In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter — himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly reveals here in his own voice.
JFK reality check for Bill O’Reilly
In the annals of the JFK assassination story, rife with CIA and FBI malfeasance, O’Reilly’s fanciful anecdote might seem trivial. It is not the saddest feature of a book that manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades.
Long before writing his popular best-seller, Killing Kennedy, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly did real reporting on the events that lead to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Here is O’Reilly on Inside Edition in 1991 doing a tough and accurate piece on retired CIA Western Hemisphere division chief David Atlee Phillips and the evidence that he associated with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in September 1963. Read more
Would Amazon censor a comment challenging the lone gunman theory posited in a celebrity penned bestseller? According to Atlanta-based author Barry Krusch, the online giant did just that.
In his very popular Killing Kennedy, Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly paints a portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald as the only gunman involved in the JFK assassination. Krusch scrutinizes O’Reilly’s conclusions in this respectful and empirical video, which was submitted to Amazon’s comment section.
However, according to Krusch, the online bookseller censored the video.
The talismanic power that the JFK story holds for senior Washington journalists such as Chris Matthews and Brian Williams is evident in this NBC story that aired on Thursday. These mementos of Kennedy’s life are like the relics of saints, treasured as an expression of faith in an exemplary personality. Yet the very power of this faith seems to forbid mentioning a heretical fact.
As of January 20, 1964, the Warren Commission had yet to hear from its first witness. On that day, the head of the Commission, Chief Justice Earl Warren, held his first staff conference with the recently hired lawyers, some of whom would later go on to become prominent political figures. (Arlen Specter became a US senator, and William Coleman became Secretary of Transportation, for example.)
In the meeting, Warren explained why he took the job after declining it. According to one memo of the meeting, Warren said: Read more
“We do this in a peaceful and orderly way,” said Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee at President Obama’s inauguration. “There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection. This is a moment when millions stop and watch.”
In the wake of comments by Bobby Kennedy Jr. about what his father thought of his uncle’s assassination, we received this email from Adam Walinsky, who served as Robert Kennedy’s speechwriter from 1964 to 1968:
“I believe the Agency will obfuscate until the end of time (and this means also resistance and obfuscation from its innumerable allies and associates, as well as general defenders of the status quo throughout Washington, New York, etc. etc.).
The only way I can see forward would be to marshal ALL of the current evidence, in effect a second Warren Report rather than a single book; and in this Report to take every aspect to the fullest extent possible, especially the late revelations and semi-confessions of the last few years. Nothing less would be adequate for the huge shift in prospect for our basic understanding of American history and government.”
Walinsky’s plainspoken comments are another sign of how public discussion of the JFK story is changing in 2013.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s comments that his father did not believe that a “lone-gunman” killed his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, have now been covered by all four television networks (CBS, NBC,Fox, and ABC), and gone viral on the internet. The remarks marked the first time a Kennedy family member has publicly questioned the official theory that JFK was killed by a lone gunman.
Were RFK Jr.’s remarks factually accurate? Read more
The press coverage of President Kennedy’s State of the Union address, on the morning of Tuesday January 15, 1963, while generally positive could not match the adulation shown his wife and family.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arrives at the Capitol to listen to her husband’s State of the Union address on January 14, accompanied the Architect of the Capitol, J. George Stewart. The man gesturing with his had in the background is Secret Service agent Clint Hill who would be at her side when JFK was killed eleven months later. (JFK Library and Museum)