Tag: Journalism

USA Today (almost) tells the story of George de Mohrenschildt

George De Mohrenschildt
George de Mohrenschildt, Oswald’s friend.

As I said the other day, perhaps the best news coverage of the new JFK files comes from USA Today. But it could be better.

In this October 27 dispatch, Ray Locker uses the new JFK files to lay out the incredible story of George de Mohrenschildt. He was a geologist, a bon vivant, and a CIA informant who just happened–quite coincidentally, perhaps–to befriend a young man named Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in the fall of 1962.

The only problem with Locker’s account is that it ends with de Mohrenschildt’s untimely death in 1977. Locker could have, and should have, reported the rest of the story.

Annals of avoidance

Time Cover
How to miss the point

This cover of Time magazine from the 25th anniversary of JFK’s assassination illuminates the peculiar practices of journalists on President Kennedy’s death.

The normal journalistic aspiration is to report news facts on a subject of interest, sift out the less important and lead with the most important, and then put try to put the facts in context.

Of course, there is no such thing as “objectivity.” Journalists bring to bear the usual range of human passions and prejudices to the task. Editors must respond to the publishers who pay everyone’s salary. And news organizations must reach some kind of working relationship with government agencies in order to do their job in reporting on them. But the aspiration to overcome such compromises in service of reporting the news was — is — central to the journalistic enterprise

This Time magazine cover shows a team of highly paid journalism avoiding this aspiration. …

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