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You know you’re in trouble as a journalist when the only people who believe what you write are callers to talk-radio programs. San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb has nearly descended to this level, but he’s still capitalizing on his August series linking the CIA to the crack trade. Few credible reporters have been able to duplicate his findings—most explosively, that the CIA knew that Los Angeles drug money was going to right-wing rebels in Nicaragua. But that hasn’t stopped activists like Dick Gregory from trumpeting Webb’s articles as evidence of bigotry at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Now Webb is crossing a gray line for journalists to speak about his contra-cocaine story at a Howard University gathering titled “CIA, Crack, and Crime Against the People of the Americas,” organized by a panoply of leftist groups. The other featured speakers—including Oliver Stone consultant and JFK conspiracy theorist John Newman—buy his tale, so don’t expect a hearty debate over the facts. Still, Webb is trying to attract people with the promise of “new news.” At 7:30 p.m. at Howard University’s Blackburn Center Ballroom, 2400 6th St. NW. FREE. (301) 270-9038. (John Cloud)