Why do I recommend John McAdams’s website?

I’ve been taking heat for my inclusion of Professor John McAdams website on this site’s list of “Best JFK websites.” So I’ve been thinking carefully about what my critics have to say.

One commenter, A Wendt, said McAdams’ site is “quite masterful’ in a perverse way, and I couldn’t agree more.

Wendt’s take on the Kennedy Assassination Home Page:

“It projects a kind of even-handed skepticism about facts related to the assassination. The problem, however, is that this is just a veneer. McAdams is not devoted to empiricism in any serious way. He is instead committed to plausible-sounding explanations that refute anything having to do with conspiracy.

“Thus, his presentation of issue after issue is a collection of feints, sophisms, and misconstruals. It is remarkable to watch unfold — like the old saying ‘The Devil quotes scripture’, McAdams uses empirical evidence in a way that denies the basic meaning of empiricism.

“I agree with the warning ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’. His site is one giant attempt to convince, as was done to Winston Smith, that ’2 + 2 = 5′. No doubt in some cases he succeeds.”

I agree.

Does that mean that I should tell a high school student who is seeking to learn more about the subject, “Don’t go there”? I don’t think so.

(To be continued.)

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2 comments

  1. jeffc says:

    Affecting a qualified admiration for McAdams’ sophistry is one thing, but how does that fit alongside this web site’s mandate of “improving public understanding”?

    The terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” are used as a measure to consider what could be consider Best JFK websites and Worst JFK websites, and yet the McAdams site – which it seems agreed engages in non-empirical practices almost as a default – is somehow a Best site.

    I suppose the Handle With Care caution addresses the issue somewhat, but that has to be taken in context of the fact, and this has been pointed out, a website has been included in the “Vote For the Worst JFK Website” which can hardly be said to practice either “misinformation” or “disinformation”.
    And yet there it is, tarred with that brush.

    So the logic seems a bit fuzzy.

  2. Photon says:

    Name one lie on the McAdams site.

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