Robert Groden, the JFK whistleblower who brought Abraham Zapruder’s home movie of JFK’s assassination to a national audience for the first time, spoke this week with Jeff Schechtman of WhoWhatWhy.
Groden injected some common sense into a some foolish side issue in JFK discussions. Like Alexandra Zapruder, author of a recent book on her grandfather’s film, Groden emphasizes what matters is the evidence on the film, not speculation about its handling.
“We’ve gotten to the point now where defenders of the Warren Commission and attackers on both sides are saying the Zapruder film was fake. No, it wasn’t fake,” Groden said.
In an essay for The Washington Post, prolific novelist Joyce Carol Oates opines that the real problem in the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy was not the government’s implausible and mendacious account of the crime but the confused and outraged response of the American majority that could not–and does not–believe it.
In the Age of Viral Video, it is hard to believe but it is true: Abraham Zapruder’s home movie of JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963 was not shown to the American people for twelve years after it was first taken.
“I asked him [RFK], perhaps tactlessly, about Oswald. He said that there could be no serious doubt that he was guilty, but there was still argument whether he did it by himself or as part of a larger plot, whether organized by Castro or by gangsters. He said that the FBI thought he had done it by himself, but that McCone thought there were two people involved in the shooting.”
— Arthur Schlesinger writing about a conversation with Robert Kennedy on Dec. 5, 1963, quoted in Schlesinger’s Journals: 1952-2000, p. 214.
This morning I was swimming in the warm liberal bath that is the daily Washington Post. I was thoroughly enjoying Dana Milbank’s take down of Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity. Milbank was demolishing Hannity’s foolish claim that fellow gasbag Glenn Beck could “go to jail” for criticizing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. (One of the few pleasures of the 2016 presidential campaign is watching these jackasses bicker among themselves.)
Milbank quoted Beck’s unusually astute interpretation of the 1rst Amendment.
“That’s my point,” Beck replied, adding: “Donald Trump has people chanting, ‘Put them in jail, put them in jail,’ about the press. When is someone’s opinion on a public figure something that is jail-worthy and not First Amendment protected?”
“Such a question,” Milbank went on, “might have troubled Hannity during those occasions when he fancied himself a journalist over the years. Instead, he has gone full Grassy Knoll, in a manner reminiscent of Beck…”
That’s the Al Bogard story – the entire saga of the Lincoln-Mercury dealership near Dealey Plaza is one of the best double Oswald stories, a “great impersonation” if there ever was one. His story is well corroborated.
The national media, much less diverse and fragmented in 1963 than today, joined the campaign to assuage doubts and dispel “rumors” about JFK’s assassination. Pollsters were already finding that a majority of Americans suspected conspiracy. Life Magazine’s Dec. 6 issue was devoted primarily to photo coverage of the Kennedy funeral, but also included a piece by Paul Mandel entitled “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds.”
The article began with a quote from Dallas DA Henry Wade: “I would say without any doubt that he is the killer”, and referred to Oswald as “the assassin.”
Life Magazine had earlier purchased rights to Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the murder in Dealey Plaza, and in a November 29 issue had shown frames from that film in black-and-white. Now the Mandel article tried to reconcile the film with Oswald’s guilt. Read more
Alex Cox, the creative cinematic mind who gave us “Repo Man” and “Sid and Nancy,” offers his reflections on the saddest, shortest movie ever, the Zapruder film. He relies on Doug Horne’s original research. (H/T Tad) Read more
“What more can possibly said about the Zapruder film?” asks historian Max Holland in this May 7 talk at the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. His answer: the first gunshot was fired before Abraham Zapruder began filming. He argues that the shooting took place over 11 seconds, meaning Lee Oswald had plenty of time to fire the fatal shot.
“Author and journalist Max Holland will trace the tangled history of the most famous yet misunderstood piece of evidence from the assassination: the 26.5-second long film made by Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder.”
As a person who was hired by Jeremy Gunn in 1995, and who worked closely under him (and with him) from August of 1995 until his abrupt resignation from the Assassination Records Review Board in July of 1998, I watched his presentation with great interest.