You know how the conventional wisdom about gay marriage went from icky controversy to cuddly wisdom over the last four years?
You know how cannabis legalization went from stoner madness to sensible libertarianism in the past eighteen months?
Something like that is about to happen with the JFK assassination story. The elite media Washington consensus about the JFK story is evolving from the fringe to the mainstream, propelled by this straightforward report from the Dallas Morning News.
USA Today jumped on the story and others can’t be far behind.
RFK’s conspiratorial conviction is news in those news organizations whose senior editors have spent decades averting their eyes from the Dallas tragedy. It is not news to serious journalists and scholars interested in the JFK story.
Journalist David Talbot fleshed out RFK’s private views in extensive detail in his 2007 book “Brothers.” As early as 1999, presidential historian Timothy Naftali documented that Bobby and Jackie Kennedy had suspected a domestic conspiracy within a week of JFK’s death. But complacent editors, like Bill Keller of the New York Times, have habitually deleted such solid JFK research from their memory banks with the lofty certainty that only pathetic “conspiracy theorists” cared about such things.
A Kennedy family member–the closest thing America has to royalty–cannot be treated with such disdain. RFK Jr., persuaded by Talbot’s solid research, is now willing to talk about what his father really thought. His brave remarks are going to change the discussion of JFK’s assassination in 2013.
From now on, the reflexive sneer of the influential minority who would prefer not to think about troubling JFK facts (such as CIA malfeasance in the handling of Oswald evidence) will be harder to sustain. Since I doubt very much that a pro-Kennedy, anti-conspiracy theorist like Chris Matthews will impugn a Kennedy as a deluded “conspiracy theorist,” the causes of JFK’s death can now be discussed, not in the language of psychological deformity, but with the vocabulary of historical candor.
It is a welcome and overdue development.