By Andrew Kreig, J.D., M.S.L., attorney and journalist. Director of JIP.
Member of the Editorial Board and Associate Editor at The Indicter Magazine.
An NBC News column smearing actor and social critic Alec Baldwin as a “conspiracy theorist” this month because of his views on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy constituted an attack, in effect, on NBC’s consumers, particularly those who care about truth and other democratic values.
That is because the July 19 column, From Trump to Alec Baldwin, conspiracy theories, narcissism and celebrity culture go hand in hand provided no evidence whatsoever that anything Baldwin, shown at right, had said was untrue or otherwise dubious.
NBC’s method was what we might call “The Big Lie and make it come true” via constant repetition.
The column by freelancer Lynn Parramore, Ph.D., continued a long-running campaign by the corporate media establishment — working cooperatively and covertly with government cover-up experts at times and via well-funded private foundations — to smear anyone of stature who disputes the facts about the JFK murder that have been established by well-credentialed independent experts, brave witnesses and other surrogates for the public interest like Baldwin.
That pattern has occurred for decades, according to a statement on the problem drafted in reaction by WhoWhatWhy investigative site founding editor Russ Baker, the best-selling author of Family of Secrets. The subtitle is: “The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.”
Also, he is a former Columbia Journalism Review staff writer who has been published through the decades on varied topics by a large number of nationally prestigious American newspapers.
Baker, above left, wrote this week about the column published by NBC:
The JFK assassination is one of the most widely investigated — yet paradoxically poorly understood — major events in American history. The reason for this is willful blindness, ignorance and self-interest in carrying the preferred narrative.
Shocking fact: The corporate media’s claims on this consistently run counter to what an army of experts of all kinds have actually found. On almost every front, when the public is presented with established facts, from FBI interviews, documents, testimony, it concludes that Kennedy was the victim of an organized operation, not a “lone nut.” (Thus it was entirely consistent with long-standing, documented and well-known US policy of supporting the violent removal of world leaders who were seen as not in line with establishment views, goals and priorities).
However, members of the working press, like university professors and other so-called “experts,” have been for half a century under pressure to promote the “official story” that was put out by the government right from the start. There never was any intent to seriously investigate what happened.
A premium was placed on preserving order, keeping the public calm, and making sure the system churned on. This is not only true of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Many major events, including the assassinations of other leading individuals, were also swept under the rug. That this happened, and is still covered up more than half a century later, reminds us that all is not well in America. Unless the truth is known about how we got where we are today, we cannot truly claim to be in control of our destiny.
We shall expand upon his powerful statement in a future segment of this series, which is broken into several parts for reader convenience.
The rest of this first segment addresses this question:
- Why Make A Fuss?
In the second segment, to be published later this week, we’ll examine more closely the economics of the news industry. The economics include the seldom-reported connections between some major news organizations and the intelligence / defense sectors. These connections help make understandable a reluctance to report on such sensitive matters as the JFK assassination.
We’ll also examine the specifics in Parramore’s column this month.
We contacted her for comment via the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York City, where she is a senior research analyst working at a financier-led think tank co-founded by George Soros and Michael Janeway, the latter a son of Eliot Janeway, a late advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson. We have not yet received a reply.
Why Make A Fuss?
Some may describe Parramore’s essay as simply one person’s superficial view. Yet it was published by a network that does not publish contrary views with such snide and superficial argumentation.
Furthermore, Parramore’s funding appears to come from Wall Street-related entities in significant part and yet she is most visible in ostensibly progressive outlets, such as AlterNet, where she is a contributing editor, Salon and the Huffington Post.
After more than five decades of such coverage by NBC and its peers, now is the time to look deeper.
In that spirit:
Parramore (shown at left) did not focus entirely on Baldwin or JFK because her smear grouped Baldwin into a collection of supposedly mentally disturbed proponents of other controversial research topics. Among them were the causes of the 9/11 attacks and the obvious hoax controversies, such as whether a U.S. moon landing really occurred.
Thus, she grouped Baldwin without any serious evidence into a column subtitled “Whether spreading myths about vaccines, the Moon landing or Barack Obama’s birthplace, science suggests conspiracy theorists tend to share certain characteristics.”
The only factual point that NBC and its author invoked specifically against Baldwin was an article that this editor published in 2017 in The Indicter, a Europe-based human rights online magazine. Baldwin is one of NBC’s own stars via his performances on Saturday Night Live portraying President Trump (as shown below in a screenshot).
That article, Assessing New JFK Records and Alec Baldwin’s Slam of NBC Coverage, recapped disclosures that fall required under a 1992 law unanimously passed by Congress mandating that the federal government release by 2017 virtually all JFK assassination-related documents.
Trump, under pressure from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) not to comply with the 1992 law, unilaterally postponed release of many of the remaining documents until after his first term.
The article also reported Baldwin’s comment to the research group Citizens Against Political Assassination (CAPA) that he had hoped in 2013 to re-examine JFK assassination research on his then-MSNBC talk show on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the fatal shooting — but encountered network resistance and found that his show was cancelled, with the projected segment not produced.
As we documented in 2013, history shows that NBC and its affiliated networks like MSNBC maintain their official positions supporting the 1964 Warren Report, which concluded that accused JFK slayer Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK with three shots fired in six seconds from the rear.
Our Justice Integrity Project column on the topic was entitled, Major Media Stick With Oswald ‘Lone Gunman’ JFK Theory. The column, based on a study of major media news coverage during the fall of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder, is part of our project’s so-far 54-part series Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination.
The guide’s other segments include lists of major books, video, libraries and other research tools for the public on the shooting. It includes hundreds of major works by researchers of all viewpoints, including those advocating the Warren Commission’s views, as well as specialized recommendations for consumers who may have time for only one or two books or films.
Our reports show that NBC has been one of the most prominent news organizations since the 1960s in attacking independent research into the JFK assassination.
NBC’s attacks in 1967 on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison were so aggressive that the network was required under the then-federal Fairness Doctrine right of reply to provide Garrison, below right, with 27 minutes for a nationwide broadcast rebuttal to NBC.
In Garrison’s reply, he told the public that his office had concluded that the CIA and powerful private interests who opposed Kennedy’s foreign policies were implicated in the murder plot and cover-up. Garrison is the only government official ever to mount a criminal investigation into JFK’s death. He used a grand jury to accumulate evidence and filed murder conspiracy charges against a prominent New Orleans businessman, Clay Shaw.
Garrison told Americans that they should not believe media conglomerates because the media organizations were lying to them to promote what Garrison called the “fairy tale” that Oswald had killed Kennedy, acting alone.
Since the 1964 Warren Report the CIA has covertly popularized the concept that only “conspiracy theorists” would doubt the Warren Report and that such “theorists” should be shamed from employment in journalism or academia.
A 50-page CIA memo — known as “CIA Dispatch 1035-960” and declassified in 1996 thanks to Freedom of Information efforts by the JFK research community — instructed agents to contact their media contacts and disparage those, like Garrison, who were criticizing the Warren Commission findings that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and acted alone. The 1967 document is here in the original, and here in reformatted text of its summary.
The CIA’s covert campaign thwarts public understanding of the forensic evidence demonstrating that the Warren Report could not be accurate on many points, including the gunfire ballistics of bullets fired at Kennedy. There exists also vast witness and documentary evidence supporting the view that Oswald’s role was complicated and that he may have been a “patsy,” as he claimed to be before he was murdered in Dallas police custody two days after JFK’s death by the mob figure Jack Ruby.
Its depiction of Ruby’s role is one of the most clearly false conclusions of the Warren Report, which stated that he had no mob connections. Other evidence has shown that the Dallas nightclub owner had clear-cut connections to New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, who controlled mob activities in central Texas and who hated the Kennedys. The Warren Report’s misleading conclusion on Ruby helped avoid an inquiry of whether he killed Oswald, a New Orleans native with extensive covert ties to anti-communists and law enforcers, in order to shut him up.
That evidence is contained in some four million pages of declassified documents. Also, a lot of it is published in an estimated 3,000 books devoted in part or in total to the JFK assassination.
The evidence has resulted in large majorities of the American public disbelieving the Warren Report, according to decades of polling. That polling typically shows that more than 60 percent of the public (sometimes well over 70 percent), does not believe the blue-ribbon panel that JFK’s successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, appointed under the leadership of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.
The polling thus shows a decided public preference for the Garrison / JFK Director Oliver Stone / Alec Baldwin view of the evidence — and not that of NBC and what Garrison called the “press-media” establishment of New York City and Washington, DC.
Thus, the most important reason for re-examining last week’s NBC column is that it represents an attack on the essence of fact-finding, logic, history, citizen action and democracy.
Stay tuned as we provide further details in our next column in this series.
This article appeared first at Justice Integrity Project
Contact the author Andrew Kreig