See for yourself: The leaked ABC tape

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(Editor’s Note: In March 1994, ABC killed the “Turning Point” documentary that follows. ABC Executive Vice President Paul Friedman called “Tobacco Under Fire” a “boring” rehash. We disagree. Even two years later, the tape presents significant news breaks. The MoJo Wire invites you to decide yourself.)

Conning Young Smokers


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A hidden-camera sequence in which an ABC reporter goes to a job interview with a man who runs a dozen Marlboro vans in the Brooklyn area. “You’re trying to con the young smokers to switch to Marlboro,” says the Marlboro representative.
 

The Industry Overseas


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Donnie Gedling, a Kentucky tobacco farmer and then a member of the Kentucky state legislature, displays shock upon being confronted with a packet of “Kentucky-14” seeds developed with taxpayer money. These seeds are being used to grow tobacco in Brazil, where burley sells for half the price of that grown in Kentucky.
 

Koop’s Disgust with Reagan


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Dr. C. Everett Koop, surgeon general under Ronald Reagan, discusses correspondence between Reagan and the CEO of R.J. Reynolds. The CEO wanted to know if Reagan was planning to come down hard on the tobacco industry during his term as president. Says Koop, “…[Reagan] wrote back–I could hardly believe it when I eventually read it: ‘My administration will be too busy with more important things.'”
 

The Move Into Asia


2.4 Mb QT video
The video documents the tobacco industry’s illegal advertising tactics in Taiwan. This clip shows children playing in a Taiwanese schoolyard; under the spectre of a giant illegal Marlboro billboard. “The heavily-advertised foreign brands are preferred by 85 percent of Taiwan’s teenage smokers,” the narrator says.

Transcript: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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