The Counter Offensive campaign spearheaded by Mark Lane hadn’t accomplished much in the short period of time before the attorney learned of Rep. Leo Ryan’s plans to visit Guyana in mid-November 1978. Certainly none of the evidence of the conspiracy that he and members of the Temple expected to reveal had yet come to light. Even the basics of the media campaign were just getting underway.
On November 1 – about two months after Mark Lane’s first contact with Jonestown, and slightly more than a month after announcement of the Counter Offensive – Richard Tropp wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle to complain about the lack of coverage of Mark Lane’s efforts to uncover the conspiracy, and charged that the newspaper’s silence was part of the problem that the Temple had in getting a fair hearing.
Within two weeks, the Chronicle would have one of its reporters accompanying Leo Ryan to Jonestown.