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.”
“It’s possible. It could happen in this country, but the conditions would have to be just right. If, for example, the country had a young President, and he had a Bay of Pigs, there would be a certain uneasiness. Maybe the military would do a little criticizing behind his back, but this would be written off as the usual military dissatisfaction with civilian control. Read more
The site is dedicated to improving media coverage and public understanding of JFK's assassination, educating the young, and demanding the release of records still held in secret by U.S. government agencies.
Jefferson Morley, author and former Washington Post reporter, is the moderator of JFK Facts.
Morley has written about the JFK story for national publications including the Post, New York Times, New York Review of Books, Slate, Salon, TheAtlantic.com, and the Washington Monthly. He won the 2009 PEN/Oakland Censorship Award for his JFK reporting. He is author of "Our Man in Mexico; Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA" (University Press of Kansas, 2008).
Rex Bradford is the webmaster of JFK Facts, He is creator of MaryFerrell.org, the most comprehensive Web site of government records on the assassinations of JFK, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.