Intl. Notebook Dec 2 2010
SILENCED MAJORITY
How do you turn fiction into fact? Leave it to mainstream journalism.


An item came across the wires today that we found quite interesting. Seems Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin is being auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles, CA. The reality of the auction certainly shows that there’s nothing that isn’t for sale, especially in America, but that isn’t what caught our eye. We first read about the event thanks to Hugh Collins of AOL News, and double-checked what we read by visiting several other news outlets. The pieces we encountered demonstrated not only the incredible laziness of mainstream journalism, but also the mechanism that keeps a myth in place in spite of fierce pushback from the public at large.

In the AOL article, for instance, Collins doesn’t refer to Oswald as the person arrested for Kennedy’s assassination. That would have been accurate. No, he instead refers to Oswald as the person “believed” to have killed Kennedy. Now, as we pointed out in our recent post on Oswald, the actual truth is that he is believed to have been part of a conspiracy. Depending on which survey you read, up to 81% of Americans think there’s something fishy about the official account of that sad day in Dallas, and that number was 52% in 1963 when Gallup conducted its first poll on the subject just days after the assassination.

That means proponents of the official theory have never been in the majority. So how does all that translate in Collins’ mind to Oswald being “believed” to be Kennedy’s killer? Is it possible it’s because this is simply what he believes? Maybe, but more likely, he didn't bother to check what people actually believe and neither did his editors.

The problem here is a reader with doubts about the official assassination story might have read Collins’ piece and had those doubts put to rest, for today at least. They might have thought, “Oh, since I’m in the minority on this one, I guess I’ll just keep my mouth shut so I don’t look like a crackpot.” Are we saying the conspiracy theorists are right? Not at all. What we’re saying is there’s a point at which you have to stop pretending people are crazy, and address the issues involved with intellectual honesty.

With half of Americans having questions about this crime back in 1963, and up to 4 in 5 having questions today, we’re well past the level of snide dismissal with Kennedy. The mainstream press cannot, with any level of professional integrity, equate doubters with people who believe in extraterrestrial cow mutilations, the healing power of crystals, or a flat Earth. Disbelievers of the official Kennedy story are the vast majority, and those without doubts are the tiny minority, so maybe lets start referring to these groups properly, m'kay?

Oh, and nice coffin, by the way. Bidding for this grisly treasure starts at a grand, for those who have a ghoulish bent and some spare cash laying around. But before you bid we gotta be serious for a sec—having said all of the above, if you buy this filthy old box it's very possible that you actually are a crackpot.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 22
1950—Althea Gibson Breaks the Color Barrier
Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to compete on the World Tennis Tour, and the first to earn a Grand Slam title when she wins the French Open in 1956. Later she becomes the first African-American woman to compete in the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
1952—Devil's Island Closed
Devil's Island, the penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana, is permanently closed. The prison is later made world famous by Henri Charrière's bestselling novel Papillon, and the subsequent film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
1962—De Gaulle Survives Assassination Attempt
Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air weaponry engineer, attempts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle to prevent Algerian independence. Bastien-Thiry and others attack de Gaulle's armored limousine with machine guns, but after expending hundreds of rounds, they succeed only in puncturing two tires.
August 21
1911—Mona Lisa Disappears
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, aka La Gioconda, is stolen from the Louvre. After many wild theories and false leads, it turns out the painting was snatched by museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia.
August 20
1940—Trotsky Iced in Mexico
In Mexico City exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded with an ice axe (not an ice pick) by Soviet agent Ramon Mercader. Trotsky dies the next day.
1968—Prague Spring Ends
200,000 Warsaw Pact troops backed by 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to end the Prague Spring political liberalization movement.
1986—Sherrill Goes Postal
In Edmond, Oklahoma, United States postal employee Patrick Sherrill shoots and kills fourteen of his co-workers and then commits suicide.
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