Nick Schou has followed up his 2006 book on Gary Webb with Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World, which was released yesterday. The book examines the Brotherhood, dubbed the "Hippie Mafia," which grew from a small group of surfers to the biggest group of acid dealers and hashish smugglers in the nation. Schou tells his Weekly colleague Matt Coker that he had to go to some extraordinary lengths to track down Brotherhood members for the book. "I had to hike a mile up a really remote slope in Maui to talk to a Buddhist hermit who was able get me an interview with Ram Dass, [Timothy] Leary's Harvard philosophy colleague and acid researcher," He says. "Another time, I had to play guitar with a Brotherhood smuggler who has a cable access television show in Santa Cruz."
Kill the Messenger will tell the story of Webb, the San Jose Mercury News reporter who "committed suicide after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California," Variety reports. The Universal film will be based on two books: Webb's own Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, and Weekly staff writer Nick Schou's Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb. The screenplay is being written by former New York Times Magazine correspondent Peter Landesman.
On the heels of last week's story on a Vietnamese-language newspaper that has been become the target of an "anti-communist witch-hunt," staff writer Nick Schou's mug appeared "in a none-too-flattering cartoon" on Take2Tango.com, OC Weekly reports. "It's unclear just yet in what way Nick is supposed to be controlling Viet Weekly publisher Le Vu -- our translation of the accompanying Vietnamese text is still pending -- and I must say, that really doesn't look like Nick at all," writes editor Ted Kissell. "Except for the fountain pen for a hand. Totally accurate. I've been meaning to get one of those for myself."
OC Weekly editor Nick Schou's book about the dire last days of journalist Gary Webb is out at last, and many AAN members are excerpting it. Schou first met Webb at the peak of the controversy over "Dark Alliance," his 1996 San Jose Mercury Press series on collusion between the CIA and cocaine-trafficking Nicaraguan contras. Scourged by the mainstream media, a broke and unconsolable Webb sank into depression and committed suicide in December 2004. "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Gary Webb" grew out of an OC Weekly article Schou wrote following his death. In "In These Times," former Village Voice columnist Doug Ireland calls Schou's book a "a meticulous, balanced account" of the affair and "a cautionary tale for anyone considering a career in investigative journalism."
As first reported by AAN News in January, OC Weekly News and Investigations Editor Nick Schou has written a book about Gary Webb, the late investigative reporter who penned the "Dark Alliance" series exploring connections between the CIA and crack cocaine. In Kill the Messenger, Schou alleges that Webb's editors at the San Jose Mercury News made the decision to focus his series on the CIA link against Webb's wishes. Schou also criticizes national newspapers for their treatment of Webb: "So much of the reporting was personal and an attack on Gary Webb, it was unbelievable," he tells Editor & Publisher. Kill the Messenger will be published by Nation Books in October.
According to Publisher/Editor Will Swaim, News and Investigations Editor Nick Schou will pen a biography of Gary Webb, the late investigative journalist, for Nation Books. Webb is best known for his San Jose Mercury News "Dark Alliance" series, which explored links between the CIA, Nicaraguan contras, and crack cocaine. Webb worked briefly at the Sacramento News and Review before his suicide in 2004. Schou has reported on the controversy over the "Dark Alliance" series in several articles for OC Weekly.