JFK Denialism: Why Does Mainstream Media Refuse to Ask the Real Questions About His Death?
Guests watch a JFK speech at a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of his Cold War declaration "Ich bin ein Berliner", on June 26, 2013. His wife Jackie reportedly told Monroe she was welcome to move into the White House.
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Every day, people are charged with criminal conspiracy in courtrooms around the country. In those cases, a “conspiracy” merely describes a criminal act involving two or more individuals. Also every day, the establishment media reports on various criminal conspiracies — including racketeering, insider trading, political corruption, sex scandals and murder plots.
Murder plots are their favorite, particularly when a husband or wife or crazed lover hires an assassin to knock off a troublesome or inconvenient spouse for personal gain. The details and facts of those conspiracies attract a great deal of attention from journalists and news personalities who pore over police blotters, always looking for a good hook to a shocking story with “legs” and, therefore, a long life with lots of details and great ratings.
Yet, over the last 50 years, the simple, descriptive word “conspiracy” has taken on a double life. On one hand, a feverish “true crime” obsession has spread around the news business, turning newsmagazine shows into banal police procedurals, and transforming entire cable broadcasts into tabloid mimics fixated upon mysteries, cover-ups and conspiracies.
The media literally spent years on the case of Chandra Levy and never stopped asking “Who killed JonBenét Ramsey?” They’ve obsessed on Amanda Knox’s convoluted story and eagerly entertained various theories about the death of Princess Diana. And they even jumped headfirst into the feeding frenzy around the murder of J.R. Ewing!
On the other hand, when faced with the crime of the 20th Century — the murder of President John F. Kennedy — those selfsame establishment mediacrats have relentlessly and effectively mutated the term “conspiracy” into a dismissive, all-purpose epithet: the “conspiracy theory.”
Instead of handling JFK’s murder like a criminal case, they’ve treated it like an urban legend. Rather than examining eyewitness accounts or reporting on the facts and notable names associated with the murder, they’ve become a pool of official stenographers. They simply ignore conspiracy facts and make offhanded remarks about conspiracy theories.
Take note that it is always the plural: “theories.” It colors every critique or suspicion of the official story with the taint of alien autopsies, Bigfoot sightings and faked moon landings. Even worse, they’ve established a blockade around experts and researchers and best-selling authors who have — over the last 50 years — uncovered reams of new information and documents relating to the case.
No, the establishment media prefers to consult with news personalities and pulp-trade historians who opine about the “myth” and “legend” and psychological “meaning” of JFK’s life and death. This is an interesting, self-serving distraction. It avoids tough questions, replacing them with predictable intonations on the tragic fall of Camelot, with epic paeans to JFK’s charisma and Jackie’s panache, and with somber reflections on a nation’s shock and awe.
And it is all punctuated with the perennial question of “What if?” “What if Jack had lived?” Alas, it is no replacement for the far more relevant question of “How did Jack die?”
Ironically, the establishment media incessantly theorizes about “what ifs” and groans about conspiracy theories while the people they accuse in absentia of being “theorists” dutifully, often heroically, gather and share conspiracy facts.
Tune into CBS or NBC or ABC or anywhere around the dial, and you do not see James DiEugenio or David Talbot or James Douglass. Instead you get Chris Matthews and Rob Lowe and, most disappointingly of all, Ken Burns. They speak like people who haven’t read. They embrace a theory they haven’t questioned. And they explain away “the people” who believe in conspiracy theories with callow psychobabble.
In spite of all their talk, they literally say nothing. There is no mention of the House Select Committee on Assassination’s determination that JFK was likely killed by a conspiracy or the invaluable book by Committee investigator Gaeton Fonzi. There is no mention of the information uncovered by the Assassination Records Review Board or that it was established because Oliver Stone did what many “journalists” and “mainline historians” refused to do. And, perhaps most significantly, completely absent is Jim Garrison’s prosecutorial dismantling of the Warren Commission.