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A Small Town View of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
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"Right now the TV boys are a bunch of sensation seekers"
One of the most widely discussed events in American history is the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX on November 21, 1963.
Lee Harvey Oswald was commonly thought to be the assassin, though there was little chance to make much of it. Conspiracy theorists, of course, have widely different views of this tragic events. These include everything from the FBI, to the CIA, to the Communist party (of which Oswald was well known to be a member).
In the Gazette Virginian, there is a column called "Leaves from a Reporter's Notebook" which is essentially an opinion column on the front page of this newspaper. The reporter for this issue has a little to say on the assassination and the aftermath.
This journalist brings out a theory that differed from the current view a mere 5 days from the assassiniation. His views are very interesting as he doubts Oswald's involvement. He blames the press and the Dallas police department in silencing Oswald and essentially "closing the case" by Jack Ruby's shooting of Oswald.
Very concerned about how the media feeds of public reaction and understanding the media's role in informing the public of the truth ("Someday, we hope, this newest news medium, will grow up and realize its responsibilities to the American people"), the publicly denounce the actions and motives of fellow journalists because "the world may never know the truth".
Many years later we are fully realizing the opinions of this journalist as we still can't say for sure what happened.
- South Boston, Halifax, VA
- 26 Nov 1963
Warren Commission agrees with journalist's view
Nearly a year later the now famous Warren Commission was released with statements that went along with our Gazette Virginian reporter's view a mere 5 days after the assassination. They (the Commission) went so far as to declare "that the news media must share with the Dallas police the blame for the slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald".
What the Gazette reporter called a "roman circus" the Commission called "utter chaos" in describing how the news media handled the event. The Commission gives much greater detail (as the details couldn't have possibly hit the Gazette by the 5th day) about how the situation was handled and "called for a code of conduct to be drawn up by the news media to cover such situations".
- South Boston, VA
- 29 Sep 1964