“The Insider” Revisited
60 Minutes provides timely reminder of Big Tobacco's lies
Posted by: Editor | Aug 23, 2011
Last week, major tobacco companies again showed their aversion to the truth when they filed yet another lawsuit to block the FDA from implementing new, graphic warning labels on cigarettes.
The new warnings show and tell the truth about cigarettes — that they are addictive and deadly, causing cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. But the tobacco companies claim that being forced to tell the truth would violate their First Amendment rights.
Thanks to CBS's "60 Minutes," we have a timely reminder of just how far Big Tobacco will go to suppress the truth.
"60 Minutes" has posted on its web site the legendary 1996 story about tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand — the story that inspired the Hollywood movie "The Insider" starring Russell Crowe.
Wigand, a former research scientist for Brown & Williamson (since merged with R.J. Reynolds), exposed how the tobacco industry had lied to the public about the health risks and addictiveness of cigarettes — and how it manipulated cigarettes to make them even more harmful and addictive.
But that's just part of the story. Equally revealing were the extraordinary actions Brown & Williamson took to destroy Wigand's reputation and stop "60 Minutes" from airing the story.
The tobacco industry lost that battle, but their war against the truth continues today.