The Info List - Russ Baker

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RUSSELL WARREN "RUSS" BAKER, is an American investigative journalist . He is the author of a 2008 book, Family of Secrets , that outlines what it claims are connections between President George H.W. Bush and the Watergate scandal
Watergate scandal
and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy . He is also the founder of WhoWhatWhy, a journalism website.

He has had articles in a variety of publications, including The Village Voice , The Nation
The Nation
and The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor
, but recently has been published mainly on the Internet, to his own website and to AlterNet .


* 1 Career

* 1.1 \'Family of Secrets\' * 1.2 Journalistic approach

* 2 Personal life * 3 References * 4 External links


After graduation from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University , Baker worked as a metro reporter with Newsday
in New York City . While traveling abroad, he reported on tribal genocide in Burundi
for a Dutch paper and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
, the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
for CBS Radio
CBS Radio
and The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor
, and the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceausescu

In 1989, he became a New York correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. He also wrote for The Village Voice
The Village Voice
in New York City
New York City
, producing cover stories on corruption in the police union and the use of humanitarian international relief as cover for covert CIA operations. His report on the efforts of the Church of Scientology to recruit Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
aired on A Current Affair . He reported for George magazine on conflict between Scientology and the German government. He wrote a story about Congressman Dan Burton
Dan Burton
of Indiana , a leading opponent of President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
, for Salon and profiled Ira Einhorn
Ira Einhorn
, the Unicorn Killer, for Esquire .

In 2002 he received a U.S. government grant to travel to Belgrade
, Serbia
and train journalists there in investigative reporting. Baker remained and produced an article on the longtime fugitive Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic . He has written articles critical of New York Times reporter Judith Miller . In 2004, he wrote articles critical of the George W. Bush
George W. Bush
and his administration, examining Bush\'s military record .

Baker is the founder and editor-in-chief of the news website WhoWhatWhy, which highlights what he describes as "a vast, secret nexus of power and money" ignored by what Baker believes is a complicit mass media. The site, described by Columbia Journalism Review as a "minnow" compared to established news sites, received approximately 600,000 unique visitors in 2015 and receives annual funding of about $400,000, according to Baker. Its Alexa rank was 209,786 as of July 2016. The organization has a staff of about 40, not including volunteers.

Baker has been on the adjunct faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review
Columbia Journalism Review
. He has appeared on C-SPAN
, PBS affiliate stations, on RT , and on radio stations. He has received awards from the New York and Northern California chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists
Society of Professional Journalists

In March 2010, he appeared before the "Treason in America Conference," a gathering of Sept. 11 truthers. Baker said the 9/11 commission had “no credibility,” and "sounded open to the possibility that 9/11 was an inside job." In 2014 he addressed a conference of the Assassination Archives and Research Center on the "role of the Warren Commission on the cover-up." He has appeared frequently on Coast to Coast AM
Coast to Coast AM
, a radio show hosted by George Noory that deals with the paranormal and conspiracy theories .


Main article: Family of Secrets

In his 2008 book Family of Secrets , Baker outlines alleged historic connections between the Bush family
Bush family
with the Central Intelligence Agency , and asserts that President George H.W. Bush was linked to the Watergate scandal
Watergate scandal
and the assassination of John F. Kennedy . Lev Grossman of Time magazine said that Baker "connects the dots between the Bushes and Watergate, which he far-fetchedly describes not as a ham-handed act of political espionage but as a carefully orchestrated farce designed to take down President Richard Nixon.

Family of Secrets contends that the first President Bush became an intelligence agent in his teenage years and was later at the center of a plot to assassinate Kennedy that included his father, Prescott Bush , Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
, CIA Director Allen Dulles
Allen Dulles
, Cuban and Russian exiles and emigrants, and various Texas oilmen. It asserts that Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward
of The Washington Post
The Washington Post
was an intelligence agent who conspired with John Dean to remove President Richard Nixon from office for opposing the oil depletion allowance .

The book received scathing reviews. Writing in the Los Angeles Times , media critic Tim Rutten called the book a "dispiriting tome" that was an example of "paranoid literature." He said that Baker "recklessly impugns, in the most disgusting possible way, the reputations not simply of men and women now dead, but of the living," Rutten said that though George H.W. Bush was not likely to sue for libel, using a "tissue of innuendo, illogical inference, circumstance and guilt by tenuous association -- as Baker does in this book -- to indict rhetorically anyone, let alone a former chief executive, of an infamous murder is a reprehensible calumny."


In a January 2015 profile, Boston magazine said that over the past decade, "Baker has abandoned the mainstream media and become a key player on the fringe, walking that murky line between conventional investigative journalist and wild-eyed conspiracy theorist." Baker has raised questions about the Boston Marathon bombings, and "is not willing to rule out the possibility that the bombings were a false-flag operation conducted or permitted by elements of the American government in order to justify the Homeland Security complex.” He argues that FBI recruited the Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an agent or informant, which the FBI has categorically denied.

Boston said "it would be a lot easier to dismiss Baker as a nut and move on if it weren’t for his three decades of award-winning investigative-reporting experience."

Baker says he focuses on "deep politics" and engages in "forensic journalism" in which he digs deeper into stories than the mainstream media . Journalist Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers
calls him an “indefatigable researcher from whom I could learn something about a subject that I hadn’t known. A Columbia Journalism Review
Columbia Journalism Review
profile observed that his critics reject his view that mainstream journalism fails to dig, say that "reporters are warned not to go farther than the evidence warrants, and they say that what Baker sees as audacity is just a cover for sloppy reporting."

Rutten said that Baker once may have been a serious and talented journalist but became “mesmerized by the idea of secrets and the Great Seduction. It causes you to lose your perspective and balance.”


Baker grew up in Venice, California
Venice, California
and graduated from UCLA
with a major in Political Science . He has a masters degree in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School. He is in his late fifties.

Baker has declined to disclose his age, marital status, names of family members, or "anything that would make him more vulnerable to covert surveillance, intimidation, or worse." He also declines to state where he lives or works because he does “sensitive investigative work” and doesn't want people showing up at his door.


* ^ A B C D Rutten, Tim (January 7, 2009). "\'Family of Secrets\' by Russ Baker". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015. * ^ "Stories by Russ Baker". Alternet. Retrieved 15 July 2016. * ^ A B C D E F G H I J Gabler, Neal (March 1, 2016). "The world according to Russ Baker". Columbia Journalism Review. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Retrieved July 5, 2016. * ^ A B C D E F G H I Schreckinger, Ben (January 2015). "Boston Isn’t Strong. Boston Is Scared Sh*tless.". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 11 March 2015. * ^ Baker, Russ (May 6, 2002). "I\'m The Other Guy". The New York Times . * ^ “

* RussBaker.com, about Russ Baker * WhoWhatWhy.org, the news website of The Real News Project


* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 51165153 * ISNI : 0000 0001 1062 1183 * SUDOC :