Fox News does right by JFK critics

While liberal news outlets have ignored the story so far, the conservative Fox News network (and a Fox News station in Bangor, Maine) are respectfully reporting that “Skeptics of JFK assassination official version say they’re barred from 50th anniversary.”

The Washington-based Committee on Political Assassinations (COPA) has held a vigil in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza every year on November 22. This year the City of Dallas says it will deny the group a permit for the vigil and turn the space where JFK was killed over to a civic group that is planning a ceremony that will avoid any mention of the causes of JFK’s death. COPA president John Judge says the city is denying the permit for political reasons.

In an unusually fair and balanced story, Fox reported

“This is content-based denial of free speech in a public park,” Judge wrote on his organization’s website. “Dealey Plaza belongs to history and to the American people, especially on the 50th anniversary.”

Fox identifies Judge and COPA as “skeptics of JFK assassination official version,” a more accurate and less pejorative term than “conspiracy theorists,” which the Wall Street Journal used in its headline on the story last week. Fox noted that COPA does not promote a single theory of JFK’s assassination.

This phrasing, I think, is the result of Fox’s populist worldview, which is inclined to respect the majoritarian view that JFK’s death was work of a political conspiracy. For liberal news editors, the fact that upwards of 70 percent of people believe in a JFK conspiracy is usually seen as a symptom of popular irrationality.  For Fox News the popular belief in conspiracy is seen as a commonsensical rebuke of elite liberal news organizations, which generally endorse the official story that one man killed JFK for reasons known only to himself.

This headline is a reminder that the politics of the JFK assassination story do not break down along neat ideological lines.




3 thoughts on “Fox News does right by JFK critics”

  1. In this context it’s worth noting another instance of “only on Fox”. In a Special Report follow-up on the 9/11 case focusing mostly on the loose ends left by the 9/11 commission regarding the then-San Diego-based cleric Anwar Al-Alaki (later killed by a drone strike authorized by Obama), Fox permitted commission member Sen. Graham (D-Fla) to state that the 28 pages redacted (blanked out) of the commission report were taken out to protect Saudi nationals or possible the Saudi government itself. This was later verified by Cong. Walter Jones (R-NC) who as a House member was able to read to unredacted document. No other news U.S. networks have permitted this on their programs.
    The sneering denialism expressed by twerps like “Darwin” suits the security establishment’s purposes perfectly. By marginalizing the slightest deviation from the obvious “Channel One Party Line” that constitutes U.S. network “news” such commentaries reinforce the system as it stands. The very fact that all the networks, including PBS, produced essentially the same “docu-dramatic” slop on the 50th anniversary of the JFK hit (followed up by universal, grovelling idolatry for LBJ as Obama made a speech at the LBJ library) shows how journalism has declined to a point where the Orwellian is routine.

  2. Fox News is for morons.
    A simple google search will show that many other media outlets have had this same story.
    If you think any of the mass media are liberal you are delusional. All are owned by a handful of major corporations. None question our government including and especially Faux news.
    Fox has a “populist worldview”? Wow.

    1. Yes, Fox News has a populist streak and it showed in this journalistically appropriate headline.

      Contrary to your comment, my blog post did not say that Fox News was “liberal.” My blog post said that Fox News is “conservative”

      I do think that elite news organizations like the New York TImes are “liberal” in the American political context. Witness their suppor for President Obama’s reelection, opposition to conservative voter suppression efforts, support for greater gun control, closing Guantanamo, marriage equality, progressive taxation, and liberalization of drug prohibition policies. In what sense are these not liberal positions?

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