“…So, let us not be blind to our differences — but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
— JFK’s commencement speech at American University, June 10, 1963. Read more
Chris Vogner, movie critic for the Dallas Morning News, reminds us how the first broadcast of Abraham Zapruder’s film of JFK’s assassassination on ABC TV in March 1975 changed American popular culture.
The beautifully illustrated video that accompanies the piece reminds up why the impact of Rivera’s journalism is so hard to acknowledge.
The large-scale declassification of JFK documents in the 1990s brought an estimated 4 million of pages of new assassination-related records into public view and generated a new era in JFK scholarship. But it also illuminated what is still missing or withheld from the public record. Among these are the vast bulk of the records of the Church Committee (named after Idaho Senator Frank Church), which in the mid-70s exposed the CIA plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro among many other abuses.
The JFK film boom illuminates how the perennial debate about the causes of President Kennedy’s assassination gets played out in 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. Yesterday’s JFK film announcement (for a cable documentary “JFK: The Smoking Gun”) sounds vaguely conspiratorial and low-budget; today’s JFK cinema news is proudly anti-conspiratorial and A-list.
National Geographic has announced that Rob Lowe will play JFK in a made-for-TV production of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy,” which posits that President Kennedy was killed by one man alone and unaided. Lowe will star alongside actress Ginnifer Goodwin (“Mona Lisa Smile”) who will play first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
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.
In this video Josiah (“Tink”) Thompson, author of “Six Seconds in Dallas,” who went on to a long career as private investigator, explains how a sound recording from Dealey Plaza matches up with the Zapruder film.
Thompson does not address serious questions that have arisen about the validity of the acoustical evidence. We will explain and explore these questions in future posts.
The spirit of Dallas: Let’s plant an ‘uplifting’ message near the spot where JFK was killed.
The city of fathers of Dallas plan to plant a memorial plaque to President John F. Kennedy near the spot where he was shot dead 50 years ago, reports the Dallas Morning News.
This foolhardly but revealing proposal captures Dallas civic culture at is most clueless. Whatever its intentions, the idea of an “uplifting” plaque in the place where John F. Kennedy — a man, a husband, a father, a veteran of war, a visionary liberal, and a leader — died in a hail of bullets is not only in supremely bad taste. It also may also violate National Park Service regulations requiring that the area be preserved as it appeared 50 years ago.
The South Tampa Tribune rebukes the Associated Press for its recent story on the JFK anniversary. An editorialist for the newspaper Web site noted that the reporter gave credence the “buffoon theorized that Kennedy’s limo driver shot him, as part of an effort to cover up proof of an alien invasion.”
“Shame on the AP for trafficking in such drivel and thus trivializing those who don’t support a lone-assassin theory,” said the Tampa news site. “It was awful timing for bad editing.”
Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil who were both in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
“Why did I run up the grassy knoll? Because cops ran up there,” veteran journalist Robert MacNeil told an audience of approximately 500 people at the Newseum in Washington DC Tuesday night.
MacNeil was alluding to his actions in Dallas on November 22, 1963, when he was the White House reporter for NBC. He was joined at the Newseum by his longtime partner Jim Lehrer — they co-anchored The MacNeil/Lehrer Report for two decades — as part of the Newseum’s retrospective on the JFK assassination on its 50th anniversary.
Peter Mandel, author of children’s books, has a sad piece in the Huffington Post about how happy memories of his father who died when he was eight have been clouded by JFK conspiracy theorists. One can only sympathize. The sins of the father should never be visited upon the son.
Mandel’s father, Paul Mandel, was a Life magazine staff reporter who wrote an erroneous story about Abraham Zapruder’s film of JFK’s assassination in 1963. Some unprofessional writers jumped his mistake and published stupid, unsubstantiated claims about him and even stupider claims about his death from cancer in 1965. Megan Knuth usefully picks apart this rubbish at John McAdams’ JFK Web site.
Variety reports that Cate Blanchett will star in feature film about the assassination of JFK called “Blackbird,” directed by David Mamet. The film joins Tom Hanks’ “Parkland” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Legacy of Secrecy” as coming big-screen interpretations of the tragedy in Dallas 50 years ago.
Based on the description in Variety, “Blackbird” sounds like “Argo” meets Oliver Stone:
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.