Robert Kennedy’ Jr.’s courageous comments in Dallas Friday night on his father’s suspicions about the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, are drawing coverage across the political spectrum, an indication of the broad interest in alternative views of the JFK story as the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches later this year.
The desire for a more factual explanation of JFK’s murder is not liberal or conservative. It is American.
The mainstream media’s interest is obvious. The initial story in the Dallas Morning News was followed by an Associated Press story that was in turn picked up by USA TODAY (“RFK Children Speak About JFK Assassination “), NBC News, (“RFK Jr: ‘Very convincing’ evidence that JFK wasn’t killed by lone gunman”), MSN (“Rober Kennedy’s kids don’t buy lone gunman theory in JFK killing”), CBS News in Washington (“RFK Jr: Evidence ‘Very Convincing’ Lone Gunman Did Not Kill JFK”), and Taegen Goddard’s popular Political Wire blog (“RFK Jr. says JFK wasn’t killed by lone gunman”).
The range of interest in the political blogosphere is especially striking. The reliably conservative New York Post ran the story; so did the libertarian DailyPaul. In a front page story for the conservative Breitbart.com, Paul Bigelow writes:
There have always been those who doubted the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the JFK assassination. Now, they have an interesting ally: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
On the left, the liberal Huffington Post ran a story. And in the political center, Joe Gandelman, editor of the Moderate Voice, notes:
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has now said what many Americans have suspected and some historians have at times hinted: his father Robert F. Kennedy had serious doubts about whether President John F. Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman — and suspected the possible involvement of organized crime.
The story attracted interest high and low. It was tweeted by Greg Toppo, a national K-12 education reporter for USA Today. It was picked up by Radar Online, a celebrity news site.
“Just what was new was hard to figure,” wrote a baffled Dallas Morning News editorial writer Rodger Jones after the event.
No, its not that hard to figure: A scion of the Kennedy family came to the place of his family’s tragedy and revealed a fact not known to most Americans: that his father, the slain president’s brother, never believed the official theory that JFK was killed by one man alone and unaided.
Nothing like this has never happened before. That’s why Americans regardless of their ideological views are interested. As I wrote yesterday, I think this news that will change the media discussion of JFK’s assassination on the 50th anniversary of the Dallas tragedy later this year.
10 thoughts on “RFK Jr.’s JFK assassination comments covered across the political spectrum”
So we think this was “widely covered”?
Quick questions. How many follow up stories did it generate? A one and done story on a Friday night will ashtray the content not make it build and lead to further questions.
How many of the media write ups and broadcasts mentioned RFK’s remarks about the CIA. When this story broke in Jan 13 I did a rushed and informal pole with too small a sample size because I have to work for a living. 2 of the media sources mentioned the CIA comment and 8 left it out.
For media to have impact it has to be MEDIAted. I.e. there has to be enough people who see it and it has to have follow up stories until a narrative with enough critical mass who can hear it. Otherwise individual’s questions, no matter how logical, will have no opportunity of becoming part of the widely heard social conversation.
For fifty years the media has been asking, if there was a conspiracy why didn’t the Kennedy Family speak? When they finally did, it was mediated with muffled one and done coverage. Given the momentous nature of RFK Jr.s comments this was the media equivalent of one of Mitch Werbel’s silencers.
Contrast this mediation with that of the Watergate narrative. Everything was full spectrum. Everything was critical massed to the point where nearly 100% of reading public knew the generalities of the story. Each mysterious question such as Rosemary’s boo boo was front paged and Networked into one coherent narrative.
I didn’t even know oswald had a phone.
“I didn’t even know oswald had a phone”
Well, there goes the whole case for conspiracy, I guess…
Not only didn’t Oswald act alone, the official evidence is that he didn’t even act, certainly not with organized crime.
This illustrates the name brand function of mainstream media. If someone important says it, it’s news; every outlet has to cover it because a Kennedy says it.
David Talbot wrote thoroughly on Robert Kennedy’s belief on this in Brothers in 2007. This “story” adds what to that effort?
RFK Jr.s remarks adds tremendously to David Talbot’s journalism. Talbot is one journalist. RFK Jr. is close to American royalty. Yes, his voice is privileged in mass media accounts. That’s a good thing in this context. It is the first time a Kennedy family member has expressed such doubts so clearly. To do so in Dallas is to bring the conversation literally into new territory. This story adds a lot.
It is just a matter of time before someone “big” breaks in into the reality (conspiracy)camp. Someone with the platform of a Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reilly, Tom Hanks, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Charles Krauthammer. Of course, I don’t mean *those* folks, but rather some with that platform, reach & stature. Once 1 or 2 heavy hitters wakes up, gets honest then I think the whole dike starts to crack and the flood of truth will begin.
I do think some of the murderers of JFK are still alive in 2012 (in their 80’s or more if David Rockefeller was in on it.)
Well, you fact checked RFK, Jr. and he failed, partially.
There is no Oswald-Mob connection. So, yeah, he added a lot to the story: misinformation.
I meant, how much farther did he move along David Talbot’s story line? I didn’t mean, did his speaking get more mainstream media attention to the topic?
“The desire for a more factual explanation of JFK’s murder is not liberal or conservative. It is American.” I know people in in Texas who come from the hard right who believe Lyndon Johnson and the CIA murdered John Kennedy.
I also know people in in Austin, Texas who come from the hard left who believe Lyndon Johnson and the CIA murdered John Kennedy.
I do not mean to imply that these views are dominant, but they are a sizeable minority or even a slim majority believe that the government murdered JFK. Maybe 25% of the other population believe it was the mafia or Fidel Castro (I assess that last one at one in 10,000,000 odds).
80-85% believe in a conspiracy in the JFK assassination.
The Warren Report has been discredited in the minds of Americans since fall, 1966 when Mark Lane’s “Rush to Judgement” came out. This was 25 years before Oliver Stone’s JFK.
Interesting and welcome comments by RFK Jr. Below is a clip from ABC News on his comments, interesting to see when he was asked then who did it – about the Mafia, Cubans, he says or “Rogue CIA agents.”
Then ABC puts on an author saying its been re investigated several times and nobody ever found anything other than Oswald did it-failing to mention the HSCA finding of “probable conspiracy.” JFKfacts.org should correct the record for ABC.
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