Radio personality Steve Shell has not been heard from since walking away from his top-rated show in February. A fire in May destroyed the archive of his show, I Don't Believe You, and a series of server outages -- including here at Inside the Hotdog Factory -- have wiped out many of the articles that first brought Shell to fame in conspiracy circles.
The good guys at Through the Keyhole won one today when they managed to retrieve this 2009 interview with Steve Shell.
TTKH is still offline, so they passed a portion of the interview to us here, and the full interview can be found on the Limited Hangout website.
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(Originally appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Through the Keyhole)
Through the Keyhole: Steve, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I'd like to jump right in and ask you about the controversy surrounding a comment you recently made, comparing the annual 9/11 commemorations to the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
Steve Shell: (groans).
TTKH: Is this something you honesty believe or was it just a moment of -- ?
SS: It wasn't one of my more thoughtful statements, that's for sure. It came from a frustration with the failure of the 9/11 Commission Report, which even the 9/11 Commissioners admit was inadequate. Rather than a proper investigation, we get sanctimonious politicians making speeches at memorial ceremonies. We get all the pseudo-patriot flag wavers who believe love of country is best expressed by not holding our leaders accountable for their actions. And the same way the Jerry Lewis Telethon is an annual event to make everybody feel guilty on Labor Day and to get Lewis' craven mug on our TV screens, the 9/11 commemorations revel in the fear, misery and bureaucratic gluttony that's robbed us of our freedoms, but hasn't made us one bit safer.
TTKH: That's not exactly a retraction.
SS: (laughs). No, I guess it's not.
TTKH: Before those statements about 9/11, though, you were no stranger to controversy. I'm thinking of your efforts to revive interest in the Gary Webb book Dark Alliance, about CIA drug smuggling into the US, particularly under the supervision of Oliver North during the late 1980s.
SS: No one's ever refuted Gary Webb's assertions --
TTKH: Oliver North has.
SS: OK, that's true, but what's his alternative? North's a proven liar . . . he's admitted under oath that he would do anything legal or illegal to protect his superiors.
TTKH: But Gary Webb's suicide didn't cause you to rethink the veracity of his book?
SS: Not at all. Gary was run right into the ground. His newspaper at the time -- the San Joses Mercury -- backed him at first, posting all his supporting evidence on their website. But pretty soon, Webb's editors caved to outside pressure and hung him out to dry. Web should've won a Pulitzer Prize for his book. Instead, he became unemployed and unemployable. Nobody would touch him. But no one refuted his accusations. They destroyed the man, but nobody has proven him wrong.
TTKH: Mythical, omnipresent "They"?
SS: I'm sure the people who fired Gary have names, as did the people who directed them to fire Gary had names. You're a reporter, you could look up those names.
TTKH: But you're not among the people who believe Webb was murdered, even though he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head twice.
SS: I'm not so sure about that.
Read the rest of the interview at Limited Hangout.