Control of the Media
As mentioned in Chapter 1, one of the two clever strategies used by the Power Control Group in the taking of America has been the control of the news media.
For those American citizens who steadfastly refuse to believe that all of the American establishment news media could be controlled by the CIA and its friends in the White House, the continuing support of the Warren Commission's lone assassin conclusion by virtually all of the major news media organizations in November, 1975, twelve years after the event, must have been very puzzling indeed. Since 78% of the public believe that there was a conspiracy in the case, there must be a series of questions in the minds of the most intelligent of the 78% about the media's position on the subject.
This Chapter is intended to enlighten readers and to remind them of the control exercised by the intelligence community and the White House over the 15 organizations from whom the public gets the vast majority of its news and opinions.
Let's begin with 1968-1969. By 1973 the American public had begun to develop a skepticism toward information they received on television or radio. Various news stories appearing in our national news media through those years had brought about this attitude. Some examples are: the Songmy-Mylai incident, the Pueblo story, the murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton, the Pentagon Papers, the Clifford Irving hoax, the Bangladesh tragedy and the India-Pakistan war, Hoover & FBI antics, the Jack Anderson papers, and IT&T and the Republican National Convention.
The general reaction was bound to be, "Don't believe everything you read, see or hear, especially the first time around, and more especially if the story comes from Washington." In the case of the Pentagon Papers, things we all had taken as gospel for nearly two decades suddenly seemed to crumble.
To what extent can the national news media be held responsible for this situation? What has happened to the inquiring reporter and the crusading editor who are both searching for and printing the truth? If a government or a president lies or keeps secrets, can the American news media really find out about it? And if they do, what moral, ethical, political or other criteria should they use in uncovering the lies and presenting them to the public?
Vice President Agnew would have said, "The press is already going too far." Members of the press would have said, "We must remain independent and maintain the freedom of speech." Just how independent is the news media? Is it controlled to some extent by Washington?
The answer to some of these questions can be found by taking an inside look at the major national news media organizations during 1968 and 1969 and how they treated the most controversial news subject since World War II. The assassination of John F. Kennedy and its aftermath is an allpervading, endless topic. It has yet to reach the Pentagon Papers, Anderston papers, or Mylai stage of revelation. Precisely because it is still such a controversial subject, verboten for discussion among all major news media (unless the discussant supports the Warren Commission), it serves as an excellent case study.
A categorical statement can be made that management and editorial policy, measured by what is printed and broadcast in all major American news media organizations, supports the findings of the Warren Commission. This has been true since 1969, but it was not true between 1964 and 1969.
Of significance in this analysis and what it implies about the American public's knowledge about the assassination and its aftermath is a definition of "major American national news media." It can be demonstrated that an overwhelming mass of news information reaching the eyes and ears of Americans comes from about fifteen organizations. They are, in general order of significance: NBC-TV & Radio CBS-TV & Radio, ABC-TV & Radio, Associated Press, United Press, "Time-Life-FortuneSports Illustrated," McGraw Hill "Business Week," "Newsweek," "U.S. News & World Report," "New York Times" News Service, "Washington Post" News Service, Metromedia News Network, Westinghouse Radio News Network, Capital City Broadcasting Radio Network, the North American Newspaper Alliance, and the "Saturday Evening Post" (the "Post" is, of course, now defunct.)
There are some subtle reasons for this, not generally appreciated by the average citizen. Television has, of course, become the primary source of information. For any nationally circulated news story, local stations rely heavily on film, videotape and written script material prepared and edited by the three networks. Once in a while Metromedia may also send out TV material. In effect, this means that editorial content for a vast majority of the television information seen by American citizens everywhere originates not only with three or four organizations but also with a very small number of producers, editors and commentators in those networks.
A large majority of any national news items printed by local newspapers originates in a small number of press-wire services. AP and UP dominate this area, with selected chains of papers subscribing to a lesser extent to new services of the "New York Times," "Washington Post," North American Newspaper Alliance, and a very small percentage receiving information from papers in Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis.
In a national news story of major significance such as the assassination of John Kennedy, the smaller local papers rely almost exclusively on their affiliated news services. Economic reasons dictate this situation. The small paper can't afford to have reporters everywhere. The major newspapers might send a man to Dallas for a few days to cover the assassination, or they might send a man to New Orleans to cover the Clay Shaw trial. But even the major papers can't afford to cover every part of a continuing story anywhere around the world. So they too rely on UP and AP for much of their material. They also rely on AP, UP and Black Star for most of their photographic material.
In the case of news magazines, the holding corporations become important in forming editorial policy in a situation as controversial as the assassination of JFK. Time Inc. and "Life," "Newsweek" and the "Washington Post," "U.S. News," and McGraw Hill managements all became involved.
Fifteen organizations is a surprisingly small number, and one is led to conjecture about how easy or difficult it might be to control or dictate editorial policy for all of them or some appreciable majority of them. An article in "Computers and Automation" reprinted a statement by John R. Rarick, Louisiana Congressman and an entry made in the "Congressional Record" bearing on this subject. In the reprint, the "Government Employees Exchange" publication is quoted as stating that the CIA New Team used secret cooperating and liaison groups after the Bay of Pigs in the large foundations, banks and newspapers to change U.S. domestic and foreign relations through the infiltration of these organizations. The coordinating role at "The New York Times" was in the custody of Harding Bancroft, Executive Vice President.
A useful analysis consists of examining what happened organizationally and editorially inside each of the fifteen companies following the assassination of President Kennedy. My personal knowledge, plus information available from a few sources connected with the major news media, permits such an analysis to be made for eleven of the fifteen. They are: NBC, CBS, ABC, Time-Life, "The New York Times," "Newsweek," Associated Press, United Press, "Saturday Evening Post," Capital City Broadcasting, and North American Newspaper Alliance. In addition, the performance of nine local newspapers and TV stations directly involved in the events in Dallas and New Orleans will be analyzed. These include: "Dallas Times Herald," "Dallas Morning News," Fort Worth "Star Telegram," Dallas CBS-Affiliate WBAP, "New Orleans Times Picayune," "New Orleans Times Herald," and New Orleans NBC-Affiliate WDSU-TV.
Most of these organizations had reporters and photographers in Dallas at the time of the assassination or within a few hours thereafter. Most of them had direct coverage available when Jim Garrison's investigation broke into the news in 1967 and during the trial of Clay Shaw in New Orleans in 1969. For many of them the Shaw trial became the running point in the changing of editorial policy toward the assassination. For a few, the Garrison investigation and the Shaw trial took on the aspect of waving a red flag in front of a bull. They became directly involved in a negative way and thus not only reported the news, but also biased it.
Immediately following the assassination the media reported nearly everything that had obviously happened. All was confused for the first few days. The killing of Oswald by Ruby on live television produced even greater confusion.
For one year the major media reported everything, from probable Communist conspiracies to the lone assassin theory. The media waited for the Warren Report, and when it was issued in October of 1964 many of the major media fell into line and editorially backed the Commission's findings. Some questioned the findings and continued to question them until 1968 or 1969. "The New York Times" and "Life" magazine fell into this category. But by the time the Shaw trial ended in March 1969, every one of the fifteen major news media organizations was backing the Warren Commission and they have continued to maintain this editorial position since.
The situation would perhaps not be so surprising had not the internal assassination research teams in several of these organizations discovered the truth about the Kennedy killing between 1964 and 1968. These teams examined the evidence and thoroughly analyzed it. No one who has ever taken the trouble to objectively do just that has reached any conclusion other than conspiracy.
In each and every case the internal findings were overruled, suppressed, locked up, edited and otherwise altered to back up the Warren Commission. Management at the highest editorial and corporate level took the action in every instance. Before drawing any further generalization about the performance of the media in the JFK case, it will be revealing to examine what happened and specifically who took what actions in the case of the eleven national organizations and the nine local ones listed earlier.
The Time Inc. organization let "Life Magazine" establish its editorial policy while "Time" published more or less standard "Time-Life" stories. "Life" became directly involved in the assassination action and evidence suppression from the very beginning, on November 22, 1963.
"Life" purchased the famous Zapruder movie from Abraham Zapruder on the afternoon of the assassination for about $500,000. The first negative action took place when "Life" and Zapruder began telling the lie that the price was $25,000 (which Zapruder donated to the fund raised for the widow of Dallas policeman, J. D. Tippit, who had also been murdered that day). Apparently, both "Life" and Zapruder were ashamed that he profited by the event. He lived in fear that the true price would be revealed until the day he died.
As many readers know, the Zapruder film (viewed in slow motion) proves there was a conspiracy because of the backward motion of the President's head immediately following the fatal shot. It proves the shot came from the grassy knoll to the right and in front of the president while Oswald's purported position was very nearly directly behind him. The film also helps establish that five, and not three shots, were fired, and that one of them could not have been fired from Oswald's supposed sniper's nest because of the large oak tree blocking his view.
"Life" magazine never permitted the Zapruder film to be seen publicly and locked it up in November 1968 so that no one inside or outside "Life" could have access to it, automatically becoming an "accessory after the fact". "Life" helped protect the real assassins and committed a worse crime than the Warren Commission.
In answer to those defenders of "Life" who will say, "But `Life' turned over a copy of the Zapruder film to the Warren Commission, and it is available in the National Archives," let's look at the facts. "Life" did not supply the copy of the film now resting in the Archives. That copy came from Zapruder's original to the Secret Service to the Warren Commission to the Archives. It is available for viewing by the few people fortunate enough to visit the Archives. It can not be duplicated by anyone, and copies can not be taken out of the Archives or viewed publicly in any way. The Archive management responsible for the Kennedy assassination records state that the "Life" magazine ownership of the Zapruder film is what prevents copies from being made available outside the Archives.
The Warren Commission did not see the film in slow motion. Nor does the average Archives' visitor get to see it in slow motion or stop-action. Yet the most casual analysis of the film in slow motion convinces anyone to conclude there was a conspiracy.
Thus "Life" magazine is an important part of the efforts to suppress evidence of conspiracy.
"Life" was involved in several other ways as an accessory after the fact. The organization began its efforts to discover the truth about the assassination in 1964 when it assigned Ed Kern, an associate editor, to investigate. By the fall of 1966, Kern had become convinced that the basic evidence pointed to conspiracy. "Life" management was also apparently convinced; they published articles in November 1965 and November 1966 questioning the Warren Commission's conclusions.
In the fall of 1966 "Life" transferred Richard Billings from their Miami office to headquarters in New York. His assignment was to take over the investigation of the Kennedy assassination, and to head a team of several people working full time on it. One of Dick Billings' objectives was to search for and acquire as much of the missing photographic evidence as possible.
This author initiated a similar search, independent from "Life" magazine, in September 1966. As often happens, people with common objectives decided to work together. Billings and the author arrived at a tacit understanding that any JFK assassination photographs, including TV films or private movies, found by either would be brought to the other's attention. In exchange for access to "Life"'s photographic collection (including the Zapruder film and slides), the author agreed to give "Life" the results of any analyses of the photographic evidence. In cases where the author could not afford to acquire some new piece of evidence, "Life" would offer to purchase the materials from the owners and supply copies to the author.
In this manner the author discovered and helped "Life" magazine acquire the largest collection of photographic evidence of the JFK assassination, outside of the author's personal collection and the collection now located at the headquarters of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations in Washington, D.C. Among the photos discovered were:
The Dorman movie Private The Wilma Bond photos Private The Robert Hughes movie Private The David Weigman TV footage NBC The Malcolm Couch TV footage ABC The Jack Beers photos "Dallas Morning News" The William Allen photos "Dallas Times Herald" The George Smith photos Ft. Worth "Star Telegram" The John Martin movie Private Hugh Betzen's photo Private
(See "Computers and Automation," May 1970)
Many of these were important in proving conspiracy and some showed pictures of the real assassins.
The "Life" team headed by Billings was in the process of discovering a great deal about the conspiracy during the 1966-1968 period. While editorially not taking a strong position favoring conspiracy, "Life" did take a position that favored a new investigation by the government. This was editorially summed up in a lead cover story on the fourth anniversary of Kennedy's death in November 1967 with the title, "A Matter of Reasonable Doubt". In that issue, John Connally and his wife were shown examining the Zapruder film's frames and concluding that he had been hit much later in the film than the Warren Commission claimed. This meant that two bullets struck the two men and, by the Commission's own admission, pointed automatically to the conspiracy.
The government naturally did not respond to "Life"'s suggestion for a new investigation, so nothing ever came of that editorial policy. Billings, however, continued his team's efforts and in October 1968 was preparing a comprehensive article for the November anniversary issue. The author continued to work with him and continued being given access to the photos right up to October 1968.
It was at that point in time that a drastic change in management policy occurred at "Life" magazine. Dick Billings was told to stop all work on the assassination; his entire team was stopped. All of the research files, including the Zapruder film and slides and thousands of other film frames and photographs, were locked up. No one at the magazine was permitted access to these materials and no one (including the author) was ever allowed to see them again.
Simultaneously, editorial and management policy toward the assassination changed to complete silence. Billings and crew were not allowed to discuss the subject at "Life," let alone work on it. In November 1968 the article Billings had been working on was turned into a non-entity. A few of the hundreds of photographs collected by the author and purchased by "Life" were published in the article, along with an innocuous commentary. Credit for discovering the photos was given to a number of people at "Life" magazine in New York and Dallas, not to the individuals who actually found them.
That article, published nearly nine years ago, was the last word "Life" has ever uttered about their extensive research probe and their feelings about a conspiracy. Dick Billings moved to Washington, D.C. to become editor of the Congressional Quarterly and is a member on the board of directors of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations (CTIA).
Who made the policy change decision at "Life" and why? Various highlevel conspiracy enthusiasts claim that the cabal behind the assassination of the President brought extreme pressure to bear upon the owners and management of Time Inc. to silence all opposition to the Warren Commission findings. Others conclude it had something to do with the CIA's control of "Life"'s editorial policy from inside. This author takes no position on why. Dick Billings knows only that the decision was made at high levels and passed downward and that it was irrevocable.
Repeated attempts by the CTIA and several independent assassination researchers to break loose the basic evidence in "Life"'s possession, such as the Zapruder film, the Hughes film, and the Mark Bell Film, met with total opposition and a stone wall. Attempts to break loose the Archives' copy of the Zapruder film or slides met the same stiff opposition. In 1971 "Life" representatives indicated they might be interested in selling rights to the Zapruder film for a sum in the neighborhood of a million dollars.
The American public is aware of the editorial policy adopted by the Columbia Broadcasting System toward the Kennedy assassination because of a special four-part series with Walter Cronkite which was broadcast on network TV in prime time in the summer of 1967. That series, while taking issue with some of the work of the Warren Commission *and criticizing the Dallas police*, the FBI and the Secret Service, nevertheless backed all of the basic Warren Commission conclusions.
Anyone watching the Cronkite series might have wondered why the basic evidence presented by CBS in an itemized format for each of several areas in the case, did not always seem to point to the conclusion reached at the end of each section. The conclusion always agreed with the Warren Commission's comparable conclusion. Some viewers may even have noticed Cronkite's double-take after reading through the basic evidence and then reading the phrase, "and the conclusion is!" It seemed as though he didn't believe the conclusion and hadn't seen it until he came to it in the script.
Actually, that is exactly what happened. CBS management caused the entire script to be changed from one concluding conspiracy to a script supporting the Warren Commission in the last week before the first part of the series went on the air. Cronkite had not seen the entire script until the program went on. Time had not permitted changing all of the points of evidence, so in most cases they were unchanged and only the conclusion was changed.
How did this come about? Who decided to change the script at the last moment and why? Again there are control theories extant, but the author's personal relationships to CBS people might help to shed a little light on the subject.
The discussion with all of the CBS people always centered on evidence of conspiracy and the CBS-TV film footage taken at the assassination site. Bob Richter was the most knowledgeable of all the aforementioned people on the basic evidence and he was firmly convinced there was a conspiracy. Bernie Birnbaum was convinced that a new investigation was desirable and his wife was convinced there had been a conspiracy. Dan Rather believed there was a conspiracy and so did Wes Wise.
CBS photographers Sandy Sanderson, Tom Craven, and Jim Underwood had taken movie-TV footages showing evidence of conspiracy. Craven's footage, for example, showed the assassin's get-away car driving away from the parking lot area behind the grassy knoll about one minute after the shots were fired. Sanderson filmed one of the assassins being arrested in front of the Depository building about 30 minutes after the shots. Most of this footage was either lost or locked up in the CBS archives vaults in New Jersey.
Wes Wise so strongly maintained his opinion about conspiracy that he broadcast appeals for new photographic evidence over the KRLD local TV shows. This was done against the orders of Eddie Barker. Wes became Mayor of Dallas, elected in 1971 and defeated the Dallas-established oligarchy. He actually received a new piece of photographic evidence based on his TV appeal from a Dallas citizen named Bothun, who had taken a picture of the grassy knoll a few moments after the shots.
The script for the Cronkite series was being edited and was going through its final preparation stages in May and early June. The author was in constant touch with Wise, Birnbaum and Richter during this period and was informed about the basic thrust of the script toward conspiracy and recommendations for a new investigation.
On May 8 a dinner meeting took place at the author's New York club with Mr. and Mrs. Birnbaum. There, Mrs. Birnbaum and the author tried to convince Bernie that he should take a stronger position on a new investigation.
On May 18, Bob Richter and one of Jim Garrison's investigators met in the National Archives with the author and reviewed the evidence of conspiracy. On June 2, 3 and 4 in Dallas, the author showed Bernie Birnbaum and Wes Wise a film taken by Johnny Martin that showed three of the assassins and their cohorts on the grassy knoll running toward the parking lot a few seconds after firing two shots. Wise and Birnbaum tried to interest Barker and others in taking a look at the film.
On June 14 Bob Richter invited the author to meet Midgely, Lister and Wallace at CBS in New York where an interview was being taped with Jim Garrison for use in the series. At that time Garrison, Richter and the author spent some time with the producer and his assistant discussing the evidence of conspiracy.
Finally, on June 20, just five days before the program was to go on the air, the author met with Richter and Dan Rather in the Washington, D.C. CBS studios. The script was reviewed by Richter and Rather in the author's presence. The gist of the conversation was that Rather and Richter agreed that the conclusions stating conspiracy had to be made even stronger than they were at that time.
The day before the program was aired, Bob Richter assured the author that the theme would point to conspiracy and demand a new investigation. The author telephoned Richter immediately after the first broadcast and asked what had happened. Richter was devastated. He could not understand what had happened. From that time forward his course paralleled that of Dick Billings. He resigned from CBS in disgust and formed his own company, Richter-McBride, in New York. It was his original intent to make a film about the JFK assassination based on his own research and the films he could obtain. However, the massive suppression of the assassination, especially the suppression of the Zapruder film by Time-Life films, cancelled Richter's plans for a film.
Correspondence with Cronkite and others determined that the decision to change the script, distort and hide CBS's own findings and back up the Warren Commission to the hilt came from Midgely and Lister. How much higher did the decision go? Richard Salant was head of the CBS News Division then and, of course, William C. Paley was (and still is) chairman of the board.
By an odd coincidence, in a sequel to the above CBS story, the author had an opportunity to learn a little more about Mr. Paley's knowledge. Jeff Paley, William Paley's son, returned to the United States from Paris in the winter of 1967-1968, where he had been writing news stories and a news column for "L'Express" and for the North American Newspaper Alliance, a group serving small papers in the United States. Jeff had become convinced there was a conspiracy in the JFK case and came to interview Garrison and others and to do a story for French papers. (European papers and magazines always believed and still do believe in the JFK assassination conspiracy.) He met at length with Richter and the author and became quite disturbed at what CBS had done. He approached his father with the idea that CBS had been wrong in the Cronkite series and that something should be done to rectify the situation.
Bill Paley told his son that he knew nothing about the details of the programs or the work lying behind the conclusions. He said Midgely had been responsible for the entire production. He told Jeff that if he could show proof that the CBS conclusions were wrong and there had been a conspiracy, that he would fire Midgely and all the rest of the team and do the whole thing all over again under new management.
Needless to say, this did not happen and the mystery about where the decision to suppress the truth came from within CBS is as deep as it ever was.
Since June 1967, CBS has remained editorially silent on the subject of the JFK assassination. The photographic evidence of conspiracy in their possession remains locked up and suppressed. The Craven sequence--film footage by the CBS photographer (who had been in the parade's camera car # 1) of a car driving out of the Elm Street extension (left-to right in front of the Texas School Book Depository) within 20 seconds of the assassination--was seen by the author and Jones Harris in New York, but was cut out of the film where it appeared prior to the time the author and Richter began searching for it. There is little question that CBS is an accessory after the fact.
CBS edited out one other important piece of TV film. In November 1969, Walter Cronkite conducted a three-part interview with Lyndon B. Johnson at his ranch in Texas. The series was broadcast in the spring of 1970 and on the first program an announcement was made that portions of the taped interview had been deleted at Lyndon Johnson's request, "for reasons of national security."
What actually happened and what Johnson had said six months earlier was made public due to a leak at CBS. The story appeared in newspapers all over the U.S. several days before the broadcast.
Johnson told Cronkite that there had been a conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy, that Oswald was not a lone madman assassin, and that he, Johnson, had known it all along. Johnson reviewed the tapes a week or so before the program was to go on the air and then called up the CBS management, asking that his remarks be deleted.
Someone at CBS who was very disturbed by this called a member of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations and told him what had been deleted. This led to the story being printed in the newspapers.
"The New York Times"
The record of the "Times" through the 1969-1971 period follows the same pattern as CBS and "Life" magazine editorial policies.
The early editorials following the Warren Report supported the Commission. The "Times" cooperated by publishing much of the report in advance. In 1965, however, editorials began to appear that questioned the Commission's findings and suggested a new investigation. In 1964 the "Times" formed a research team headed by Harrison Salisbury to investigate the assassination. The team of six included Peter Khiss and Gene Roberts. Their conclusions were never made public by the "Times" but indications point to their finding evidence of conspiracy.
Khiss, in particular, through the 1966-1968 period in several meetings and discussions with the author, expressed doubts about the Warren Report and questioned the lone madman assassin theme. When the Garrison investigation made the news, the "Times" began a regular campaign to undermine Garrison's case, to support the Warren Commission, and finally (during the Clay Shaw trial) to completely distort the news and the testimony presented. Martin Waldron was the reporter sending in the stories from the Shaw trial, but someone in New York edited them to completely change their content. The author saw the story written by Waldron on the first day of the trial and the final version appearing in the "Times." The two were completely different, with Waldon's original following the actual trial proceedings very closely.
The author, writing under the pen name of Samuel B. Thurston, postulated the possibility that "The New York Times," on selected subjects, including the JFK assassination, was controlled by the CIA through their representative among top management, Mr. Harding Bancroft.
In the summer of 1968, the author discovered a remarkable similarity between the sketch of the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King and one of the three tramps arrested in Dealey Plaza following the assassination of President Kennedy. Peter Khiss wrote a story about this and it was published by the "Times" in June, 1968. Apparently that was the final straw for the "Times" management as far as Khiss was concerned. He was not allowed to do any more research on assassinations or to discuss the subject at the "Times." As he told the author in 1969, he doesn't attend any press conferences about assassinations because he doesn't like it when people in "Times" management say, "Here comes crazy old Pete Khiss again with his conspiracy talk."
The apex of "The New York Times" actions and editorial positions on the JFK assassination came in November and December 1971. They published three items supporting the Warren Commission eight years after the assassination, at a time when it seemed on the surface to be a dead issue.
The first was a story about Dallas eight years later by an author from Texas who wrote his entire story as though it were an established fact that Oswald was the lone madman assassin firing three shots from the sixth floor window of the Depository building and later killing police officer Tippit.
The second was an Op-Ed page guest editorial by none other than David Belin, a Warren Commission lawyer. He defended the Commission and attacked the researchers. The third was a story by Fred Graham about the findings of Dr. Lattimer, who was allowed to see the autopsy photographs and x-rays of John Kennedy. Graham actually wrote most of his story, which solidly backed up the Warren Commission due to Lattimer's claims that the autopsy materials proved no conspiracy, before Lattimer ever entered the Archives.
In other words, it appears that Graham knew what Lattimer was going to find and say in advance. Either that or someone in Washington, D.C. gave someone at the "Times" orders in advance to prepare the story for the first page, upper left-hand corner, of the paper. It really didn't make any difference whether Dr. Lattimer ever saw the x-rays and photographs.
The concerted campaign on the part of the "Times" management could have been timed to prevent a discovery of new evidence of conspiracy in the autopsy materials. The reason for this possibility developing in the November 1971 period is that the five-year restriction placed on the autopsy evidence by Burke Marshall, a Kennedy family lawyer, expired in November of 1971. Four well-known and highly reputable forensic pathologists, Dr. Cyril Wecht of Pittsburgh, Dr. John Nichols of the University of Kansas, Dr. Milton Helpern of New York City and Dr. John Chapman of Detroit had already asked permission to examine the x-rays and photos upon the expiration of the five-year period. All four were known to question the Warren Commission's findings. What better way to freeze them out of the Archives than to select a doctor who could be trusted to back up the Commission (Lattimer had published several articles doing just that), commission him to go into the Archives, and then persuade "The New York Times" to publish a front page story in its Sunday issue demonstrating that no one else need look at the materials because they supported the Warren Commission's findings.
All attempts by researchers to convince "Times" management that the other side of the story should be told have been completely ignored. Lattimer's findings, if correct, actually prove conspiracy. The "Times" has been informed of this but they have shut off all discussion of the subject. The complete story of the complicity of the "New York Times" in the crimes to which they have become an accessory would take up an entire volume.
The National Broadcasting Company became an active participant in the government's efforts to protect Clay Shaw and to ruin Jim Garrison.
Two of NBC's high-level management people, Richard Townley of NBC's affiliate in New Orleans, WDSU, and Walter Sheridan, executive producer, became personally and directly involved in the Shaw trial. They were indicted by a grand jury in New Orleans for bribing witnesses, suppressing evidence and interfering with trial proceedings. NBC toplevel management backed Sheridan and Townley.
NBC produced a highly biased, provably dishonest program personally attacking Garrison and defending Shaw prior to the trial. Frank McGee, who acted as moderator, later had to publicly apologize for lies told on the program by two "witnesses" whom NBC paid to give statements against Garrison. The FCC ruled that NBC had to give Garrison equal time because the program was not a news program but a vendetta by NBC against Garrison. NBC did give Garrison 30 minutes (compared to their one-hour attack) to respond at a later date. Sheridan was the producer of the one-hour show.
With Sheridan and Townley so deeply involved, and with such an extremely strong editorial position favoring the Justice Department, the Warren Commission, and the lone assassin stance, suspicions were raised about NBC's and RCA's independence. At one point in 1967 the president of NBC, according to Walter Sheridan, helped in the bribery efforts by calling Mr. Gherlock, head of Equitable Life Insurance Company's New York office, and asked for assurance that Perry Russo, who worked for Equitable, would cooperate with NBC.
NBC is also the owner of several important pieces of photographic evidence. A TV film taken by NBC photographer David Weigman was suppressed by NBC and not made available to researchers. It shows the grassy knoll in the background just a fraction of a minute after the shots. Some of the assassination participants can be seen on the knoll.
Fortunately for researchers, NBC sold the Weigman film to the other networks and to the news film agencies before realizing its importance. The author was able to purchase a copy from Hearst Metrotone News.
NBC's affiliate, WBAP in Fort Worth, has several important film sequences. James Darnell took several sequences on the grassy knoll and in the parking lot which should contain important evidence. Dan Owens took TV movies in and around the Depository building which should show how the snipers' nest was faked on the sixth floor, and one of the assassins in front of the building.
Of the three major television networks, ABC has remained more objective and appears to be less under the thumb of the government than the other two. For example, when NBC was busy defending the Warren Commission and Clay Shaw and attacking Jim Garrison, ABC was giving Garrison a free chance to express his views without interruption on their Sunday program, "Issues and Answers." They have never taken an editorial position one way or another on conspiracy. However, in the Robert Kennedy assassination case, the investigation was suppressed at ABC. The man heading the brief investigation was stopped and sent to Vietnam. The man at ABC who called the shots in stopping the investigation and in suppressing evidence in ABC's possession was a lawyer named Lewis Powell.
The evidence owned by ABC is a video tape of the crowd in the Ambassador Hotel ballroom before, during and after the shots were fired in the kitchen. The ballroom microphones, including ABC's, picked up the sound of only three shots above the crowd noise. Since Sirhan fired eight shots, or certainly more than three, and since Los Angeles police tests proved that Sirhan's gun could not be heard in the position of the microphones in the ballroom, the ABC film and soundtrack is important evidence of three other shots.
The sequence was originally included in the TV film of Robert Kennedy's 1968 campaign and assassination entitled, "The Last Journey." Following a meeting at ABC when the management learned what the film showed, the next TV broadcast of "The Last Journey" (scheduled for the following week) was cancelled without any logical explanation. The next time the film appeared on ABC (late 1971), the three-shot ballroom sequence had been cut.
United Press International
Of all the fifteen major news organizations included herein, UPI has come closest to really pursuing the truth about the JFK assassination. Yet they, too, have suppressed evidence, have not had the courage of their convictions in analyzing conspiratorial evidence, and by default have become accessories after the fact.
Two different departments at UPI became involved in the photographic evidence of the JFK assassination. The regular photo news service department, which receives wire photos and negatives from many sources all over the world, accumulated a large collection of basic evidence both from UPI photographers and by purchasing wire service photos from newspapers, Black Star, AP and other sources. This department has made all of its photographs available to anyone at reasonable prices ($1.50 to $3.00 per print).
UPI photographer Frank Cancellare was in the motorcade and snapped several important photographs. In addition, five other photographs at UPI, taken by three unknown photographers, are significant. All of these were purchased by the author from UPI.
The other department has not been as cooperative. Within the news department at UPI, Burt Reinhardt and Rees Schonfeld have varied in their attitude and performance. UPI news purchased the commercial rights to two very important films shortly after the assassination. These were color movies taken by Orville Nix and Marie Muchmore (private citizens). Both show the fatal shot striking the President, and both show evidence of conspiracy. In the Nix film, certain frames (when enlarged) show one of the assassins on the grassy knoll with a rifle. Both movies show a puff of smoke generated by another one of the men involved in the assassination.
UPI, under the direction of Burt Reinhardt, did several things with the Nix and Muchmore films. They produced a book, "Four Days," including several color frames from the movies. They made a composite movie in 35mm from the original 8mm movies. The composite used the technique of repeating a frame several times to give the appearance of slow motion or stop action during key sections of the films. Reinhardt, Schonfeld and Mr. Fox, a UPI writer, made the composite movie available to researchers at their projection studio in New York in 1964 and 1965.
Fox and Schonfeld wrote an article for "Esquire" in 1965 which portrayed the Nix film as proving the conspiracy theories about assassins on the grassy knoll to be false. This was deemed necessary by UPI management because a New York researcher and a photographic expert, after seeing the Nix film at UPI, claimed it showed an assassin with a rifle standing on the hood of a car parked behind the knoll.
The research team had used a few frames from the film in color transparencies and enlarged them in black and white to show the gunman.
In 1964, UPI gave the Warren Commission copies of both the Nix and Muchmore films for analysis. The films were later turned over to the National Archives under a special agreement between UPI and the Archives. This agreement reminds one of the agreements between the Archives and the Kennedy family on the autopsy materials, and the obscure one between "Life" magazine, the Commission, the Secret Service and the Archives on the Zapruder film.
The UPI agreement prevents anyone from obtaining copies of the Nix and Muchmore films or slides of individual frames for any purpose. The agreement is just as illegal as the other two, yet it has been just as effective in suppressing the basic evidence of conspiracy.
In 1967, UPI, apparently still not sure they would not be attacked by researchers on what the Nix film revealed, employed Itek Corporation to analyze the film. (At least it would appear on the surface that UPI did the hiring.) Itek Corporation, a major defense contractor, did an excellent job of obscuring the truth. In an apparently highly scientific analysis using computer-based image enhancement, they "proved" that not only was there no gunman on the grassy knoll, but there was no person on the knoll at all during the shooting.
The final Itek report was made public and highly publicized by UPI. It looked as though the UPI earlier claim of no gunman had been scientifically substantiated. As a by-product, Itek got some great publicity for their commercially available photo-computer image enhancement system.
What the public did not know was that UPI gave Itek only 35mm enlarged black and white copies of selected frames from the Nix film. The great amount of detail is lost in going from 8mm color to 35mm black and white. And UPI gave Itek carefully chosen frames from the Nix film that did not show the gunman on the knoll.
UPI and Itek defined "the grassy knoll" in a very limited and carefully chosen way so as to exclude five people (in addition to the fatal-shot gunman) on the knoll who appear in the Nix film as well as in every other photograph and movie taken of the knoll at the time the shots were fired. In addition, man No. 2, who had ducked down behind the stone wall during the Nix film, could not be detected by Itek because they only had the Nix film.
Three men standing on the steps of the knoll, and two men behind the picket fence, were completely ignored or overlooked.
The author began to contact Schonfeld and Reinhardt in early 1967, viewed the two films both at UPI and in the Archives, and requested copies of the original 8mm color films or color copies of individual frames. The response to the requests were negative for more than four years. During this time, however, the author, a New York researcher, and a photographic specialist, enlarged in color the correct frames from the Nix film. The enlargements clearly show the gunman, not on top of a car but in front of a car, with his rifle poised. He is standing on a pedestal protruding from the eight-sided cupola behind the stone wall on the knoll. The car is parked behind the cupola and can be seen in several other photographs and movies.
Unfortunately, UPI's agreement with the researcher prevents making public the color enlargements. UPI has consistently suppressed this evidence. In 1971, they offered to make the film available for a very large sum of money, but they have never agreed that it shows anyone on the knoll and they will not make copies available for research.
The UPI editorial position (in articles, the book "Four Days," letters and news releases) has supported the Warren Commission through the years. The major difference between UPI and "Life" or CBS is that no drastic reversal of management policy took place at UPI.
Associated Press became an accessory after the fact by taking an action unprecedented for a news wire service. It published a three-part report by three AP writers in 1967, completely supporting the Warren Commission. The report was transmitted by wire to all AP subscribers over a three-day period and it occupied a total of nine to ten full pages of the average newspaper. It was not news, but editorial policy and took a position supporting the Warren Commission and the official government propaganda about the assassination of John Kennedy.
Most small newspapers rely on UP and AP for their news stories. The three-part AP report ran in hundreds of papers across the United States without opposition commentary. For many this was the gospel at the time. What more could the conspirators and their government protectors have asked?
AP photographers were on the scene in Dallas during the assassination. James Altgens, one of AP's men assigned to Dallas, took seven important photographs in Dealey Plaza. Henry Burrows, an AP photographer from Washington, D.C., was in the motorcade and snapped two pictures. Four other AP photographers took ten important photographs. AP's photo department and Wide World Photos in New York purchased many other photographs taken in Dealey Plaza.
Meyer Goldberg, manager of Wide World Photos, set a policy early in the 1966-1967 period which placed AP in the position of partially suppressing basic photographic evidence. The policy contained several parts. First, Goldberg made it extremely difficult for anyone to obtain access to the photographic evidence, particularly the negatives. Second, he set a high enough price on copies of photographs ($17.50 for one 8x10 black and white print) to freeze out all but commerciallyfinanced interests. Third, when an original negative was discovered, the print order, when cleared by Wide World, was always cropped. (Full negative prints showing important details in the Altgens photographs were nearly impossible to purchase.) Whenever any suggestion was made to Wide World that their photographs contained basic evidence of conspiracy, Goldberg and AP management turned blue with anger and literally refused to discuss the subject or permit research in their files.
Various researchers, including Josiah Thompson, Raymond Marcus and the author met this type of stiff opposition, but after many visits discovered ways around it. The staff at Wide World in charge of the photographic files was more cooperative, and at least one staff member was completely convinced there was a conspiracy in the JFK assassination.
Nevertheless, the broadly announced editorial policy and stance of Associated Press between 1964 and 1972 fully supported the Warren Commission and the lone assassin fable.
"Newsweek"'s editorial policy and coverage of the assassination and its aftermath was largely the doing of one man, Hugh Aynesworth. Aynesworth was the Dallas-Houston correspondent for "Newsweek" following the assassination. He was in Dealey Plaza when Kennedy was killed, and he turned in several stories during the days and weeks following November 22, 1963. His point of view was always closely allied with that of the Dallas police, the district attorney and the FBI. He wholeheartedly supported the Warren Report.
However, in May of 1967, after Garrison's investigation hit the news, Aynesworth wrote a violent attack on Garrison's investigation, and it was published in "Newsweek." Aynesworth accused Lynn Loisel, a Garrison staff member, of bribing Al Beaubolf to testify about a meeting to plot the assassination. Beaubolf later denied this accusation in a sworn affidavit and proved Aynesworth and "Newsweek" to be fabricators of information.
"Saturday Evening Post"
The position of the "Saturday Evening Post" solidified after the Garrison probe became public. It was based in large part on the reporting of one man, James Phelan. Phelan wrote a blistering article for the "Post" published on May 6, 1967. He attacked Garrison and Russo, and claimed that Russo's original statement to Assistant D.A. Andrew Sciambra differed from his later testimony. In view of the earlier editorial position of the "Post" when Lyron Land and his wife questioned the Warren Commission findings, the Phelan article came as somewhat of a surprise. In fact, the "Post" had taken a strong conspiracy stand when in 1967 it published a long article excerpted from Josiah Thompson's book, "Six Seconds in Dallas," and featured it on the magazine's cover.
The Garrison investigation, however, turned the "Post" around. Phelan became directly involved in the case, and in a sense was more of an accessory than Walter Sheridan or Richard Townley. He travelled to Louisiana from Texas, spent many hours with Perry Russo and other witnesses, and generally obfuscated the Shaw trial picture.
Phelan joined the efforts to persuade Russo to desert Garrison and to help destroy Garrison and his case. According to a sworn Russo statement, Phelan visited his house four times within a few weeks. Phelan told Russo he was working hand-in-hand with Townley and Sheridan, that they were in constant contact, and that they were going to destroy Garrison and the probe. Phelan warned Russo that he should abandon his position and that Russo would be the only one hurt as a result of the trial. Phelan claimed Garrison would leave Russo alone, standing in the cold.
Phelan offered to hire a $200,000-a-year lawyer from New York for Russo if he would cooperate against Garrison. He asked Russo how he would feel about sending an innocent man (Clay Shaw) to the penitentiary. Phelan left New Orleans and Baton Rouge and returned to New York, only to telephone Russo several times and offer to pay Russo's plane fare to New York to meet with him and discuss going over to Clay Shaw's side.
Phelan was subpoenaed by Shaw's lawyers during a hearing in 1967 because his article attacked Garrison. Sciambra welcomed the opportunity to cross-examine Phelan on the stand. He described the article as being incomplete, distorted and tantamount to lying. Sciambra said, "I guarantee that he (Phelan) will be exposed for having twisted the facts in order to build up a scoop for himself and the `Saturday Evening Post.'"
Sciambra went on to say that Phelan had neglected the most important fact of all in his article. It was that Phelan had been told by Russo in Baton Rouge that Russo and Sciambra had discussed the plot dialogue (to assassinate JFK) at their initial meeting.
Capital City Broadcasting
This organization owns several radio stations in the capitol cities of various states and in Washington, D.C. Their interests in the JFK assassination increased in 1967 and 1968 when the Garrison-Shaw case made headlines. A producer at Capital City, Erik Lindquist, decided to do a series of programs designed to ferret out the truth. The author furnished various evidence for scripts to be used in the programs. After several months of work the project was cancelled, presumably by top management, and the broadcasts never took place.
North American Newspaper Alliance
This newspaper chain, with papers affiliated in small communities through the northern and eastern U.S., supported the Warren Commission findings as did all the other major newspaper services and chains.
The Alliance also became involved in the Martin Luther King case and it circulated the syndicated column by the black writer and reporter, Louis Lomax, who had taken an interest in finding out what really happened in the King assassination.
Lomax located a man named Stein who had taken a trip with James Earl Ray from Los Angeles to New Orleans. The two retraced the automobile trip of Ray and Stein, beginning in Los Angeles and heading through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They were trying to find the telephone booth from which Ray had called a friend named Raoul in New Orleans somewhere along the route. Raoul, according to Ray, was the man who actually fired the shot that killed King. Stein remembered that Ray told him he was going to meet Raoul in New Orleans and that Ray phoned Raoul at someone's office. Stein couldn't remember exactly where the phone booth was because he and Ray had been driving non-stop day and night.
Lomax wrote a series of articles depicting Raoul as the killer and Ray as the patsy. He sent them to the Alliance, a column each day, from the places along the retraced trip he and Stein took. Finally, Lomax's column announced they had found the phone booth at a gas station in Texas and that he was going to obtain the phone number Ray had called in New Orleans. He presumably was planning to visit the local telephone company office the next morning and obtain the number.
That was the last Lomax column ever to appear in the North American Alliance papers. He seemed to disappear completely. The readers were left hanging, not knowing whether he obtained the phone number or whether he discovered who it belonged to. The Committee to Investigate Assassinations located Lomax several months later and asked him what had happened.
He said he had been told by the FBI to stop his investigation and not to publish or write any more stories about it. He said he found the phone number and where it was located in New Orleans. He gave the number to the Committee to Investigate Assassinations. He said he was afraid he would be killed and decided to stop work on the case.
Whether North American Newspaper Alliance management knew about any of this remains unknown. What is known, however, is that Louis Lomax died in a very mysterious manner in 1970. He was traveling at a very high speed and was found dead in a car crash, according to the State police report. Lomax's wife says he was a very c