The disturbing shadow of John F. Kennedy’s assassination remains visible in American politics and journalism.
Witness the appearance of Roger Stone, adviser to Donald Trump, at a symposium on Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans, which drew the attention of the New York Times (and the pro-Clinton attack group Media Matters.)
“At a time when talk of having lost the country is very much in vogue, along with deep suspicions of a powerful and secretive elite, the symposium seemed remarkably of the moment,” writes reporter Campbell Robertson.
Of course, reporting on how fears of secret power are driving the discourse of the 2016 presidential election is an eminently timely and worthy subject. But reporting is what Robertson failed to do. Instead of learning the latest JFK facts, Times readers were served a birthday cake. Read more
“Conspiracy theories,” writes author Annie Jacobsen in a New York Times forum, are “the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of how we live.” A JFK conspiracy theory (or anti-conspiracy theory) is a story we tell ourselves in order to make sense of what happened on November 22, 1963.
The NYTimes.com asks: “Would the security needs of the United States be better served if the agency were dismantled?”
Three responses are especially apt. All of them note that CIA abuses of power are deeply rooted in the agency’s history, going back to the Kennedy presidency.
“The C.I.A.’s growth was ‘likened to a malignancy’ which the ‘very high official was not sure even the White House could control … any longer.’ ‘If the United States ever experiences [a coup to overthrow the government] it will come from the C.I.A. and not the Pentagon.’ The agency ‘represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.'”
Writing in the New York Times, a native of Dallas notes the oddness of the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination on Friday.
The reality of Dallas on that day will go unmentioned. It will be, in the words of James Douglass, Unspeakable.
With the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination barely three months away, the New York Times appears to have solved one lingering question: the provenance of a curious gravestone that appeared next to Lee Harvey Oswald’s final resting place in Ft. Worth’s Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery about 15 years ago.
This is an important development. An accomplished newspaper reporter is taking on a subject most accomplished journalists have shied away from for 50 years: the government’s compromised investigation of the assassination of JFK.
From the Atlantic Wire.
“Phillip Shenon, a former New York Times reporter and author of The Commission, an acclaimed and critical look at the 9/11 Commission Report, has promised us a new book that claims that “powerful” people had influenced the Warren Commission’s investigation and final conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing John F. Kennedy.”
In short, Shenon is doing individually what the Times never did institutionally: accountability reporting on JFK’s assassination.
The first reports were reassuring.
“Initial reports of another explosion at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston turned out to be an unrelated fire,” said The Washington Post. The New York Times reported the same.
But a Boston police official does not rule out a connection, according to the Dorchester News, which reported: Read more
Last month, in an empty movie theater in Washington, DC, I saw “Parkland,” the Tom Hanks-Peter Landesmann film about the assassination of President Kennedy. I was so underwhelmed I didn’t know what to say.
The fact that the movie tanked at the box office and puzzled critics indicated its presentation of JFK’s murder as a fairly ordinary homicide in Texas had no resonance, even with elite media organizations imbued with a cultural affinity for the lone gunman theory. So I decided I would write something after the 50th anniversary and I never got around to it.