News

LBJ talks to Jacqueline Kennedy

This call between JFK’s widow, Jackie Kennedy, and LBJ, took place about 10 days after President Kennedy’s assassination: via LBJ and Jacqueline Kennedy—Miller Center.

Letterman defends O’Reilly

“Millionaire entertainers who help one another promote their shows look out for each other,” notes Erik Wemple, Washington Post media critic.

Philip Shenon on Oswald: ‘Perhaps the FBI or Congress or both should send investigators back to Mexico’

Philip Shenon’s 2013 book, A Cruel and Shocking Act, reconstructed the story of the assassination of President Kennedy with an unusual focus: not on the perennial question of conspiracy but rather on a narrower issue: the destruction of evidence that followed in the wake of JFK’s murder on November 22, 1963.

Students of the JFK story already know much of the dismal tale, and Shenon adds story-telling verve and amazing detail to the trail of destruction, some of it human.

The book opens with the unnerving untold story of Charles William Thomas, a State Department official in Mexico City. In the mid-1960s, Thomas picked up on information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s famous trip to the Mexican capital in October 1963, six weeks before the president was gunned down in Dallas. Thomas insisted his superiors re-investigate the story. They responded by destroying his career. Thomas went on to commit suicide. The government later admitted error and compensated the family without much explanation of what had actually happened.

You have to wonder: If Oswald was a lone maniac, why destroy the man’s career for calling for a second look? You don’t have to agree with Shenon’s position on the larger conspiracy question to be impressed by the detail he brings to this story.

Shenon’s latest piece in Politico revealed that David Slawson, a Warren Commission investigator — and defender — now says the commission was deceived by the CIA and FBI and that Oswald may have had accessories in Mexico City. Read more

Former HSCA counsel Al Lewis dies

A faithful reader passed along this obituary of Al Lewis, former general counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA): Lancaster attorney, who died Monday, took part in JFK investigation – LancasterOnline.

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A new JFK witness?

To say this story, now posted on Vimeo, is flimsy, would be unfair to Mr. Flim.

The problem with Politico’s JFK conspiracy theory

Phil Shenon

As the United States and Cuba seek to negotiate a new relationship, ancient history is intruding.

“What if the answers to the many, persistent questions surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy lie not in Dallas or Washington, D.C., but in the streets of a foreign capital that most Americans have never associated with the president’s murder? Mexico City.”

So begins Phil Shenon’s new piece in Politico, What Was Lee Harvey Oswald Doing in Mexico? Shenon is surely correct that the U.S. government’s response to Lee Oswald’s visit to  Mexico City in October 1963 is key to understanding the JFK assassination story.

And before Washington and Havana can reach any real rapprochement, renewed allegations that the Cuban government aided JFK’s accused assassin demand clarification.

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Another defense of Bill O’Reilly: ‘I have no explanation’

As far as I know I am the only blogger who was written in “In Defense of Bill O’Reilly” when it comes to one of his more egregious fibs. But now I am not alone.

Courtesy of Erik Wemple and the Washington Post:  a defender of O’Reilly stands up for the embattled Fox News host and denies that he told a JFK whopper — sort of.

Bill O’Reilly hides behind a colleague’s account

The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reports:

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O’Reilly’s JFK reporting was impossible, says reporter who was there

Newsweek contributor Edward Jay Epstein has refuted Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib with a first-person account of George de Mohrenschildt’s suicide. Epstein actually was there. And he says O’Reilly was not.

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In defense of Bill O’Reilly

O'Reilly on the grassy knoll

The intrepid young O’Reilly reports from the grassy knoll.

At Salon Joan Walsh asks if Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib will “unravel” him? I doubt it. As Brian Stelter notes, O’Reilly’s ratings are up. Rachel Maddow is scornful but his friends are unfazed, and O’Reilly has moved on. His strategy is clear: Declare victory and get out.

Which leaves us where we were before David Corn first called attention to O’Reilly’s tall tales. Media Matters still wants to take him down because he’s a bad influence on American public discourse. CNN still has sound journalistic and commercial reasons for questioning his credibility

But from the narrower point of JFK Facts, I’m satisfied with O’Reilly’s response. The much-abused Fox News host does not contest the facts first reported in JFK Facts two years ago. That’s decent of him.

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What did George de Mohrenschildt say about Lee Oswald?

I am a Patsy! – The Lost Tapes of George de Mohrenschildt from E2 Films on Vimeo.

George de Mohrenschildt was a fascinating character who would fit into a comic but world-weary spy novel by Graham Greene. And he was good friends with Lee Oswald, the man who supposedly killed President Kennedy. De Morhenschildt doubted that his friend was the author of Kennedy’s death. At the end of his life, he was not afraid to say so. Read more

‘Reliable Sources’ to look at O’Reilly’s JFK story

Reliable SourcesI will be appearing on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” show at 11 am on Sunday, Washington time.

Last week the show’s host Brian Stelter interviewed CBS correspondent Eric Engberg who disputed O’Reilly’s stories about a riot in Argentina in 1982.  I’ll be talking about his JFK fib and what it means. As today’s Washington Post story indicates, the liberal media seem to be ready to move on.

HIs dubious story about being present at the suicide of George De Mohrenschildt, friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, in March 1977, was exposed two years ago by JFK Facts. It remains the biggest remaining threat to his credibility, as Slate’s Justin Peters points out here,

O’Reilly has yet to address the reporting in JFK Facts. So I’ll do it for him.

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O’Reilly not contesting the facts of his JFK fib

Bill O’Reilly seems to have muzzled himself. The publication of David Corn’s “Bill O’Reilly Has His Brian Williams Problem,” followed by the re-publication of JFK Facts’ Jan. 30, 2013, story “Investigators tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib” has done what some thought impossible: The embattled Fox News host has stopped blustering.

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Investigator’s tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib

(First published in JFK Facts, January 30, 2013)

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 his book, which manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades.

But as O’Reilly’s yarn is presented as fact in USA Today and the Fort-Worth Telegram; as his book dominates the best-seller charts; and as a credulous National Geographic embarks on making a documentary of Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly’s credibility matters.
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What JFK’s ‘politics of deception’ gave us

From the font of wisdom that is NewsMax, comes this report: Secret Tapes Reveal JFK’s Duplicity on Cuba, Civil Rights. President Kennedy’s offense in the judgment of today’s right-wing is that he resolved the Cuban missile crisis in secret collaboration with communists.

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