Morning News Keeps the Silence Rolling on the JFK Anniversary Controversy
Story by Rudy Bush in today's Dallas Morning Pravda about plans to refurbish Dealey Plaza, the place where Dallas killed Kennedy. Typical straight-up just-the-facts news objective reporting, don't you know. Except the story ends with a fund-raising appeal: "Those interested in providing assistance can donate to the Dealey Plaza Restoration Project maintained by the Dallas Foundation."
Hmm. You see that more in junk mail than news stories.
Also, even though the story talks a lot about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the day Dallas killed Kennedy (November 22, 2013), and even though most of the people it names as wanting to spruce up Dealey Plaza for the 50th are Dallas Morning News-related people considered to be sort of at the heart of the assassination story, and even though they also dominate the effort to shut down free speech at the 50th, and even though people on the other side of the question have threatened an Occupy-style protest if they don't back off, Bush forgets in his piece to mention even a single syllable of this controversy.
Story only talks about the spruce-up fix-up and the fund-raising. Yeah. I love that paper. They always say I'd be out of business if I didn't have them to rag on. To which I always say, "Yes."
Why do I call it the day Dallas killed Kennedy? It's what the late Stanley Marcus, impresario the Neiman Marcus stores, told me when I interviewed him almost 30 years ago. He told me that in the decade leading up to the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas leaders tolerated and even fostered an atmosphere of anti-American extremism that eventually had to produce a Lee Harvey Oswald or similar assassin, or, as I believe we would call him in today's parlance, terrorist. You may or may not know that Marcus pleaded with the White House not to let JFK visit Dallas that day because he was so worried about violence. They ignored his telegram.
In his 1967 book Death of President, William Manchester (respected journalist of his time, not an assassination nutjob) singled out the owners of the The Dallas Morning News as central players in that climate. So now a half-century later we have the same people pulling the puppet strings, using the Sixth Floor Museum, their private mouthpiece, to shut down debate at the 50th by giving the museum an exclusive permit to control the plaza for the entire week, even though the museum has no events planned.
In fact, that's what it's going to be on all the banners. "Nov. 22, 2013: No Events." Oh, but wouldn't you know, it's all about sprucing things up, making sure we don't look like poor people. As long as we're fancy, we're bullet-proof. We can tell the people who think we killed Kennedy to go screw themselves.
That's the real message in today's Dallas Morning Pravda, and if you give those guys one nickel that is what you will be supporting. A half century goes by, and these people are still playing to the same stereotype. You give them money for this, and so will you be.
The more I look at the whole thing, the better I see the real joke. These people are all terrified that a bunch of son-of-a-bitching world press types are going to flood into the city for the 50th and make us all look bad. I seriously doubt that.
You know what the real question probably is in most people's minds when you mention John Fitzgerald Kennedy? "Uh, is he that guy on the rum billboards?" It's too long. Nobody remembers. Nobody cares. We're all sitting here, me included, stirring this pot that no one outside of Dallas gives a shit about.
So why do I do it? Well, on that question, the Morning News people are right. I pick on them because it's ... so ... damned ... easy.
Emperor comes out on stage with new crown, fancy blouse, tons of bling, etc. So I'm the guy in the crowd who yells out, "Hey you forgot your pants, Bozo!" You know somebody's gonna do it.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.