Celia Farber breaks all the rules of contemporary journalistic politesse.
This makes her an iconoclast, and therefore automatically interesting. Yet even her most avowed critics can find nothing to fault in
her actual writing. Privately they cannot help acknowledging its
brillance, and publicly their fear of its inherent power is shown
by the violent reactions whenever anything of hers is
published. Add to this that she is the purest living representative of
"Gonzo" journalism, the modern, ultra-real and already noble tradition invented by Hunter S. Thompson, and her work becomes, in the present idiom,
"to die for".
Like many with genius, Farber, whom I have known for 25 years, has moods that are not always predictable. Although I have never known this to affect the final product in any negative way -- she is, as Hunter always was, no matter what, "a consummate professional" -- it sometimes does give me a headache. But what's a little dolor in the cabeza in exchange for gems like the extended quote below? It is from one of her many collections of "out-takes", as she calls them. I prefer the more technical description, "molten, Gonzo globules". She sent this one in a moment when she was not furious with me.
A reporter pressed McClellan on the truth about nevirapine, and the following surreal exchange transpired:
“You’re talking about saving lives, but this drug has lethal effects including liver damage. How are you saving lives one way, and then letting somebody die from a lethal effect another way?”
McClellan answered her: “I take exception to the way you characterize that April. The President’s plan is about saving lives. And we want to make sure that people who are afflicted have lifesaving drugs available to them, or people in those afflicted areas have lifesaving drugs available to them.”
He then reached for a number of shields, beyond the insistence that the President’s plan was “about saving lives.” One was that the drug was “approved for use in the United States,” (although he never admitted it is not approved for use in pregnancy.) At various times he pointed back to the NIH, to the Institute of Medicine, who were looking into the matter, and to one of the nation’s leading HIV-AIDS organizations.
“I would point to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation as someone who supports the safest, most effective regimen of drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission,” McClellan said, as if deploying an airbag. “The foundation said, and I quote, “There is considerable scientific data demonstrating that this short course nevirapine regimen is safe and effective, and should continue to be used to prevent mother to child transmission in settings where more complex regimens are not available.”
He did not, however, even hint that the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation received a $1 million donation in 2001 from nevirapine’s maker, Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as $15 million from the Bill Gates AIDS Foundation to implement mother-to-infant HIV intervention programs in the Third World. ...
It is a reality of manufactured consent. There is no non-pharma-funded support of this drug or its proposed regimen across Africa. All of the nevirapine enthusiasts—be they “activists” or “community groups” are funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, or other pharmaceutical companies. They even fund small fish nobody would ever suspect.
See for yourself. Call up any mainstream AIDS website, and scroll to the bottom. You will see that the site has been “made possible by unrestricted grants from Boehringer Ingelheim,” and other pharmaceutical companies.
“Made possible” is precisely the right phrase. It is not that they receive pharma funding and then change their views and become stupid and resistant to elemental realities. It is that the AIDS research industry, funded by the pharma giants since day one, is a wholly artificial microcosm that draws its notions of reality from inside its own closed, neurotic network, and defines itself only by reference to other parts of the conjoined organ. It takes in nothing from the outside except money, and returns only misery.
Farber's writing that is available on the web, here and other places, has been discovered by tens of thousands of readers, and her relative prominence might fool some into thinking she had made a living from her commercially published work that is in reasonable proportion to her avid readership. But facts often make fools of even the most clever, as she has demonstrated to the chagrin of AIDS, Inc. time and again.
While Farber's twenty year opus has enriched her readers beyond measure, it has left her, at the height of her creative, analytical and investigative powers, without any of the financial rewards others, who have never lit even a candle in the dark caverns she has brilliantly illuminated, have received in abundance.
But now, thanks once again to the Internet, which has empowered so many independent artists, It is very easy to show your appreciation for these unique gifts with a little of the coin of the realm by clicking here.