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


2.4 Mb QT video
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


2.4 Mb QT video
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


2.4 Mb QT video
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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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