We've come to know President John F. Kennedy through a very narrow lens, that of so-called "old media." From vintage newspapers and television reporting that maintained now-anachronistic reverence for the private lives of our leaders to the oft-analyzed Zapruder film, our contemporary relationship with J.F.K. is limited by the time in which he lived.
Fifty years after his death, the presidency, and character and memory of John F. Kennedy has been covered and re-covered and burnished in television specials, articles and at least one extraordinary radio special that you’ll be hearing tomorrow on NHPR. With each retrospective comes the revival of the Kennedy myths…pictures of the sprawling family with their giant smiles, privilege…and no holds barred ambition.
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy fifty years ago this month, left a country in shock and disbelief and as the years went on, awash in conspiracy theories. Nearly a thousand books have disputed the central finding of the Warren Commission: that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot the president. Today, almost two-thirds of the American public doubt believe that Oswald, and his assassin, Jack Ruby, were part of a larger conspiracy.
Richard Mosk was a 23-year-old attorney when he became the youngest member of the commission established by President Johnson to investigate the murder of JFK and his assassin. He’s now associate justice on the California court of appeals. In an article for Stanford magazine, Mosk wrote that he is “apprehensive” about the upcoming anniversary – which will again stir up the conspiracy theories that have shadowed the Warren Commission’s findings for half a century.
Chris Matthews is best known for his opinionated and combative style on his MSNBC program, "Hardball with Chris Matthews." What's lesser known is that he's a former print journalist, was a long-time aide to Tip O'Neill, and that he grew up in an Irish Catholic family...of Republicans. All this played no small part in sewing the seeds of his admiration for a man he'd later write two books about, John F. Kennedy.