientology story.  Cockburn was so passionate that a few
publications  (among them, Media Week, as I recall) ran some articles on the
so-called Behar-Cockburn feud.
    By the way, except for the Andrew-Alex mix-up, I argued at the time that my
Reed expose was accurate.  Reed ultimately sued us for libel, and a federal
judge threw out the case after concluding that I had made a "thorough
examination" and that Reed "has been unable to come up with any evidence
suggesting that Behar did not in good faith believe that every fact stated in
his article was accurate, and that his characterization of plaintiff as a liar
was fully justified."
   The judge, after reviewing my massive evidence (which included many tape-
recorded conversations), did not even permit Reed to depose me, which, as you
may know, is very rare in libel actions. That's how strong our story was. 
   Incidentally, we had a sworn affidavit in the case from a colleague at
TIME who claims that Reed told him (months before the suit was filed) that the
church had offered to pay for any lawsuit he wanted to bring against me and
TIME.  Even if we assume that Reed was telling the truth about this alleged
offer, I have no proof whether he actually accepted such money. Freedom
Magazine published a positive story about Reed and his suit against TIME. 
Interestingly, Reed's book ("Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA")  briefly
made the best-seller list in the LA Times, which I find simply remarkable given his
background.