The JFK Assassination - Again and Again and Again.

by Bernard McCormick Monday, November 27, 2023 No Comment(s)

David Talbot, whose book “Brothers” remains an authoritative analysis of the Kennedy brothers assassinations, recently wrote that although 65 percent of Americans are convinced that JKF’s death was some sort of conspiracy likely involving our own government, major elements of the press still accept the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.

Talbot traces the indifference of the press back to the original Warren Commission in the 1960s. Its findings were not only accepted but praised by important newspapers. The bylines were people who had barely glanced at the 26 volumes and, in some cases hadn’t read them at all. The handful of people who actually read them quickly began exposing the obvious strained explanations for a lone assassin. Those people were branded kooky conspiracy nuts, but over the years dozens of researchers have reinforced their doubts and gradually convinced the public that we never got the truth of both Kennedy murders.

We saw the press failures up close from the beginning. Extensively briefed by Vince Salandria, a Philadelphia lawyer who had actually read the report, Philadelphia Magazine’s Gaeton Fonzi confronted Arlen Specter, the man who invented the “magic bullet” theory. Specter, who had been basking in the praise for his work, did not expect Fonzi to be so prepared, and he made a fool of himself trying to explain what could not be explained.

This was dramatic stuff but was totally ignored by the Philadelphia media. It was, however, not ignored by Richard Schweiker, who 10 years later was a U.S. Senator, and hired Fonzi as an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Fonzi, who by then was a partner in our Gold Coast Magazine, did a great job, finding a contact between Oswald and a highly placed CIA man who headed anti-Castro efforts in Florida.

His committee head was reluctant to accept his findings, although most of the staff agreed with Fonzi, and its final report said there was a conspiracy behind JFK’s death, but only added to the intrigue by not naming the conspirators. A disappointed Fonzi wrote a book which did name names, and a lot more, some of them CIA operatives. “The Last Investigation” ran in Gold Coast Magazine and The Washingtonian, a well-read and influential publication in the nation’s capital. Amazingly, it too was ignored by Washington media, and not until Fonzi turned it into a book did it attract national interest. Today, it has joined David Talbot’s books as one of the most trusted works on the subject.

We bring this up in connection with a fresh series, “Four Died Trying” which debuted Nov. 22 on the 60th anniversary of JFK’s death. Subsequent installments (more than 20) will be one of the most intensive efforts to uncover the truth. It has been more than seven years in the making. According to director John Kirby, it will include the media’s sorry role over the years. “We address it in the prologue,” says Kirby, and we do it again and again and again.”

It will take a good many agains to make up for the media’s dismal performance over the years.

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