Taylor Marsh, the self-described ”recovering beauty queen” turned political blogger, comments on the aesthetics of Rob Lowe as the iconic JFK in National Geographic’s forthcoming JFK feature and she wonders about the credibility of the script by the JFK fabulist Bill O’Reilly.
“Bill O’Reilly’s memory is playing tricks on him, to put it kindly, because there are witnesses that know he wasn’t where he said he was in his book,” she writes.
Welcome to the Assassination City Roller Derby, where you can watch competing teams, the Lone Star Assassins and the Dead Kennedys, fight it out on the circular track.
“I can understand that some people may be offended,” a league spokeswoman said. “But that’s not what we’re all about. The name is about taking something negative and being tongue-in-cheek and being light about a gritty situation.”
A new cable TV documentary, “JFK: The Smoking Gun,” produced by the REELZCHANNEL network, starts principal photography in Dallas this week. A veteran police detective Colin McLaren will solve the crime, according to the producers. The unimaginative title makes a bold promise, often heard, less often fulfilled.
But the ambition is widely shared. Other would-be cultural arbiters who have definitive JFK film projects scheduled for release in the fall include Tom Hanks, Bill O’Reilly, and David Mamet. None of them is a cop, so McLaren may have an opening.
At the National Press Club on Monday, comedian, actor and author Richard Belzer offered a compelling and often hilarious case for doubting the official story behind the JFK assassination.
“There are those in positions of power who malign the pursuit of justice by intentionally associating the word ‘conspiracy’ with the delirious hallucinations of unbalanced minds. Well, they’re wrong,” Belzer said. Read more
The resilience of the “Mafia done it” school of JFK conspiracy theories will go on stage this week when a new JFK-themed play, ‘Ride The Tiger,’ opens at New Haven’s Long Wharf theater on Wednesday, April 3. Read more
This cover of Time magazine from the 25th anniversary of JFK’s assassination illuminates the peculiar practices of journalists on President Kennedy’s death.
The normal journalistic aspiration is to report news facts on a subject of interest, sift out the less important and lead with the most important, and then put try to put the facts in context.
Of course, there is no such thing as “objectivity.” Journalists bring to bear the usual range of human passions and prejudices to the task. Editors must respond to the publishers who pay everyone’s salary. And news organizations must reach some kind of working relationship with government agencies in order to do their job in reporting on them. But the aspiration to overcome such compromises in service of reporting the news was — is — central to the journalistic enterprise
This Time magazine cover shows a team of highly paid journalism avoiding this aspiration. Read more
The lovely “Gail Raven,” an exotic dancer in the southwestern United States in the 1960s, became friends with Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Who says new JFK witnesses can’t be found?
After JFK Facts recounted Jack Ruby’s pursuit of an exotic dancer named Gail Raven in January 1963, I received a message from a woman who identified herself as Raven’s daughter. She told me that her mother was still alive, and she confirmed that her mother and Jack Ruby were close. I asked her if her mother would share her memories of the man who killed accused assassin Lee H. Oswald. She said yes.
In 1963 Gail Raven was the stage name of a precociously mature 20-year-old woman who danced on the national nightclub circuit that included Ruby’s Carousel Club in Dallas. Ruby (born Jack Rubenstein) was a Chicago tough guy who took a shine to her and they became friends.
Now close to 70 years old, Gail Raven is living in the southern United States. I have confirmed her real name but have agreed not to publish it here to protect her privacy. Read more
The re-broadcast of National Geographic’s JFK documentary, The Lost Bullet, in Canada last weekend is another reminder of how stilted and weird the mainstream media discussion of JFK assassination is. I haven’t seen the film yet, so I won’t comment on the particulars of its thesis.
But the film’s not-terribly relevant point illuminates a curious phenomenon: how the obsession with conspiracy distorts, defines and limits the editorial vision of news organizations. It is a species of un-journalism.
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.
Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron has joined the cast of Tom Hanks’ forthcoming JFK flick, Parkland, along with fellow A-listers Paul Giamatti and Billy Bob Thornton.
Student of the Warren Commission?
With its all-star cast and reassuring agenda, Parkland is shaping up as the feel-good event of 2013 for those who don’t want you to worry about the legacy of the American national security state. Pre-production publicity makes clear that Parkland (the hospital where JFK was declared dead) aims to breath new life into the government’s old theory that the violent removal of the liberal president from office in 1963 was a meaningless deed committed for no reason by a lunatic. Matinee message: eat your popcorn and swallow the “tragic absurdity of life.”
Tom Hanks’ take on the JFK story is advancing. The actor/producer’s feature film, Parkland, about the events of November 22, 1963, has signed on A-list actors, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, and Jackie Weaver. The producers say the talented thespians will bring VIncent Bugliosi’s 2007 book, “Reclaiming History” to life. That will be a challenge.
Bugliosi’s tome is a flabby 1,600 page doorstop of polemic that managed to 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.