Philips in 2012
Charles Alan Philips
October 15, 1952
|Occupation||Journalist and writer|
George Polk Award
National Association of Black Journalists Award
Los Angeles Press Club award
Charles Alan "Chuck" Philips (born October 15, 1952) is an American writer and investigative journalist. From 1995 to 2008 he worked for the Los Angeles Times, after first freelancing for the newspaper.
Philips worked on staff at the Los Angeles Times from 1995 to 2008. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, AllHipHop, the San Francisco Chronicle and Source.
Richard D. Barnet and Larry L. Burriss credited Philips' continued reporting on sexual harassment in the music industry prompted other media outlets in "bringing sexual harassment in the music industry to a national forum." Philips also covered art and crime, corporate and government corruption, and medical malfeasance.
Philips said he believed the police and other law enforcement agencies had failed to solve murders of such black figures as Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. In 2002 Philips' two-part series about the Shakur murder identified Orlando Anderson as Shakur's attacker.
In the early 1990s, Philips wrote a series of stories about Ticketmaster, reporting in 1994 that the rock band Pearl Jam had complained to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice that Ticketmaster used monopolistic practices and refused to lower service fees for the band's tickets. The company had exclusive contracts with large US venues and threatened to take legal action if those contracts were broken.
Philips reported on the East-West rap feud, including the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.. His 2002 two-part article for the LA Times claimed that Shakur was killed in September 1996 by Orlando Anderson, a member of the Crips gang, supported by others of the gang hired by Wallace. Philips and fellow LA Times reporters wrote articles supporting the theory that Wallace was also killed by the Crips, when he was killed six months later.
In March 2008, Philips reported in the LA Times that James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, a hip-hop CEO, had organized the 1994 attack on Tupac at Quad Studios in New York. The article alleged that Smalls and others knew about the attack a week in advance. He relied heavily on anonymous sources and internal FBI documents. Soon after the article was published, The Smoking Gun revealed that Philips' FBI documents had been forged by his informant, a man convicted of fraud. In April 2008, the LA Times printed a full retraction of the Quad Studios article and released Philips shortly thereafter during a wave of layoffs.
Philips blames the Times editors for forcing him to rely heavily on the fake FBI documents, and stands by the facts presented in his story as told to him by his unnamed sources. Philips stated that the retraction ruined his reputation and career. June 2011, New York inmate Dexter Isaac, whom Phillips states was one of his anonymous sources, said that he had participated in the Quad Studios attack. Philips told LA Weekly that he demanded a "front-page retraction" in the LA Times to clear his name. The LA Times did not run any retraction.
On September 13, 2012, the anniversary of Shakur's death, Philips announced he would do a "Twitter experiment," tweeting a 1,200-word article, 40 characters at a time, concurrently with the launch of his website, the Chuckphilipspost.com. The article was about Harlem drug dealer Eric "Von Zip" Martin and his alleged connection to Sean "Diddy" Combs.
In 1996, Philips won the George Polk Award for investigative reporting about American black art and culture. In 1997, he won the National Association of Black Journalists Award for coverage of the rap music business.
In 1990, he won a Los Angeles Press Club award for stories about censorship.
Philips grew up in the Detroit, Michigan area and moved to Los Angeles at 19. He worked for the Wasserman Silk Screen Company of Santa Monica, California while studying at California State University, Long Beach, where he received a B.A. in journalism in 1989.