The talismanic power that the JFK story holds for senior Washington journalists such as Chris Matthews and Brian Williams is evident in this NBC story that aired on Thursday. These mementos of Kennedy’s life are like the relics of saints, treasured as an expression of faith in an exemplary personality. Yet the very power of this faith seems to forbid mentioning a heretical fact.
The man who collected this material, JFK’s friend Dave Powers, described as “the keeper of the Kennedy flame,” was in the Dallas motorcade on Nov.22 1963. Powers agreed with his friend Ken O’Donnell that he heard gunshots from the so-called grassy knoll in front of the motorcade.
For some (like Williams and Matthews), reverence for JFK virtually rules out reporting such a fact. For others, respect for JFK’s legacy virtually requires it.
Why the difference?
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5 thoughts on “JFK: faith, fact and heresy”
When we reduce the deliberately spectacular assassination of a democratically elected president to souvenir hunting, I think we become complicit in the cover up.
Wait long enough and a well-funded movie – similar to “Lincoln” – named for “Kennedy” will garner numerous Academy Award nominations. And soon after, the memory of JFK will fade into the mists of myth and time. We can be certain that enterprising Americans will assuredly make money off the T-Shirts, the coffee mugs, the screen savers.
I trust that the mandate of jfkfacts.org is honorable and not intended to be an exercise designed to occupy the time and energy of well-meaning researchers but more committed to solving the legal question of who murdered Kennedy and why.
As a side note, I think that there should be less emphasis placed on November 22, 2013 and more focus directed toward exposing those who desired to steal our democracy, however long that requires. We should not let those who murdered Kennedy establish the perimeters.
Thanks Leslie, I take your comment as a reminder to keep our focus: the site is not “an exercise designed to occupy the time and energy of well-meaning researchers but more committed to solving the legal question of who murdered Kennedy and why.”
That inconvenient fact would be that LBJ and war hawks in CIA/military intelligence put a bullet in JFK’s head and LBJ, Hoover, Allen Dulles, Gerald Ford and John J. McCloy and the NY Times covered it up.
I have have bought and mailed 10 of the best books on the JFK assassination and have mailed them all to Chris Matthews’ personal assistant within the past 6 months. And, yet, he still screams like an idiot on TV about those silly “Grassy Knoll conspiracy theorists.”
It is beyond learning, facts & knowledge. It is a religion. Matthews, just like the neocons and the GOP base, likes to crow about American exceptionalism – that we are the best country in the world today and the best country ever.
Our poop does not stink. Our leaders do not lie. Murderers have never been in the Oval Office. The media is not controlled and gets the story “right” every time.
The ugly and unfortunate narrative of a coup d’etat in 1963 – much like coup d’etats in a banana republics that the USA is always pushing around, does not comfortably jibe with “We’re the best country ever” American exceptionism narrative the both Chris Matthews and the neocons push.
At Christmas time, most families don’t gather around the dinner table and talk about the fact that grandfather was a child molester who molested 4 girls in the family and a frozen grandmother knew all about it. Ditto the JFK assassination.
The ugly reality of the JFK assassination is a big bitter pill to swallow for folks like Chris Matthews, the NYT, MSM, acadamia, our most lauded historians (Caro, Dallek, Bechloss) … not to mention CIA/FBI/government & military and Secret Service. Or the descendents of the rich families in the shadow government that approved it. These folks sit on the boards of the schools, the foundations and presidential libraries.
The truth is ugly and it is discrediting to their institutions, the politicians they worked for and in some cases, their families.
History will not absolve them.
Matthews is very difficult to figure out. He will walk right up to the question of conspiracy but always pull back. Has he not done his homework on this? Chris, now is the time to do it.
Dave Powers refused to change his story about a shooter in front of the car and, accordingly, he was not interviewed by the Warren Commission because they would then have had to print the truth about the shots–out of the question, of course.