Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie

Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You

George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of accused Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, is back in the news following his mysterious death in 1977 that symbolized the end of the last official investigation of the JFK murder.

Bill O'Reilly 2010CNN reported this month that Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly lied about being present during gunfire at de Mohrenschildt's death in Florida.

But even more important than O’Reilly’s boast has been his crass sellout in tandem with many other journalists, authors, professors, and members of congress.

O'Reilly's dubious claim in his best-selling book Killing Kennedy reminds us how the top-rated cable commentator evolved from a hard-charging young reporter seeking the facts about the JFK assassination to his current position: a bombastic pundit who disdains citations he parrots the conventional wisdom that Oswald acted alone to kill Kennedy.

Hence the significance of de Mohrenschildt, shown in a file photo. Describing himself as a "Baron," he was a well-born oil engineer, professor and CIA asset whose friendships included members of the Oswald, Kennedy and Bush families. At the time of his death, he had just been invited by a congressional investigator to repeat his claim for the record that he was part of a "Dallas conspiracy" of oilmen and Cuban exiles planning on settling a "blood debt" -- and that he instructed Oswald on how to act.

At roughly the same time de Mohrenschildt was found dead of a shotgun blast that local authorities ruled self-inflicted, congress nearly brought its probe to a halt by replacing its chief counsel with a play-it-safe substitute who deferred to the CIA instead of investigating it.

Partly as a result of the breakdown in Washington, the late congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi recalled in his memoir The Last Investigation that federal authorities failed to confirm the circumstances of de Mohrenschildt's death and the investigative leads the dead man could have provided.

George de Mohrenschildte at deskToday's column, Part 24 of the Justice Integrity Project's "Readers Guide" to the JFK assassination, explores why the corporate-owned mainstream media self-censors so much evidence of CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination and similar news items that extend to the present.

O’Reilly and Fox News exemplify a pattern that pervades all of the major media, including liberal and alternative outlets. On March 16, conservative columnist Paul Craig Roberts published Truth Is Our Country, a column making similar points based on his decades of experience.

This series began in 2013 to make sense of the varied JFK assassination evidence and theories, much of it suppressed. As indicated in an appendix below, our first Readers Guide columns listed all important books, videos, and events in comprehensive fashion with minimal commentary. Later columns based on additional research analyzed evidence and expert opinion.

Our most recent commentaries build on that foundation to show that the premises of the Warren Commission cited above could not possibly be true. The presidentially appointed commission chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren claimed in 1964 that Oswald acted alone in firing three shots from the rear killing Kennedy. The commission also claimed that nightclub owner Jack Ruby had no mob ties. Ruby killed Oswald, as portrayed below, at the Dallas police station on Nov. 24, 1963, the day after the president's assassination.

The Warren Commission, whose members included former CIA Director Allen Dulles, could not have been correct since evidence now indicates that Kennedy was shot at least once from the front. Furthermore, Oswald had covert colleagues, and Ruby was indisputably a longtime figure in organized crime.

So, we must conclude (as does the majority of the American public according to many years of polls) that the Warren Commission misled the public. Further evidence shows that the CIA, FBI and their powerful allies Wall Street, the media and elsewhere have enforced massive self-censorship and other evidence suppression that has Jack Ruby Murders Lee Harvey Oswaldcontinued to the present on issues on the assassination and its more current consequences.

Today's series segment begins with a summary of the recent controversy over O'Reilly's claim in his best-selling book Killing Kennedy and elsewhere that he traveled from Texas to interview de Mohrenschildt and was present at his death in Florida.

We next show that the dispute is part of a massive, ongoing propaganda campaign involving all major media to sell the public immediately after the 1963 presidential assassination on the theory that Oswald acted alone. Such major institutions as Time-Life Inc., then controlled by Publisher Charles Douglas "CD" Jackson, a longtime CIA asset, played a vital role in shaping news coverage of the story, as did then-emerging network stars such as Dan Rather and White House communications director Bill Moyers. The successful sales job has continued. O'Reilly's book reportedly racked up two million copies sold even though it has scanty sourcing and otherwise merely rehashes the discredited Warren Commission conclusions. Furthermore, his book spawned a widely watched television special and was republished in a children's version that serves to propagandize future generations.

Finally, we show the enormous career benefits for those journalists, other researchers and government officials who adhere to official claims on matters like the major assassinations in the 1960s and subsequent events extending to the present. Their cowardly actions fostered what has become the well-grounded fear of prospective whistleblowers like de Mohrenschildt that their attempts to speak up will go unheard.

Fortunately, however, we now have enough evidence to discern independently the main lessons from the past and current developments, as shown below.

 
The Oswald-De Mohrenschildt Connection

This 24th segment of our Readers Guide builds on the previous material showing strong CIA and FBI connections to Oswald, shown below as a Civil Air Patrol cadet before his enlistment in the Marines at age 17. Those connections suggest that Oswald had been playing a government-orchestrated role as a defector and dissident before the JFK killing, thereby enabling investigators to blame him as a patsy or fall guy while allow others to escape.

Our next segment after this, Part 25, will show in detail just how many of Oswald's jobs had covert purposes, including his posting as a Marine to the ultra-secret U-2 spy operation at the Atsugi Air Force Base in Japan.

Lee Harvey Oswald militaryFor now, however, we sketch Oswald's return to the United States from the Soviet Union as notorious "defector" in 1962 and his six-month relationship in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with de Mohrenschildt, an oil engineer who befriended Oswald, his Russian-born wife Marina, and their infant daughter. 

In Family of Secrets, author Russ Baker reported in detail the unique position of George de Mohrenschildt as a friend of Oswald, the Kennedy, and Bush families. De Mohrenschildt was an eclectic individual who, as described by Normal Mailer in Oswald's Tale, presented himself at various times as right-wing and left-wing.

More specifically, Baker continued, "The de Mohrenschildts were major players in the global oil business since the beginning of the twentieth century, and their paths crossed with the Rockefellers and other key pillars of the petroleum establishment."

George arrived in the United States from Poland in 1938 with a doctoral degree. Other members of his family had already developed strong relationships with the high-end of United States society via prep school, Yale College, Time-Life publishing, Wall Street finances, and oil exploration in Texas, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

The "Baron" was thus an unlikely person to seek out the friendship of Oswald, a minimum wage worker with no college education who seemingly had defected to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War and tried to hawk U.S. secrets. Nonetheless, de Mohrenschildt sought to help Oswald find work and companionship for his family. The motive? Ostensibly, according to apologists for the Warren Commission, de Mohrenschildt and those he recruited to help the Oswalds socialize with the fiercely anti-communist White Russian community in Texas of those who had fled the Soviet Union.

As documented by Baker and others in ways beyond the scope of this column, de Mohrenschildt and his associates were CIA assets, as was Oswald, a participant in the government's "false defector" program that sought to entangle Ruth Painethe Soviets in spy intrigues. That ruse failed for the most part. So, Oswald returned to the United States with the assistance of authorities as he prepared for his next mission, one that would cost both him and the president their lives.

De Mohrenschildt assisted Oswald in Texas until the engineer handed off the responsibility to another such friend, Ruth Paine, shown in a file photo. Her true role was as an undercover intelligence asset who guided Oswald to a job at the Texas Book Depository shortly before the president's parade. Later, she smeared Oswald as an assassin. The late University of Hartford professor George Michael Evica documented her role in his book A Certain Arrogance: The Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald and the Cold War Manipulation of Religious Groups by US Intelligence. Evica described how Paine's circle of Quakers was among the Protestant groups that served as covert breeding grounds for intelligence operations that were effectively disguised because most Quakers are known for advocating peace.

De Mohrenschildt, meanwhile, left Texas and the Oswalds to pursue other opportunities. The mystery man decamped for Haiti, ostensibly to search for offshore oil. According to such researchers as Baker, however, his mission included help in planning a coup against Haitian dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. To that end, the Baron reputedly visited Howard Burris, Vice President Lyndon Johnson's top military advisor. Also, he received some $250,000 in federal dollars, a large sum in those days.

The JFK Assassination

According to the Warren Report and virtually all mainstream news accounts beginning in the early morning after JFK's assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963: Oswald fired three shots from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository and was captured in a movie theater because police were seeking a slender white man dressed in a tee shirt based on such a description from a street-level witness. Oswald claimed innocence during an interrogation that was not recorded, and was promptly murdered by Ruby.

Dealey Plaza Picket Fence (Andrew Kreig Photo)Declassified documents and other evidence show that authorities essentially ended their investigation at that point except to assemble evidence that portrayed Oswald as bearing sole guilt and minimizing evidence pointing to other shooters or conspirators. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach wrote incoming White House Communications Director Bill Moyers a long and now declassified memo Nov. 25, for example, describing how federal authorities would focus on Oswald's guilt in order to reassure the public.

J. Edgard Hoover file via Creative CommonsFBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (shown at right) similarly assured incoming President Johnson that same day that the case was solved, and no one need to look for additional suspects -- even though more than half of the Warren Commission's witnesses would say shots came from the grassy knoll to the front/right of the president.

[A picket fence still remains at the top of the knoll, illustrating a perfect hiding place for an assassin. Dallas residents often paint an X on the street at the approximate site of Kennedy's death. City authorities routinely erase it.]

Immediately after the president's death, the nation's major news organizations promptly accepted the federal judgment of Oswald's sole guilt even though he maintained his innocence. Among  contemporary news stories, one of the more striking was the description within days of the shooting by CBS News Southern Bureau Chief Dan Rather of his exclusive viewing of a film made by Abraham Zapruder. Federal authorities allowed Rather to see a snippet of the film and he raced to a television studio to describe the film's portrayal of the president after being struck by a fatal bullet: "His head could be seen," Rather intoned, "to move violently forward."

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To a lay audience, Rather's description fit the government's theory that the president had been struck from behind, presumably by Oswald's gunfire.

The full story is much more troubling, but can only be summarized here since many books are entirely devoted to the details:

One of the most remarkable facts about the Zapruder film was its immediate purchase by Time-Life Publisher Charles Douglas "CD" Jackson, shown in a file photo.

Charles Douglas JacksonJackson joined the Luce publishing empire in 1931. For the next three decades, he held (sometimes simultaneously) high-level positions in it (such as publisher of Fortune Magazine) and also in U.S. government intelligence. He served during World War II, for example, as a high-ranking official in psychological warfare and then as special assistant to President Dwight D. Eisenhower beginning in 1953, with responsibility at the White House for coordinating activities between the fast-growing CIA and the Pentagon. He left government after President Kennedy's election in 1960 and became publisher of Life, the nation's largest circulation magazine. Also, he was the publisher of its influential sister publication, Time Magazine.

Immediately after the Kennedy assassination, Jackson undertook two vital initiatives that helped suppress key facts while ostensibly seeking to report them.

First, Jackson secured the Zapruder film, which Time-Life turned over to authorities for processing and otherwise kept secret for years excerpt for law enforcement purposes or occasional publication of a few selected frames. He acquired the film in his own name, thereby keeping it even more secure than if ownership were by the corporate entity. The full film was not available to the public until the mid-1970s when pirated copies seeped out via the JFK research community. Jackson's other initiative was to secure exclusive rights to Marina Oswald's life story. But, curiously, Time-Life never published the book, illustrating yet again the adage that some stories are worth more dead than alive. After his death his private papers revealed that he had been a CIA asset since 1948, as well as a key figure in the Operation Mockingbird and other secret propaganda programs.

With the advent of the Internet, the lay public could see that Dan Rather was at best mistaken in reporting the movement of Kennedy's head. Rather explained in his memoir The Camera Never Blinks that mistakes can occur in rushing to report events, as he did.
 
Whatever Rather's role and explanation, several more general and remarkable facts stand out from news coverage of the assassination, including to the present day:
  • Virtually all significant news organizations promptly accepted the official version of the shooting within 24 hours and have stuck with it ever since, despite occasional feature stories and documentaries floating alternative theories. Our Readers Guide surveys of coverage of the 50t anniversary showed that the editorial voices of the major media remained unanimous in sticking with the Warren Commission findings, as we reported in such Readers Guide segments as Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice. 
  • Second, the coverage was no accident. Declassified documents show that the CIA ran a covert program of domestic propaganda called Operation Mockingbird, which was a secret consortium of the owners of the leading newspaper and broadcast outlets aimed at publishing CIA-friendly slants on news developments as a patriotic duty during the Cold War. The program was led by Washington Post Publisher Philip Graham, who dined weekly with the CIA's propaganda leader Frank Wisner, according to biographers. Disclosure of operation's specific goals were on a need-to-know basis. So, ordinary reporters, editors and producers would not have been informed about strategies, only their narrow assignments. But the scope of the program and similar ones affecting other sectors has since been documented by many experts, including by former Washington Post Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein in a 30,000-word report in Rolling Stone in 1977 preceded by an earlier column by Ramparts Magazine.
  • Bill Moyers and Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 White HouseFinally, many of the nation's most prominent journalists received their first big break during the JFK assassination and thereby launched themselves into journalism's top ranks for decades. Aside from Rather, these include current CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, along with longtime Public Broadcasting Service "News Hour" co-anchors Jim Lehrer and Robert "Robin" MacNeil. Bill Moyers (shown with his boss Lyndon Johnson) switched from helping orchestrate assassination coverage in the Johnson White House to becoming a noted pundit from a liberal perspective at PBS for many years. Also, Moyers led a foundation that helped fund many liberal news and commentary outlets for decades, few of whom have ever documented the evidence of CIA and FBI complicity in the Kennedy assassination. Each of these individuals is highly talented, of course. But few have shown much initiative in examining the kind of alternative theories raised here.   
In general, many low level government officials, reporters and whistleblowers have tried to break stories on the Kennedy assassination but relatively few are happy with the results.
 
Among such expert whistleblowers was retired Air Force Col. Fletcher Prouty, the Pentagon's top liaison to the CIA for covert operations during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. In 1973, Prouty authored The Secret Team, one of the first insider books about the CIA and in 1996 JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, a book alleging the agency's orchestration of assassination on behalf of the nation's hawks who regarded as near-treasonous JFK's plans to deescalate the Cold War and Vietnam fighting. Yet even Prouty, whose assignment at one point was to help place CIA assets into major United States corporations, apparently failed to appreciate that his first book's distribution problems may have stemmed from his publisher's use of William Casey -- a media mogul, former Office of Strategic Services officer and future CIA director -- as a part-time senior editor.
 
Another such whistleblower with official credentials was New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who brought an unsuccessful and widely vilified murder case in the 1960s against businessman and covert CIA asset Clay Shaw for conspiracy to murder the president.

Garrison, Prouty and many police, CIA, FBI and other government officials with inside information faced powerful institutional forces arrayed against them. In April 1967, for example, the CIA alerted its operatives worldwide in a now-declassified memo to smear as "conspiracy theorists" those researchers who emulate Garrison in suspecting government misconduct or other complicity in the Kennedy assassination. In that effort, the Justice Department deployed one of its top officials, Walter Sheriden, to try to infiltrate and otherwise disrupt Garrison's murder conspiracy prosecution of Clay Shaw, who won acquittal by denying (falsely as it turned out) that he had been a CIA asset.

Nonetheless, revelations of the CIA's assassination program in the wake of Watergate and growing doubts in the black community about the credibility of the Justice Department's prosecution of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s accused murderer, James Earl Ray, led congress to create the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in September 1976 to show the public before that year's elections that congress was serious about re-investigating the Kennedy and King assassinations.

Appointed to lead the probe under Chairman Henry Gonzalez (D-TX) was Chief Counsel Richard Sprague of Philadelphia. Sprague recruited as his deputy the well-regarded New York prosecutor Robert Tanenbaum. But Sprague antagonized Gonzalez and other power brokers that included media by seeking a budget and staff adequate for the task. In his first months, Sprague needed to fight not just Gonzalez and other opponents but for continuation of the committee because such special committees automatically in January of odd-numbered years with the end of congressional sessions.

We are indebted to the late HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi and his memoir, The Last Investigation Bill O'Reilly Killing Kennedy Cover (High definition)(first published in 1993 and republished in 2013), for an account of what happened next as Gonzalez resigned and threatened to use his clout to shut down the assassination probe unless Sprague quit also.

While Sprague struggled to persuade congress to fund the probe, Tanenbaum and Fonzi encountered what seemed like breakthrough tips involving de Mohrenschildt. Dutch journalist Willem Oltmans said the mysterious consultant had confided that he had been working in Dallas before the assassination with revenge-seekers from the oil industry and Cuban exile community who wanted to settle scores with the White House.

Fonzi recalled de Mohrenschildt as one of the most fascinating and independent-minded witnesses before the original Warren Commission, which failed to pursue the implications of his testimony about the Oswalds.

Furthermore, de Mohrenschildt -- a colorful figure who liked to be addressed as "the Baron" -- was working on a book sympathetic to Oswald (with a working title "I Am A Patsy") and seemed in a position to become a breakthrough witness for the HSCA.

But obstacles remained. The prospective witness had had a nervous breakdown and lived in fear so severe that he wrote seeking help from a family friend, CIA Director George H.W. Bush. The future president responded in non-committal fashion to the troubled man, who by then was teaching at a black college that the CIA was covertly funding in Texas.

Fonzi persisted and learned that de Mohrenschildt was in Florida, visiting the sister of one of his three former wives.

Fonzi made plans for a surprise visit March 29 to the address in Manalapan, a strip of wealthy homes in Palm Beach. First, however, he responded to a call March 28 from Bill O'Reilly, who in those days was a reporter at WFLAA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Earle Cabell, Dallas mayor and congressmanO'Reilly in those days was making a name for himself by aggressive reporting, including on news leads tending to undermine the official story of the JFK assassination. The oil-dominated power structure of Dallas had long been hostile territory for Kennedy. The reasons are too many to list but included his Northern and Catholic background, and his civil rights policies that in 1963 inflamed substantial sections of a still-segregated South.Perhaps relevant also is that Kennedy had fired Deputy CIA Director Charles Cabell, brother of Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell (shown at left), in his 1961 housecleaning of the CIA's three top leaders, including Director Allen Dulles. 

As further context for O'Reilly's work in 1977, many in the TV station's market were embarrassed by the assassination and eager to accept the Warren Commission's theory that the killing had been the work of a lone nut with who had no significant community or institutional connection.

Nonetheless, O'Reilly was aggressive in pursuing newsworthy leads on the case and worked for a management that supported such work with the confidence that at least a niche audience wants to learn more about important local news. Several of our Readers Guide segments have similarly highlighted how ordinary citizens in the Dallas region, including legal secretary Mary Ferrell, helped preserve documentation that researchers ever since have relied upon. 

Enter Bill O'Reilly, Maybe
 
Meanwhile, O'Reilly, apparently phoning from Dallas, told Fonzi on March 28 he wanted to join him ASAP, according to a tape recording recently distributed to JFK researchers by Marie Fonzi, Gaeton Fonzi's widow.
 
Fonzi's recollections In March 1977, author and JFK researcher Edward Jay Epstein secured an exclusive series of interviews with de Mohrenschildt in Florida near the home of the latter's daughter. Gaeton Fonzi, an HSCA investigator and friend of Bill O'Reilly, was based in Florida and planned to deliver a subpoena for the congressional investigation reexamining the Warren Commission's findings.

Fonzi tipped off O'Reilly, then an aggressive reporter at the Dallas station WFAA-TV who regularly reported on Kennedy assassination stories. 

The tale shows that O'Reilly in his younger days undertook cutting-edge reporting about a potential CIA role in the president's murder. After de Mohrenschildt's death, for example, O'Reilly took a camera crew into a Dallas CIA office to challenge an official on whether he had been working with Oswald. This was at a time when a congressional investigation gearing up by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

Not until more than a decade later, or indeed until the availability of the internet, could ordinary Americans see for themselves that Rather seems to have been completely wrong about what the film shows. That does not even address questions that more sophisticated experts have raised about whether the film was adjusted while in government custody to match an official version of events.

Despite -- or perhaps because of his Dallas reporting, Rather went on to a distinguished career as CBS anchor and managing editor until his news team reported before the 2004 presidential election irregularities in the Vietnam-era military service of incumbent President George W. Bush, landing Rather and his team in disgrace. Somewhat similarly, many reporters who strictly adhered to official accounts of the Kennedy assassination beginning with their reporting in Dallas saw their careers flourish.

These have included Bob Schieffer at CBS, and Jim Lehrer and Robert “Robin” MacNeil of the Public Broadcasting Service. Indeed, House communications director Bill Moyers helped orchestrate the news coverage and has gone on to a long and much-honored career in journalism without ever providing the inside story of arguably his own most important assignment, as author and GOP consultant Roger Stone has noted.

This then was the environment in which de Mohrenschildt wrote a 300-page unpublished book defending Oswald and began a process of reaching out to congressional investigators and JFK researchers in the mid-1970s in advance of his book publication.

The author also experienced mental health problems, which complicated the task of researchers, as did the vast numbers of untimely deaths of key players in the assassination and its aftermath. Author Richard Charnin, a mathematics expert, has calculated odds of less than a trillion to one that the more than one hundred deaths of witnesses and other key players in the JFK case could have occurred naturally.

 Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters

 

A challenge this month to Bill O’Reilly's credibility regarding his Kennedy assassination coverage reveals the mainstream media's continuing self-censorship of vital evidence regarding that monstrous crime. This latest example of play-it-safe reporting illustrates once again that the public should not rely on mainstream media to provide more than partial truth on sensitive public issues, especially those of high importance.

On March 1, CNN's Reliable Sources reported that a 1977 tape recording of an O'Reilly telephone call to a congressional investigator shows that O'Reilly did not really hear a witness suicide, as he had claimed in his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, published in October 2012. JFK researcher and former Washington Post editor Jefferson Morley made the fabrication claim on his blog JFK Facts.org two years ago and repeated it this month under questioning by Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter in the March 1 CNN segment, entitled Stelter: Audio tapes disprove O'Reilly's reporting.

The gunshot killed prospective congressional witness George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The well-born dead man had a unique perspective that included friendships with the Bush and Kennedy families, plus extensive efforts to help Oswald in Texas during late 1962 and early 1963.

Many investigators believe that de Mohrenschildt was a CIA asset who was encouraged to befriend Oswald and later became outraged over his death, as indicated by de Mohrenschildt's then-unpublished book, I Am A Patsy, Oswald's own description of his innocence before he was murdered.

In recent weeks, O'Reilly has come under attack for his claim to have been present at de Mohrenschildt's death and other purported exaggerations of his reporting prowess. His tale regarding de Mohrenschildt, shown in a file photo, is especially important because O’Reilly's Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot endorsed the official version of the Kennedy killing. That version was propounded by the presidentially appointed Warren Commission in 1964 and promptly endorsed without question by all major media then and now.

That official version is that was a troubled loner Oswald acted alone — and not as a pawn of rogue officials within the CIA.

Beyond the specifics of this month's claims by CNN against O’Reilly, the story below illustrates the ongoing media self-censorship in covering up evidence of CIA complicity in the president’s murder.

The story is complex. O'Reilly early in his career challenged the Warren Report's cover-up. We shall see also that new alibi witnesses may vindicate O'Reilly at least partially from Morley's fabrication claim. 

Thus, the most important angle is the big picture: How money, power and career advancement apparently led O'Reilly to adopt for his 2013 book Killing Kennedy the CIA-friendly theory that Oswald acted alone.

In this, the iconic host of The O'Reilly Factor has emulated many journalists, academics, authors, government researchers and even Kennedy family members who have learned that career success accrues for the most part to those who parrot the official version, and not to those who violate the CIA's 1967 smear (in a now-declassified memo) against "conspiracy theory" that accuses government officials of complicity in the murder.

Yet the general public cannot truly understand current affairs without relevant history, which includes the Kennedy death. Kennedy arguably was the last president who dared to protest the CIA and its hidden masters on Wall Street and such allied sectors as arms, energy, agribusiness and organized crime, along with anti-communist fanatics.

Kennedy's brother, Robert Kennedy, was killed under remarkable similar circumstances while poised to win the 1968 Democratic Presidential nomination and perhaps fulfilling his long-secret vow to achieve as president the power to expose his brother's killers.

Two months before the younger Kennedy's killing, the Rev. Martin Luther King -- who had emerged as a Kennedy supporter and antiwar activist as well as a civil rights leader -- was murdered also by another supposed "lone nut," James Earl Ray. Evidence also suggests that the racist suspect may have been a patsy like Oswald and Robert Kennedy's alleged killer, Sirhan Sirhan, enabling the real killers to escape, thereby empowering their controllers.

The results, including the ongoing subservience of the media, continue to shape public affairs both domestically and in the crisis zones of the Mideast and Ukraine, as I documented in Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, tracing a century-long pattern of hidden influence over presidents.

To cite from this month's headlines two of many examples: The media will not reference the monstrous breakdowns in Secret Service protection that enabled President Kennedy's death even as it extensively reports more trivial breakdowns in President Obama's protection. This is one small indication of why the current president's policies are understandably influenced by his vulnerability, not just to attacks by crazed loners but by potential insider threats. Somewhat similarly, coverage of the Benghazi and Hillary Clinton email scandals reflects the kind of intelligence she was collecting on those emails, including an assessment from her confidential advisor Sidney Blumenthal in November 2012 that CIA Director David Petraeus had been plotting with Republicans against Obama's re-election, with Benghazi set up as an "October Surprise." That issue is reported in Presidential Puppetry, the 2012 book L'Affaire Petraeus by by former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen and on his blog post last week, but has been studiously avoided by the mainstream media.

Jack Ruby Murders Lee Harvey OswaldThis pattern is illustrated further by media treatment of the gripping but oft-neglected story of George de Mohrenschildt — and his untimely death just as he planned to tell Congress what he knew a friend Oswald, whom he described in his then-unpublished memoir as a "patsy."

We tell that story below in this Part 24 of the Justice Integrity Project's "Readers Guide" to the JFK assassination. Our series began in 2013 as an attempt to make sense of the conflicting theories about the killing.

The Warren Report argued 1964 that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy shooting from behind with three shots on Nov. 22, 1963. Even more remarkably, the seven commissioners claimed that nightclub owner Jack Ruby had no mob connections when he similarly acted alone the next day to kill Oswald at the Dallas police station, as portrayed in the photo.

Every one of those arguments is demonstrably false, as indicated by the bulk of scholarship in more than two thousand books on the killing, based in part on some four million pages of declassified documents. Insiders, including more recent presidents who necessarily fear for their safety, surely know that the report was a cover-up, as indicated in part by now-declassified transcripts showing the key role on the commission of its member Allen Dulles, the pioneering CIA director whom President Kennedy fired in 1961. Neither congress nor the mainstream media have dared report on the essence of the plot, in part because of its brilliant orchestration that framed its operations as a patriotic necessity whose true scope was known only to a tiny handful of participants and certainly not to those on the Oswald, Ruby and Secret Service operational levels.

As indicated in an appendix below, the first columns of our Readers Guide listed all important books, videos, and events in an effort to provide readers with a comprehensive and otherwise unbiased overview with minimal commentary. Later columns based on additional research grew more interpretative as evidence and expert opinion became more clear.

Our more recent commentaries, as here, build on that foundation to show that the premises of the Warren Commission cited above could not possibly be true since Kennedy was shot at least once from the front, Oswald had covert colleagues, and Ruby had been a longtime mob member. Our current premise is that forces such as the CIA and its Wall Street overseers who remain far more powerful most public officials, reporters and other watchdogs must have been involved to enforce the massive self-censorship and other evidence suppression that has continued to the present.

 I’m  A Patsy   

I’m  A Patsy 

Each of those excuses may have some validity at times for an individual reporter busy on other deadlines. But the excuses cannot explain the wholesale abandonment of responsibility across wide sectors of the media and government. Such major figures as Bill Moyers (as a top Johnson aide handling media after the assassination) and newsmen Bob Schieffer and Dan Rather of CBS, and Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil of PBS were intimately involved in assassination news coverage in Dallas five decades ago.

Moyers was the White House liaison to the Justice Department in the days after the killing as the plan solidified to blame the killing entirely on Oswald and exclude the possibility that anyone else was involved. "The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin;that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial." the second-ranking Justice Department official wrote Moyers in a secret memo, dated Nov. 25, and now available. Moyers is shown with Johnson in 1963 before he obtained high-level newspaper and broadcasting post. 

Through the decades, the best-known reporters have followed the script for the most part and refrained from detailed analysis of new evidence in order to focus on the niche topics, such as what they themselves saw -- or broad treatments of the Kennedy presidency's legacy.

Our project's survey of news coverage of the 50th anniversary of the shooting showed that virtually all major news outlets stuck to their original reporting: Oswald did it alone, they insisted, and from the rear. One of our many examples was this year's column, Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later.

An alternative and well-documented narrative explores the deft craftsmanship of the plotters to persuade decision-makers at major institutions to sustain the Warren Commission's account up to the present. Released documents on Operation Mockingbird, for example, show that media owners held secret understanding with the CIA that coverage on major issues would be influenced by supposed national security concerns. Thus, the familiar faces of broadcasters and columnists have lesser real-world control or even knowledge than the public might suspect.

More generally, Someone Would Have Talked  is the title of JFK researcher Larry Hancock's 2010 book. But Hancock meant his title to be ironic. In more than 500 pages, Hancock showed that many courageous witnesses and other experts already have talked about the evidence.

The real problem is not lack of evidence, but lack of media willing to report it. To be sure, best-selling writers and film maker Oliver Stone are among those who have persuaded most Americans for decades, according to polls, that the Warren Commission cannot be believed. 

But governmental and media power centers will not for the most part take obvious actions, such as reporting major new developments.

Therefore, I felt privileged to help open the conference with my topic, "Current Implications of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up."

My segment came after an introduction by moderator Alan Dale, AARC President James Lesar and Executive Director Jerry Policoff.

I arranged for C-SPAN to cover the event, including extensive coverage of other speakers.

 

 

o of the  was descended from a well-born Russian family dispossessed by the Communist Revolution and thus deeply anticommunist. The family retained sufficient means even in America so that George and his brother were educated

 —

Specifically, CNN and the alternative media have recently debunked O’Reilly’s false account that he traveled from Dallas to Florida in 1977 to report on George de Mohrenschildt, the close friend and suspected CIA handler of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. O’Reilly’s own tape-recorded voice proves that O’Reilly has lied about being present in Florida when de Mohrenschildt was found dead just before his expected congressional testimony vindicating Oswald.

Today’s column summarizes this evidence of O’Reilly’s deception. Also, we take the next step — avoided by mainstream media commentators so far from the most part — of showing the matter’s importance far beyond the damage to O’Reilly’s reputation.

The true significance is the ongoing suppression of the truth regarding JFK’s killing.

 

But no major currently active journalist has been caught in such a clear-cut lie as O’Reilly, arguably aside from Dan Rather’s false claim in 19 that the Abraham Zapruder film showed Kennedy’s head moving from, arguably, gunfire from Oswald at the rear. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapruder_film  

Time-Life controlled the film and gave Rather exclusive access for what has been described as a highly deceptive news report. When pirated copies of the film appeared many researchers asserted that Kennedy’s head movements and wounds indicated a fatal shot from the front or right front, thus discrediting both Rather and the 1964 Warren Commission report.      “His head appeared to move violently forward.” Nov. 25, 1993.  It appeared she was trying desperately to get the Secret service man.

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Charles Douglas Jackson was born in New York City on 16th March 1902. After graduation from Princeton University in 1924, he joined the media industry. In 1931 he went to work with Henry Luce at Time Magazine.
In 1940 Luce allowed Jackson, to organize an anti-isolationist propaganda group called the Council for Democracy. Luce was also one of the main funders with the British Security Coordination for the Fight of Freedom group. Other members included Allen W. Dulles, Joseph Alsop, Dean G. Acheson, Lewis William Douglas, and several journalists including Herbert Agar (Louisville Courier-Journal), Geoffrey Parsons (New York Herald Tribune) and Elmer Davis (CBS).
Ian Fleming, working for BSC's naval intelligence section, proposed that Henry Luce should work for William Donovan as his Coordinator of Information. His recommendation was not accepted and the post went to Robert E. Sherwood. However, as Thomas E. Mahl, the author of Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 (1998) has pointed out: "The British soon found themselves in conflict with Henry Luce. His global internationalist vision of the American Century and his ability to publicize that vision were very useful when the British were trying to involve the United States in international events. But they became a threat to the British vision of the postwar world after Pearl Harbor. By early 1943, Henry Luce was on the list of enemies who endangered the British Empire."
During the Second World War Jackson served as special assistant to the Ambassador to Turkey before joining the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1943. The following year he was appointed Deputy Chief at the Psychological Warfare Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF).
After the war, Jackson became Managing Director of Time-Life International. In 1948 Frank Wisner, who worked with Jackson in the OSS, was appointed as director of the Office of Special Projects. Soon afterwards it was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Wisner also established Operation Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic American media. Wisner asked Philip Graham of the Washington Post to run the project within the newspaper industry. Jackson was also recruited and according to Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post: "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles."
Jackson became the publisher of Fortune Magazine and from 1951-52 he served as President of the Free Europe Committee. He also wrote speeches for Dwight D. Eisenhower during his presidential campaign. Jackson was rewarded in February 1953 by being appointed as ar. According to the Eisenhower Presidential Library files in Abilene, Kansas, Jackson's "area responsibility was loosely defined as international affairs, cold war planning, and psychological warfare. His main function was the coordination of activities aimed at interpreting world situations to the best advantage of the United States and her allies and exploiting incidents which reflected negatively on the Soviet Union, Communist China and other enemies in the Cold War."
Jackson also took an active role in Operation Mockingbird. Documents released after his death show that Jackson was in contact with a CIA agent in Hollywood's Paramount Studios. This agent was involved in trying to influence the content of the films the company was making. The agent is not named by Jackson but Frances Stonor Saunders claims in Who Paid the Piper? (2000) that it was Carleton Alsop, a CIA agent employed by Frank Wisner. There is no doubt that Alsop was one of the CIA agents working at Paramount. However, Hugh Wilford argues in The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008) that it was a senior executive at Paramount, Lugi G. Laraschi, the most important CIA figure at the studio. Laraschi was the head of foreign and domestic censorship at the studio, whose job was to "iron out any political, moral or religious problems". Other studios, including MGM and RKO, had similar officers, and were probably CIA placements. In a private letter to Sherman Adams, Jackson claims the role of these CIA placements was "to insert in their scripts and in their action the right ideas with the proper subtlety".
In 1953 C. D. Jackson served on the Presidents' Committee on International Information Activities. The following year he was appointed as Special Assistant to President for International Affairs. Jackson urged President Dwight D. Eisenhower to speak-out against Senator Joe McCarthy. He was probably influenced by McCarthy's attacks on CIA officials such as Frank Wisner and Cord Meyer. In Jackson's opinion McCarthy was damaging the anti-Communist cause with self serving and unstable behavior. According to Carl Bernstein, Jackson was "Henry Luce's personal emissary to the CIA". He also claimed that in the 1950s Jackson had arranged for CIA employees to travel with Time-Life credentials as cover.
Kai Bird has argued that Jackson worked very closely with John McCloy: " In the summer of 1959, just before McCloy took his family for an extended trip to Europe, C.D. Jackson wrote to remind McCloy that later that summer a World Youth Festival was scheduled to take place in Vienna. Jackson asked McCloy to contribute an article, perhaps on the "benign and constructive aspects" of the U.S. occupation of Germany. The piece would appear in a daily newspaper to be published in Vienna in conjunction with the festival. McCloy agreed, and the article was published (in five languages) in a newspaper distributed by a twenty-five-year-old Smith graduate named Gloria Steinem... Washington expected some twenty thousand students and young scholars from all over the world to converge on Vienna that summer for the three-week festival. Consequently, the CIA wanted an organized student presence in Vienna in order to counter Soviet propaganda."
After the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 Jackson left the White House and became publisher of Life Magazine. When Kennedy was assassinated, Jackson purchased the Zapruder Film on behalf of Life. David Lifton points out in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2004) that: "Abraham Zapruder in fact sold the film to Time-Life for the sum of $150,000 - about $900,000 dollars in today's money... Moreover, although Life had a copy of the film, it did little to maximize the return on its extraordinary investment. Specifically, it did not sell this unique property - as a film - to any broadcast media or permit it to be seen in motion, the logical way to maximize the financial return on its investment... A closer look revealed something else. The film wasn't just sold to Life - the person whose name was on the agreement was C. D. Jackson." Jackson published individual frames of Zapruder's film but did not allow the film to be screened in its entirety.
Soon after the assassination Jackson also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. Peter Dale Scott argues in his book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1996) that Jackson, on the urging of Allen Dulles, employed Isaac Don Levine, a veteran CIA publicist, to ghost-write Marina's story. This story never appeared in print.
Charles Douglas Jackson died on 18th September, 1964. On December 15, 1971, Jackson's widow gave his papers to the Eisenhower Presidential Library. These documents revealed that he had been working as a CIA agent since 1948.'Fox News, the network that was shownFox News Team Banner from Nation of Change to tell the truth only 18% of the time, has been ranked as the most trustworthy network and cable news coverage (http://goo.gl/QPjxPV). Please SHARE if you find this recent poll result outrageous and help direct people towards more reliable and trustworthy news sources.' 

 Why Bill O'Reilly's Big Lie About JFK's Murder Matters

Huffington Post, Journalist Says He Can Prove Bill O'Reilly Wasn't Present At JFK-Related Suicide, Catherine Taibi, March 9, 2015. Investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein says he can prove that Bill O'Reilly was not present at the 1977 suicide of a JFK-related figure that the host said he witnessed. He can prove it, because he was there. In a searing takedown published in Newsweek on Monday, Epstein said it was "impossible" for the Fox News host to be there. He wrote: "I was the actual -- and only -- reporter interviewing de Mohrenschildt on the last day of his life." O'Reilly has claimed on numerous occasions that he was present for the death of George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald who took his own life on March 29, 1977. During an appearance on "Fox & Friends" to promote his 2012 book, Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly said that he was just about to knock on the door of Mohrenschildt's daughter's house when he heard the gunshot go off. His former colleague, however, told Media Matters in February that O'Reilly was in Dallas at the time, nowhere near the site of the suicide. The allegations against the host came as several of his war reporting experiences are under scrutiny, as some say O'Reilly embellished events or claimed to be places he may not have been. A series of tape recordings released by CNN last week purportedly showed that O'Reilly was in fact in Dallas at the time the gunshot went off, and was only told about suicide over the phone while working as a reporter for a local station.

Bill O'Reilly CBS  

Newsweek, O'Reilly's JFK Reporting Was Impossible. I Know Because I Was There, Edward Jay Epstein, March 9, 2015. I was recently bemused to see that Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host, managed in 2012 to parachute himself back in time to March 29, 1977 so as to make himself a witness to the gunshot that killed George de Mohrenschildt. De Mohrenschildt, a well-connected Russian émigré, was a figure of interest in the mystery of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy because he had befriended Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of JFK. How did O’Reilly get into the act? In his 2012 best-selling book Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, he wrote himself— as a 29-year-old reporter—into the de Mohrenschildt death scene, stating on page 300: “As the reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian, assuring that his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald would never be fully understood. By the way, that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly.” But O’Reilly’s insertion suffers from a reality deficiency disorder. How do I know? I was the actual — and only — reporter interviewing de Mohrenschildt on the last day of his life in 1977. I was meeting him at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, because I was writing a biography of Oswald (Legend: the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald).

Deadline.com, Jon Stewart Defends Bill O’Reilly: “No One’s Watching Him For The Actual Truth,” Lisa de Moraes, Feb. 25, 2015.  Jon Stewart rose to the defense of his friend Bill O’Reilly last night, telling The Daily Show viewers that no one should expect the truth from the Fox News Channel host. “Really? We’re going after O’Reilly for exaggerating being in a war zone?” Stewart marveled at the top of last night’s The Daily Show, in re the Mother Jones article that called into question some of O’Reilly’s reporting over the years – particularly his work in Buenos Aires at the end of the Falklands War in ’82. In the wake of Brian Williams’ suspension by NBC News over claims he made about his work, the media has glommed on to the Mother Jones investigation, including recent articles in The New  

Salon, Reilly’s trouble deepens: A Kennedy tall tale that could unravel Fox News’ bully, Joan Walsh, March 2, 2015. His Kennedy assassination lie is proven by a recording of O'Reilly himself. Why Fox's strategy may suddenly change. Writers and advocates on the left have long cataloged the exaggerations, meltdowns and many stumbles of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, to show that the guy who runs the No-Spin Zone is frequently unfair and relentlessly unbalanced. But now O’Reilly has a different sort of watchdog in CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, host of “Reliable Sources” – and Stelter is attracting more company.

Salon, Writers and advocates on the left have long catalogued the exaggerations, meltdowns and many stumbles of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, to show that the guy who runs the No-Spin Zone is frequently unfair and relentlessly unbalanced. But now O’Reilly has a different sort of watchdog in CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, host of “Reliable Sources” – and Stelter is attracting more company.

 O’Reilly’s trouble deepens: A Kennedy tall tale that could unravel Fox News’ bully
His Kennedy assassination lie is proven by a recording of O'Reilly himself. Why Fox's strategy may suddenly change
Joan Walsh
http://www.salon.com/2015/03/02/oreillys_trouble_deepens_a_kennedy_tall_tale_that_could_unravel_fox_news_bully/

Oh sure, the Fox bully dismisses Stelter — along with his critics at Mother Jones, Media Matters and, for that matter, Salon — as just another left-winger out to get him. But that charge won’t stick. The bright, earnest, hardworking former New York Times reporter isn’t known for his ideological crusading; he goes after MSNBC, not just Fox. But when Stelter finds an important story, he digs in.

The CNN host just spent his second straight Sunday on the O’Reilly mess, this time advancing the story about what has become the most damning and incontestable charge against the Fox host: that he lied about personally hearing the suicide of a mysterious friend of Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, in Palm Beach, Florida, back in 1977, just as congressional investigators were closing in on the source. O’Reilly told the lie in his book “Killing Kennedy” as well as on the air at Fox.

In his book, O’Reilly wrote of tracking George de Mohrenschildt, who’d lived in Minsk and became friends with Oswald and his wife, Marina, in Dallas, after they returned from a stay in the Russian city. Kennedy assassination researchers believe de Mohrenschildt was a CIA asset, and he’s implicated in a lot of theories about the real motive for Kennedy’s murder. O’Reilly doesn’t dig into that story, but he tells a dramatic tale of his search for the Oswald associate: New York Times, Venezuela Tells U.S. to Reduce Embassy Staff  

http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/news/reporters-tape-exposes-bill-oreillys-jfk-fib/#more-2557
Investigator’s tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib
February 24, 2015 jeffmorley Assassination, News 97 comments

(First published in JFK Facts, January 30, 2013)

In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter — himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly reveals here in his own voice.

JFK reality check for Bill O’Reilly

In the annals of the JFK assassination story, rife with CIA and FBI malfeasance, O’Reilly’s fanciful anecdote might seem trivial. It is not the saddest feature of his book, which manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades.

But as O’Reilly’s yarn is presented as fact in USA Today and the Fort-Worth Telegram; as his book dominates the best-seller charts; and as a credulous National Geographic embarks on making a documentary of Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly’s credibility matters.

In O’Reilly’s account, the dramatic incident happened on March 29, 1977. The Fox News talk show host was then a 28-year-old television reporter in Dallas seeking to make a name for himself by investigating a popular subject that other reporters disdained: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Working in Dallas at a time when Congress re-opened the JFK investigation in the mid-1970s, O’Reilly scored some real scoops, especially about a man named George de Mohrenschildt. A Russian emigre who moved in both European high society and the American underworld, de Mohrenschildt would have made a splendid character in a Graham Greene novel, except he was a real living CIA asset involved in the events that would culminate in JFK’s murder on Dallas on November 22,1963.

De Mohrenschildt was good copy. He was probably the only person on the planet on friendly terms with both the family of First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of killing her husband. De Mohrenschildt was not a paid CIA employee, but as JFK investigators closed in on him, he expected CIA assistance.

In September 1976, he wrote to CIA director George H.W. Bush seeking help for his “hopeless situation.” Bush, the only CIA director to become president, ignored him, while privately telling CIA colleagues they had a slight acquaintance. De Mohrenschildt’s testimony to the House Select Committee on Assassinations was expected to be explosive.

O’Reilly spins the story with third person modesty in Killing Kennedy (p. 300), calling himself “the reporter.” He wrote that he

“traced de Mohrenschildt to Palm Beach, Florida and travelled there to confront him. At the time de Mohrenschildt had been called to testify before a congressional committee looking into the events of November 1963. As the reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast [Emphasis added] that marked the suicide of the Russian, assuring that his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald would never be fully understood.

“By the way, that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly.”

It’s a vivid story and well told. It’s also mostly imaginary. In fact, the reporter named Bill O’Reilly was in Dallas, Texas, on that day.

Where O’Reilly Really Was
Gaeton Fonzi

Investigator Gaeton Fonzi was a reliable source for an intrepid young reporter named Bill OReilly

The truth can be heard on a cassette tape made by Gaeton Fonzi, a congressional investigator who was O’Reilly’s most reliable source on the JFK story. Fonzi wrote about that day in his 1993 memoir, The Last Investigation:

“About 6:30 that evening I received a call from Bill O’Reilly, a friend who was then a television reporter in Dallas,” wrote Fonzi, who died in August 2012. In Fonzi’s account, O’Reilly told him that he had just received a tip that de Mohrenschildt had committed suicide.

A recording of three phone conversations between Fonzi and O’Reilly on March 29, 1977, confirms Fonzi’s account. Fonzi’s widow, Marie Fonzi, shared the tape with JFK Facts.

“Gaet liked O’Reilly and did lots to help him,” Marie Fonzi said in an email. “He hired him in the early ’70s when editor of Miami Magazine at $25 a month to write movie reviews. He wrote letters of reference for him and was instrumental in getting him his first TV shot.”

But she adds, “I know O’Reilly was in Dallas” on March 29, 1977. “There is no question about it.”

O’Reilly is right about one thing. He was indeed pursuing George de Mohrenschildt in March 1977, but he did not reach his doorstep in Palm Beach on March 29, 1977, and he certainly did not hear de Mohrenschildt’s demise with his own ears. When the fatal shot rang out, O’Reilly was in his office at the WFAA studios in Dallas, Texas, more than 1,200 miles away.

The confirmation comes from O’Reilly himself. Listen to him as he calls Fonzi to break the news.

(To play this audio, you need a browser that supports HTML5, i.e., Firefox or Chrome.)

“We just got a call from de Mohrenshildt’s lawyer saying he committed suicide in Miami today,” the caller  says — just as O’Reilly was quoted in Fonzi’s book.”You hear anything about it?”

Fonzi tells the caller (obviously someone he has a working relationship with) that he had tried to find de Mohrenschildt at a residence in Palm Beach at 11:30 that morning and was told he wasn’t home.

“So as far you know he’s still alive?” the reporter asks. Fonzi wants to know when the caller received the tip.

“We just got the call twenty minutes ago,” the caller says.

“That’s 6:30 here,” Fonzi says, indicating that he understands the reporter is calling from a different time zone. Fonzi tells the reporter he’ll check out the story and get right back to him.

Fonzi then calls de Mohrenschildt’s house, and gets the runaround from a man answering the phone (a police investigator already called to the suicide scene). He hangs up.

The phone rings again.

“Bill?” Fonzi opens.

“Yeah,” the caller responds.

Fonzi tells Bill he cannot confirm de Mohrenschildt is dead. Like a good reporter, Bill says he has been trying to run down the story by telephone from Texas. “I checked every medical examiner from Satellite Beach to Key West,” he says, “and there’s no report on this.” He says he’s going to keep working on the story and he asks Fonzi to call him if he learns anything. He hangs up.

Fonzi makes a flurry of calls to his sources in Florida and confirms the story. Then O’Reilly calls for a third time.

“Gaeton,” the caller says. “Bill O’Reilly.” Fonzi shares some details of the story, and O’Reilly tells him his travel plans. “I’m coming down there tomorrow,” he says. “I’m coming to Florida.”

Fonzi tells him to get in contact when he arrives.

“I’m going to take a night flight if I can,” O’Reilly says, “but I may have to go tomorrow morning.”

O’Reilly’s utterances prove that he was not knocking on George Mohrenschildt’s doorstep as he now melodramatically claims. The truth is more prosaic. O’Reilly got a tip on a hot story, worked his sources to confirm it, and rushed to the scene. In making up this story for Killing Kennedy, he slighted the truth of his own professionalism.

———–

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS Bill O’Reilly explains where he was and what he was doing on March 29, 1977.

1.  ”We just got a call from de Mohrenschildt’s lawyer”

2.  ”I checked every medical examiner from Satellite Beach to Key West”

3.  ”I’m coming down there tomorrow. I’m coming to Florida.”

4) All of Gaeton Fonzi’s phone calls that evening, including his three conversations with Bill O’Reilly.

(To play these audio files, you need a browser which supports HTML5, i.e., Firefox or Chrome.)

————
MORE FROM JFK FACTS: Did Amazon block a challenge to O’Reilly’s lone gunman theory? What Has Bill O’Reilly Learned About JFK?

    This is the kind of thing that ought to be making the evening news. But, of course I have no illusions about that happening. These are spooky, spooky times in which we live. Noam Chomsky, although himself an, ‘Oswald acted alone’ proponent, has it right when he talks about “Manufacturing Consent.” The way in which the media has so skillfully learned to manage and manipulate the public mind. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO51ahW9JlE&feature=youtube_gdata_player )

    The lead story on NBC’s, “The Today Show,” is an investigation of fake NFL clothing! Followed by an exposé on some football player’s fake girlfriend. Good grief! It’s nothing more than a commercial for the Super Bowl masquerading as, “news.”

    Meanwhile, one of the most high profile, and allegedly most trusted media personalities of the day writes what’s supposed to be an historical account of one the most important events in American history. It’s marketed to children, it’s on the NYT best sellers list, and yet it has no footnotes, and according to the above article it includes an outright fabrication.

    Oh well, at least now I know I better be on the lookout for those fake NFL jerseys. Never mind fake history books by the guy who’s, “looking for you.”
    Reply    
    Robert Morrow
    January 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm    

    And let’s not forget that George De Mohrenschildt was in contact with Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s office in April, 1963. Scroll down and read that critical memo unearthed by ace JFK researcher Bruce Campbell Adamson: http://ciajfk.com/Doris.html

    George De Mohrenschildt, who was Lee Harvey Oswald’s best friend in Dallas, ran in a circle of Texas businessmen (oil men) and politicians (Lyndon Johnson and GHW Bush) who just hate, hate hated the Kennedys. And there is a lot evidence that Oswald was U.S. intelligence with a fake public persona of a pro-Castro Marxist.

    Btw, LBJ’s military aide Air Force Col. Howard Burris was involved in the Iranian coup of 1953 which was backed by the CIA and American oil companies. And an Air Force general Edward Lansdale has been identified at TSBD on 11/22/63 by two of his peers, Col. Fletcher Prouty and Gen. Victor Krulak. And the head Air Force general of the time, Gen. Curtis LeMay was a rabid Kennedy hater, close to Texas oilmen H.L. Hunt and D.H. Byrd and who [LeMay] called the Kennedys “cockroaches” in his LBJ oral history.

    April, 18, 1963 Letter from LBJ’s top aide Walter Jenkins to George De Mohrenschildt, Lee Harvey Oswald’s best friend in Dallas

    April 18, 1963

    Dear Mr. Mohrenschildt:

    Your letter has come in the Vice President’s absence from the office — the Congress is in its Easter Recess.
    Next week Mr. Johnson will be participating in the Second Manned Space Seminar in the Southwest, in a Forum in West Virginia in mid-week and has other speaking engagements that will take him out of town. Since we are faced with that situation I would like to suggest that you see Colonel Howard Burris, Air Force Aide to the Vice President, when you come to Washington. Should Mr. Johnson happen to have any office hours here during your stay, we will be happy to see if a mutually convenient time can be found for you to meet.

    With warm good wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Walter Jenkins
    Administrative Assistant to
    The Vice President

    Mr. George de Mohrenschildt
    1939-40 Republic National Bank Building
    Dallas 1, Texas
    WJ:MJDR
    Reply    
        larry wheeler
        July 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm    

        Oswald was “handled’ by the coup plotters and then plugged in to be the designated patsy. it worked, but once you peel back the layers of deceit one can see the tangled web. there is no way a man with demohrenschidt’s background would befriend a Marxist pro castro defector in texas in the early 60′s. -unless he could be used by them. people have profiles – they are who we are- but 180 opposites don’t hang out and socialize unless it’s an intell operation work. George m. even know bush sr. at the petroleum club in dallas or Houston texas, aint no way this can happen with Oswald in the mix unless it’s a frame up job. last man standing wins.
        Reply    
        Alan Boyd
        August 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm    

        For a thorough analysis of George DeM’s relationships with Geo Bush Sr and LHO, see Russ Baker’s “Family Secrets”.
        Reply    
            Betty catti
            December 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm    

            Oswald was neither a Marxist nor a defector. He was an O.N.I. asset, former Marine on loan to C.I.A. and paid F.B.I. Informer working out of Guy Bannister’s (ex F.B.I) office in New Orleans during summer of 1963.
            Reply    
                Willy Whitten
                February 21, 2015 at 5:25 pm    

                And Bannister was among those who helped set up Oswald as the patsy.
                __________________________
                I haven’t seen it mentioned here about the “beep beep beep” on the tape recording that was supposed to pick up that soap opera for the lady of the house.

                Two people pointed it out to the official running the inquest. This beeping was a house alarm set on “Soft”, meaning that someone had entered the house just before the gun was fired.

                The jurist running the inquest said that they weren’t going there. He was obviously under pressure from above.

                This is real evidence of murder staged as a suicide. and “suiciding” is the MO of the national security state.
                \\][//
                Reply    
                    marie fonzi
                    February 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm    

                    I read the police report. The beeps corresponded exactly with the previous testimony of the maid and gardener as to when they entered and exited the house.
                    Ronnie Wayne
                    February 25, 2015 at 8:00 pm    

                    Thank you for posting Ms. Fonzi. I read somewhere several years ago that the shotgun was found in a position that indicated was not a suicide. Was there anything in the report about that or have you ever heard of such?
    Mark Groubert
    February 1, 2013 at 5:52 am    

    Nice work Rob. I always wanted to read that letter. When George did show up with his little banker friend Mr. Charles, guess who was in his office that day – yes, LBJ.
    Reply    
        Robert Morrow
        February 1, 2013 at 11:42 am    

        Notice how Walter Jenkins is hooking De Mohrenschildt with Col. Howard Burris, LBJ’s Air Force attache. Burris was involved in the 1953 Iranian coup … maybe De Mohrenschildt wants a Haitian coup so he can cut exclusive deals with the government.

        That is probably what is going on rather than any JFK assassination-related plotting.

        I do think that Air Force intelligence (see Lansdale & LeMay) was heavily involved in the JFK assassination. H.L. Hunt and D.H. Byrd were very plugged into those Air Force generals for decades and so was LBJ. Charles Cabell, the CIA many who JFK fired was also an Air Force general as well as the brother of Mayor Earle Cabell of Dallas. LBJ knew those men socially & professionally.

Guardian via Raw Story, Another shoe drops: Bill O’Reilly’s ex-colleagues call his L.A. riot stories ‘completely ficticious,’ Jon Swaine, Feb. 25, 2015. Former colleagues of Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host whose tales of past reporting exploits are facing renewed scrutiny, have disputed his account of surviving a bombardment of bricks and rocks while covering the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. Six people who covered the riots with O’Reilly in California for Inside Edition told the Guardian they did not recall an incident in which, as O’Reilly has claimed, “concrete was raining down on us” and “we were attacked by protesters.”

New York Times, For Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, A Symbiotic Relationship, Jonathan Mahler and Emily Steel, Feb. 26, 2015. Reports have since emerged questioning some of O’Reilly’s other assertions. Most notably, Media Matters has challenged Mr. O’Reilly’s claims that he was outside the Palm Beach, Fla., home of an acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald when he killed himself with a shotgun in 1977.

Media Matters, O'Reilly Lied About Suicide of JFK Assassination Figure, Former Colleagues Say, Ben Dimiero, Feb. 24, 2015. Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally "heard" a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the Bill O'Reilly Killing Kennedy Coverinvestigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O'Reilly's claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy's death further undermine O'Reilly's story. George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.

O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death. O'Reilly is under heavy criticism and scrutiny for his false claims about his 1982 Falklands War reporting. O'Reilly's implausible tale was first flagged by Jefferson Morley in a 2013 post for his website JFKFacts.org. Morley has worked as an editor for the Washington Post, Salon.com, and Arms Control Today, and is a visiting professor at the University of California, Washington Center. New interviews with former O'Reilly colleagues who say he wasn't in Florida on the day of de Mohrenschildt's suicide and documents obtained by Media Matters bolster Morley's reporting. In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly writes on page 300 that as a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."

 
 
 
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Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series

Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near at the location of Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.

  1. Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
  2. Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
  3. Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
  4. Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
  5. Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
  6. 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,'  Nov. 19, 2013.
  7. Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
  8. JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
  9. JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
  10. JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column. 
  11. Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
  12. Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
  13. Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014. 
  14. Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
  15. JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
  16. Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
  17. JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
  18. Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
  19. The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
  20. JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
  21. JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
  22. CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
  23. Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.

 

Related News Coverage

Kennedy Assassination

JFK Facts, Investigator’s tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib, Jefferson Morley (shown in a file photo), Feb. 24, 2015. (First published in JFK Facts, January 30, 2013) In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter Jefferson Morley— himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly reveals here in his own voice. In the annals of the JFK assassination story, rife with CIA and FBI malfeasance, O’Reilly’s fanciful anecdote might seem trivial. It is not the saddest feature of his book, which manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades. But as O’Reilly’s yarn is presented as fact in USA Today and the Fort-Worth Telegram; as his book dominates the best-seller charts; and as a credulous National Geographic embarks on making a documentary of Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly’s credibility matters. In O’Reilly’s account, the dramatic incident happened on March 29, 1977. The Fox News talk show host was then a 28-year-old television reporter in Dallas seeking to make a name for himself by investigating a popular subject that other reporters disdained: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Working in Dallas at a time when Congress re-opened the JFK investigation in the mid-1970s, O’Reilly scored some real scoops, especially about a man named George de Mohrenschildt. A Russian emigre who moved in both European high society and the American underworld, de Mohrenschildt would have made a splendid character in a Graham Greene novel, except he was a real living CIA asset involved in the events that would culminate in JFK’s murder on Dallas on November 22,1963. De Mohrenschildt was good copy. He was probably the only person on the planet on friendly terms with both the family of First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of killing her husband. De Mohrenschildt was not a paid CIA employee, but as JFK investigators closed in on him, he expected CIA assistance.

Deadline Hollywood, Bill O’Reilly’s Publisher Jumps In As Oswald Biographer Blasts JFK Report, Lisa de Moraes, March 9, 2015. Bill O’Reilly tonight directed his viewers to the website of his Killing Kennedy publisher Henry Holt & Company, which today posted a statement from a former colleague of O’Reilly who insisted the Fox News Channel host was in Florida at the time a person of interest in the JFK assassination investigation committed suicide. Coincidentally — or not — this topped O’Reilly’s Fox News Channel show the same day Newsweek posted a report today, written by Lee Harvey Oswald biographer Edward Jay Epstein, calling pure horseradish O’Reilly’s account of being at the front door when Oswald acquaintance George de Mohrenschildt, took his life.

Washington Post, JFK-Florida dustup: ‘I have no explanation’ for audiotape, Erik Wemple, March 10, 2015. O’Reilly ally in JFK-Florida dustup: ‘I have no explanation’ for audiotape. Bob Sirkin has specific recollections about the time he spent with reporter Bill O’Reilly in late March 1977, when they both worked at Dallas TV station WFAA. Late on the night of March 28, said Sirkin in a long chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, he and O’Reilly flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to West Palm Beach on now-defunct Braniff International Airways. As he tells it, the pair had traveled in pursuit of an interview with George de Mohrenschildt, a Russian emigre and a fascinating character in the re-opened investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “Bill and I were working on various aspects of the Kennedy assassination cover-up,” recalls the 69-year-old Sirkin.

According to Sirkin’s narrative, he and O’Reilly arrived in Florida in the wee hours of March 29 and promptly made their way to the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach along with cameraman Frank Eberling. Through some classic reportorial enterprise — sliding a tip to the bellhop, that is — Sirkin says he got the room number where investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein was allegedly interviewing de Mohrenschildt. The group went to the room and knocked. “Epstein comes to the door, sees the camera and just goes ballistic. We could see de Mohrenschildt sitting in a kitchen table in the background,” says Sirkin.

Footage of de Mohrenschildt in that room, says Sirkin, was included in the resulting WFAA report. Following the encounter at the hotel, O’Reilly and Sirkin parted ways as they sought to pursue the story. O’Reilly’s assignment was to check out the home in Manalapan where de Mohrenschildt was staying.

And that’s where controversy enters. In his book Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly claims that he was front and center for an extraordinary event: “As the reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian, assuring that his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald would never be fully understood. By the way, that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly.”

De Mohrenschildt did indeed kill himself that afternoon at the Manalapan home. But did O’Reilly hear the shot as he knocked on the door?

Sirkin: “All I recall is that he mentioned something about hearing what he thought was a shotgun blast.”

As noted on this blog and many other places, there’s a mound of evidence to the contrary: O’Reilly didn’t appear in the death investigation report; a journalist who was there said he didn’t see O’Reilly; people at the house didn’t see a stranger around; and so on.

Of course, those debunking considerations cannot compete with those first exposed in 2013 by journalist and professor Jefferson Morley, who found tapes of O’Reilly talking with congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi in the aftermath of the suicide. After they discuss de Mohrenschildt’s fate, O’Reilly says, “I’m coming down there tomorrow. I’m coming to Florida” — leaving the sharp impression that he was in Dallas, not at the front door, at the time of de Mohrenschildt’s demise.

So there’s a question for Sirkin, not to mention O’Reilly. How to square the notion that O’Reilly was in Florida yet told Fonzi that he’s “coming to Florida”? “I have no explanation for it,” says Sirkin, “other than to say that possibly they have that tape confused with a call that O’Reilly made to Fonzi from Florida….I don’t understand myself how that tape jibes with the facts as I know it.” Sirkin wasn’t with O’Reilly when he made the alleged trip to the house and he cannot attest to his having heard the shot. He merely vouches that he and O’Reilly were in the area before, during and immediately after the suicide.

Now for Eberling, the cameraman who rode around with O’Reilly and Sirkin. Well, he tells a Breakers story that corroborates the scene laid out by Sirkin. “I have a specific recollection of walking down the hall,” says Eberling, who now teaches film at Palm Beach State College. And this specific recollection corroborates what we know about the King of Cable News: “O’Reilly knocked on the door,” continues Eberling, “a guy opened the door about three to four inches and I was still maybe a step behind O’Reilly. What I recall seeing was the door opening a crack and I think O’Reilly stuck his foot in the door and I remember this guy screaming.” Eberling says he doesn’t recall getting a clear shot of the interior of the room with his 16mm camera, nor does he know who was inside the room.

Here’s the key, though: Eberling believes that incident occurred after de Mohrenschildt’s death, not before it. “I can’t say with absolute certainty but that is my recollection,” says Eberling. “Since de Mohrenschildt was dead and they were there in town, the thinking was, ‘What can we do to make this trip worthwhile?’”

Epstein might have something to say about this. After all, it is he who sustained a rude intrusion from O’Reilly & Co. during a hotel interview, at least in Sirkin’s telling. “Do I recall a break in to my room? Did I record it in my diary? No. Do I know sirkin or o’reilly? Would I allow any such intrusion? No,” wrote Epstein in an e-mail to the Erik Wemple Blog. Epstein checked with his long-ago research assistant, who also doesn’t recall the incident.

The King of Cable News himself helped to propel this latest chapter in the vetting of his journalistic record. On his program last night, O’Reilly steered viewers to Sirkin’s statement on the site of “Killing Kennedy” publisher Henry Holt Co. In the segment, O’Reilly said, “One footnote — as you may know, the far left attacks on my reporting continue. Nothing I can do about it, but if you are interested, the reporter who was with me 38 years ago has put out a statement on my book Killing Kennedy. It is posted on HenryHolt.com. Type in ‘Killing Kennedy’ and scroll to the media section, whatever that means. Henry Holt is my publisher.”
Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

​Reopen the Kennedy Case, The O'Reilly Factor in the JFK Assassination: J. Walton Moore & Lee Harvey Oswald, Bill Kelly, undated. The Bill O’Reilly Factor in the JFK Assassination is his thwarted attempt to get at the truth in Dallas. In 1977, Bill O’Reilly worked as a reporter for the WFAA TV news station in Dallas when he unsuccessfully attempted to get an interview with J. Walton Moore, the resident agent of the CIA’s Domestic Contacts Division. Moore had been associated with George DeMohrenschildt, a close friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, and O’Reilly was investigating a possible association between Moore and Oswald himself. Following is a transcript of O’Reilly’s program which appeared on the program at 1800 and 2200 hours 11 April (1977).

Other O'Reilly Controversies

Mother Jones, Bill O'Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem, David Corn and Daniel Schulman, Feb. 19, 2015. The Fox News host has said he was in a "war zone" that apparently no American correspondent reached. After NBC News suspended anchor Brian Williams for erroneously claiming that he was nearly shot down in a helicopter while covering the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly went on a tear. On his television show, the top-rated cable news anchor declared that the American press isn't "half as responsible as the men who forged the nation." He bemoaned the supposed culture of deception within the liberal media, and he proclaimed that the Williams controversy should prompt questioning of other "distortions" by left-leaning outlets. Yet for years, O'Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don't withstand scrutiny—even claiming he acted heroically in a war zone that he apparently never set foot in. O'Reilly has repeatedly told his audience that he was a war correspondent during the Falklands war and that he experienced combat during that 1982 conflict between the United Kingdom* and Argentina. He has often invoked this experience to emphasize that he understands war as only someone who has witnessed it could. As he once put it, "I've been there. That's really what separates me from most of these other bloviators. I bloviate, but I bloviate about stuff I've seen. They bloviate about stuff that they haven't."

New York Daily News via Free Republic, How Covers Came off O'Reilly Sex Scandal, Richard T. Pienciak, Oct. 12, 2004. On Sept. 29, a messenger hand delivered a six-paragraph letter to the office of Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., the parent company of Fox News. The missive, with carbon copies going to Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes and two other top News Corp. executives, spoke in obtuse but ominous tones. Producer Andrea Mackris, 33, was identified simply as "a young woman employee of Fox." Bill O'Reilly, 55, was identified simply as "one of Fox's most prominent on-air personalities." Typed on the letterhead of Mackris attorney Benedict Morelli, the correspondence accused the cable TV star of "constant and relentless sexual harassment" as well as "constant sexual innuendo and attempts at telephone sex." The letter, characterized by one Fox attorney as "a shot across the bow," instantly caught the attention of News Corp. bigwigs. For the time being at least, they circled the wagons around their marquee talk-show host. Thus, an explosive phone sex scandal was born.  Over the course of the next two weeks, in-house attorneys for Fox and News Corp. met six times with Morelli in his offices at 950 Third Ave. Mackris, a former White House intern during the first Bush presidency, attended one of the sessions, but declined to answer any questions about any supposed emotional harm she had suffered. There also were no less than five phone conversations, said attorney Ronald Green, who joined the Fox legal team just prior to the final meeting. Green told the Daily News that Mackris actually first sought $600 million, not the widely reported $60 million. He said that at one of the meetings, Morelli showed the Fox/News Corp. in-house lawyers a draft of a six-count complaint, with each count seeking $100 million. At one point, Green continued, Morelli said his client would be willing to accept "10 cents on the dollar, but nothing less." The Fox attorney also quoted Morelli as warning that "time was of the essence." On the evening of Oct. 12, Green and one of the Fox in-house attorneys went to Morelli's office for a status meeting. According to Green's version, Morelli gave the Fox camp an ultimatum - "If you don't resolve this case for the $60 million tonight, we are going to go public with this tomorrow." "They would not come down from $60 million," Green said. "When [Morelli] was told that this could destroy someone's life, bring incredible, incalculable pain to someone's children, you know what his response was? 'Those children are not my problem.'"

The Smoking Gun, O'Reilly Falafel Suit Turns Five; Fox News star's pervy sex fantasies, boasts never get old, staff report, Oct. 13, 2009. Happy anniversary, Bill O'Reilly! On this date five years ago, the Fox News Channel host was named in a sexual harassment lawsuit brimming with lurid details about vibrators, phone sex, threesomes, masturbation, Caribbean shower fantasies, a Thai sex show, falafel, stewardess trysts, vehicular coupling, and Al Franken. The New York State Supreme Court lawsuit filed by Andrea Mackris, a former Fox News producer, quoted O'Reilly verbatim and at length, leaving readers to believe that the TV star's dirty soliloquies were surreptitiously recorded (an impression reinforced when the lawsuit was settled within two weeks). A copy of Mackris's complaint, drafted by lawyer Benedict Morelli, can be found here. Time has not robbed the document of any of its page-turning entertainment value. It is unknown how the litigants will mark today's anniversary, though were it a marriage, tradition would call for gifts of wood. But we'd wager that the volcanic O'Reilly, 60, is still incensed about writing that hefty check. For her part, Mackris, 38, has stayed mum, presumably pursuant to some kind of confidentiality agreement. She has relocated from Ma nhattan to Missouri, where she was recently named to St. Louis Magazine's best dressed list. According to the monthly, Mackris (seen above) volunteers at Planned Parenthood and her closet is stocked with Prada, Gucci, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik. She is pictured in the magazine wearing a Halston gown. (23 pages)

Current Events

Washington Post, Reform the Secret Service, Ronald Kessler, March 15, 2015. Ronald Kessler is a former Post reporter and the author of “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.” When Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed a White House state dinner five years ago, President Obama said he “could not have more confidence” in the Secret Service.

Consortium News via OpEdNews, Guiding Obama into Global Make-Believe, Ray McGovern, March 14, 2015. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present (White House photo). CIA Director John Brennan told TV host Charlie Rose on Friday that, on assuming office, President Barack Obama "did not have a good deal of experience" in intelligence-related matters, adding -- with remarkable condescension -- that now "he has gone to school and understands the complexities." If that's the case, I would strongly suggest that Obama switch schools. Judging from his foreign policy team's inept and increasingly dangerous actions regarding Ukraine and the endless stream of dubious State Department and senior military cry-wolf accusations of a Russian "invasion," Obama might be forgiven for being confused by the "complexities." He should not be forgiven, though, if he remains too timid to bench his current foreign policy team and find more substantively qualified, trustworthy advisers without axes to grind. He is, after all, President. Has he no managerial skill ... no guts? This U.S. pattern of exaggeration -- making scary claims about Ukraine without releasing supporting evidence -- has even begun to erode the unity of the NATO alliance where Germany, in particular, is openly criticizing the Obama administration's heavy-handed use of propaganda in its "information warfare" against Russia. The German magazine Der Spiegel has just published a highly unusual article critical of the NATO military commander, Air Force General Philip Breedlove, entitled "Breedlove's Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine." It is becoming clearer day by day that the Germans are losing patience with unsupported and alarmist U.S. statements on Ukraine, particularly in the current delicate period when a fledgling ceasefire in eastern Ukraine seems to be holding tenuously.

Huffington Post, Journalist Says He Can Prove Bill O'Reilly Wasn't Present At JFK-Related Suicide, Catherine Taibi, March 9, 2015. Investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein says he can prove that Bill O'Reilly was not present at the 1977 suicide of a JFK-related figure that the host said he witnessed. He can prove it, because he was there. In a searing takedown published in Newsweek on Monday, Epstein said it was "impossible" for the Fox News host to be there. He wrote: "I was the actual -- and only -- reporter interviewing de Mohrenschildt on the last day of his life." O'Reilly has claimed on numerous occasions that he was present for the death of George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald who took his own life on March 29, 1977. During an appearance on "Fox & Friends" to promote his 2012 book, Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly said that he was just about to knock on the door of Mohrenschildt's daughter's house when he heard the gunshot go off. His former colleague, however, told Media Matters in February that O'Reilly was in Dallas at the time, nowhere near the site of the suicide. The allegations against the host came as several of his war reporting experiences are under scrutiny, as some say O'Reilly embellished events or claimed to be places he may not have been. A series of tape recordings released by CNN last week purportedly showed that O'Reilly was in fact in Dallas at the time the gunshot went off, and was only told about suicide over the phone while working as a reporter for a local station.

In his account, Epstein provided even more evidence that O'Reilly may have lied about his whereabouts that day, adding that no one at the scene ever reported seeing a man at the doorstep, or on the property for that matter. "O’Reilly’s story does not fit the facts," Epstein said. "For one thing, O’Reilly put himself at the wrong house. He writes he was on the steps of the home of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter when he heard the shot. But de Mohrenschildt was not at his daughter’s home (158 Villa Longine in Mexico City); he was at [Nancy] Tilton’s home in Florida." Another problem, Epstein noted, is that O'Reilly claimed to have actually heard the gunshot go off. But no one else, in the house or around the house, recalls hearing the sound, most likely a result of the bullet being absorbed by whatever it hit. "O'Reilly’s depiction of his phantom-like presence at the crime scene is odd for another reason," Epstein went on. He argued that if O'Reilly did hear the gunshot, as he says he did, then that would have made him one of the few witnesses to the death of a prominent figure in one of nation's biggest assassination stories. "It would stretch credibility to believe that a reporter as earnest as O’Reilly would flee the crime scene without reporting what he had witnessed to anyone for 35 years," he concluded.

JFK Facts.org, In defense of Bill O’Reilly, Jefferson Morley, March 5, 2015. At Salon, Joan Walsh asks if Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib will “unravel” him? I doubt it. As Brian Stelter notes, O’Reilly’s ratings are up. Rachel Maddow is scornful but his friends are unfazed, and O’Reilly has moved on. His strategy is clear: Declare victory and get out. Which leaves us where we were before David Corn first called attention to O’Reilly’s tall tales. Media Matters still wants to take him down because he’s a bad influence on American public discourse. CNN still has sound journalistic and commercial reasons for questioning his credibility. But from the narrower point of JFK Facts, I’m satisfied with O’Reilly’s response. The much-abused Fox News host does not contest the facts first reported in JFK Facts two years ago. That’s decent of him. He could’ve lumped me with the demonic David Corn as a “guttersnipe” and consigned me to the “kill zone” of right-wing trolls. In return for those small favors, this left-of-left, Ivy League, latte-sipping, Obama-voting libtard would like to make a couple of points in defense of Bill O’Reilly.

First of all, a little perspective is in order. There are men in Washington who have foisted bigger untruths about JFK’s assassination on the American public than Bill O’Reilly. Much bigger. We’ll get to them in a minute. Second, if you listen to tapes first reported on JFK Facts, you hear the 28-year-old Bill O’Reilly acting like a real journalist. He’s chasing a big story: the death of a key JFK assassination witness. He’s working the phones, calling his best source, Gaeton Fonzi, the knowledgeable congressional investigator. He rings up every coroner from Satellite Beat to Key West. He’s a reporter.

OK, so the Bill O’Reilly of 2015 doesn’t do that kind of thing. He’s too busy writing best-sellers about the untimely demise of great men. I don’t like his style or his politics but I don’t mind cutting the old man a little bit of slack. Once upon a time, he was a real reporter, a good one.

Third, the young O’Reilly was chasing a good story that the elite media (for the most part liberal) weren’t interested in. The man he was seeking to interview, George De Mohrenschildt, was an important witness in the JFK assassination investigation, a man who:

  • was well-acquainted with the accused assassin, Lee Oswald;
  • routinely collaborated with, and reported to, undercover CIA officers;
  • was prepared to testify that he did not think that Oswald had killed the president.

And then he died a violent death. That’s a hell of a story, albeit one that most U.S. news organizations shied from (and still shy from). I credit O’Reilly. Once upon a time, he understood the JFK story better than most of his peers. Maybe he still does.

So leave aside contemporary media politics. In the historical record of the JFK assassination story, O’Reilly’s fib is immaterial. What he wrote in his book is certainly less important than the behavior of certain senior CIA officers after the popular liberal president was murdered in broad daylight.

Compare O’Reilly’s after-dinner yarn to:

  • the bland perjury of deputy CIA director Richard Helms;
  • the deceptive evasions of counterintelligence chief James Angleton;
  • the slithery perjury of Cuba operations chief David Phillips;
  • the felonious stonewalling of Miami branch chief George Joannides.

And I won’t get started on the dissembling of current CIA officials who continue to conceal more than 1,100 assassination-related records on bogus grounds of “national security.”

The Fox News host fibbed about his glory days as a young reporter. These CIA officers took deceptive — and possibly criminal — action in the course of the investigation of the murder of a sitting president. They have yet to be shamed, investigated, or even much noticed by the liberal (or conservative) media. That doesn’t excuse O’Reilly. It just puts his misdemeanors in perspective.

New York Times, For Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, A Symbiotic Relationship, Jonathan Mahler and Emily Steel, Feb. 25, 2015. When the magazine Mother Jones reported that Bill O’Reilly had engaged in self-aggrandizing rhetoric Bill O'Reilly Reality Check Fox News Channelabout his coverage of the Falklands war, he called one of the authors of the article “an irresponsible guttersnipe” and used his nightly show to fight back against his accusers. His bosses at Fox News, including the chief executive, Roger Ailes, rallied to his defense. Fox’s handling of the controversy says a lot about the network. It also says a lot about its most visible star, a man who perhaps more than any other has defined the parameters and tenor of Fox News, in the process ushering in a new era of no-holds-barred, intentionally divisive news coverage. Since dethroning CNN’s Larry King as the king of cable news almost 14 years ago, Mr. O’Reilly has helped transform a start-up news channel into a financial juggernaut, with estimated annual profits of more than $1 billion. He and Fox News have risen not on the back of big interviews or high-impact investigations but on the pugnacious brand of conservatism personified by Mr. O’Reilly. Reports have since emerged questioning some of O’Reilly’s other assertions. Most notably, Media Matters has challenged Mr. O’Reilly’s claims that he was outside the Palm Beach, Fla., home of an acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald when he killed himself with a shotgun in 1977.

Media Matters, Another Fabrication: O'Reilly Never Witnessed The Murder Of Nuns In El Salvador, Olivia Marshall, Feb. 25, 2015. O'Reilly's Claim To Have Seen Nuns "Shot In The Back Of The Head" Contradicted By His Own Timeline. In a statement to Mediaite, Bill O'Reilly says that when he said on Fox News "I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head," he was referring to seeing "horrendous images" of nuns murdered while reporting from El Salvador, not witnessing those murders firsthand. His statement, however, does not address his radio show claim, "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador."

Media Matters, O'Reilly Lied About Suicide of JFK Assassination Figure, Former Colleagues Say, Ben Dimiero, Feb. 24, 2015. Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally "heard" a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the Bill O'Reilly Killing Kennedy Coverinvestigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O'Reilly's claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy's death further undermine O'Reilly's story. George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.

O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death. O'Reilly is under heavy criticism and scrutiny for his false claims about his 1982 Falklands War reporting. O'Reilly's implausible tale was first flagged by Jefferson Morley in a 2013 post for his website JFKFacts.org. Morley has worked as an editor for the Washington Post, Salon.com, and Arms Control Today, and is a visiting professor at the University of California, Washington Center. New interviews with former O'Reilly colleagues who say he wasn't in Florida on the day of de Mohrenschildt's suicide and documents obtained by Media Matters bolster Morley's reporting. In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly writes on page 300 that as a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."

JFK Facts, Investigator’s tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib, Jefferson Morley (shown in a file photo), Feb. 24, 2015. (First published in JFK Facts, January 30, 2013) In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter Jefferson Morley— himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly reveals here in his own voice. In the annals of the JFK assassination story, rife with CIA and FBI malfeasance, O’Reilly’s fanciful anecdote might seem trivial. It is not the saddest feature of his book, which manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades. But as O’Reilly’s yarn is presented as fact in USA Today and the Fort-Worth Telegram; as his book dominates the best-seller charts; and as a credulous National Geographic embarks on making a documentary of Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly’s credibility matters. In O’Reilly’s account, the dramatic incident happened on March 29, 1977. The Fox News talk show host was then a 28-year-old television reporter in Dallas seeking to make a name for himself by investigating a popular subject that other reporters disdained: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Working in Dallas at a time when Congress re-opened the JFK investigation in the mid-1970s, O’Reilly scored some real scoops, especially about a man named George de Mohrenschildt. A Russian emigre who moved in both European high society and the American underworld, de Mohrenschildt would have made a splendid character in a Graham Greene novel, except he was a real living CIA asset involved in the events that would culminate in JFK’s murder on Dallas on November 22,1963. De Mohrenschildt was good copy. He was probably the only person on the planet on friendly terms with both the family of First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of killing her husband. De Mohrenschildt was not a paid CIA employee, but as JFK investigators closed in on him, he expected CIA assistance.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

OpEdNews, Truth Is Our Country, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in photo), March 16, 2015. Last week in Mexico at the annual awards conference of the Club De Periodistas De Mexico, I was given the International Award For Excellence In Paul Craig RobertsJournalism. In my speech I emphasized that Truth is the country of real journalists. Unlike presstitutes, the loyalty of real journalists is to Truth, not to a government or corporate advertiser. Once a journalist sacrifices Truth to loyalty to a government, he ceases to be a journalist and becomes a propagandist.

Thank you for this recognition, for this honor. As Jesus told the people of Nazareth, a prophet is without honor in his own country. In the United States, this is also true of journalists. In the United States journalists receive awards for lying for the government and for the corporations. Anyone who tells the truth, whether journalist or whistleblower, is fired or prosecuted or has to hide out in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, like Julian Assange, or in Moscow, like Edward Snowden, or is tortured and imprisoned, like Bradley Manning. Mexican journalists pay an even higher price. Those who report on government corruption and on the drug cartels pay with their lives. The Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has as an entry a list by name of journalists murdered in Mexico. This is the List of Honor. Wikipedia reports that more than 100 Mexican journalists have been killed or disappeared in the 21st century. Despite intimidation the Mexican press has not abandoned its job. Because of your courage, I regard this award bestowed on me as the greatest of honors.

In the United States real journalists are scarce and are becoming more scarce. Journalists have morphed into a new creature. Gerald Celente calls US journalists "presstitutes," a word formed from press prostitute. In other words, journalists in the United States are whores for the government and for the corporations.

The Intercept / First Look, The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist, Trevor Aaronson, March 16, 2015. In the video, Sami Osmakac is tall and gaunt, with jutting cheekbones and a scraggly beard. Osmakac says he’ll avenge the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere. He refers to Americans as kuffar, an Arabic term for nonbelievers. Osmakac was 25 years old on January 7, 2012, when he filmed what the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice would later call a “martyrdom video.” He was also broke and struggling with mental illness. After recording this video in a rundown Days Inn in Tampa, Florida, Osmakac prepared to deliver what he thought was a car bomb to a popular Irish bar. But if Osmakac was a terrorist, he was only one in his troubled mind and in the minds of ambitious federal agents. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a “terrorist” only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FBI has arrested dozens of young men like Osmakac in controversial counterterrorism stings.

Barack Obama, James Clapper, John Brennan and national security teamDirector of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present (White House photo).

Consortium News via OpEdNews, Guiding Obama into Global Make-Believe, Ray McGovern, March 14, 2015. Ray McGovern is a former CIA analyst. CIA Director John Brennan told TV host Charlie Rose on Friday that, on assuming office, President Barack Obama "did not have a good deal of experience" in intelligence-related matters, adding -- with remarkable condescension -- that now "he has gone to school and understands the complexities." If that's the case, I would strongly suggest that Obama switch schools. Judging from his foreign policy team's inept and increasingly dangerous actions regarding Ukraine and the endless stream of dubious State Department and senior military cry-wolf accusations of a Russian "invasion," Obama might be forgiven for being confused by the "complexities." He should not be forgiven, though, if he remains too timid to bench his current foreign policy team and find more substantively qualified, trustworthy advisers without axes to grind. He is, after all, President. Has he no managerial skill ... no guts? This U.S. pattern of exaggeration -- making scary claims about Ukraine without releasing supporting evidence -- has even begun to erode the unity of the NATO alliance where Germany, in particular, is openly criticizing the Obama administration's heavy-handed use of propaganda in its "information warfare" against Russia. The German magazine Der Spiegel has just published a highly unusual article critical of the NATO military commander, Air Force General Philip Breedlove, entitled "Breedlove's Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine."

OpEdNews, CNN Is Beating the Drums of War, Paul Craig Roberts, March 14, 2015. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is a conservative scholar, author and former Reagan administration assistant Treasury secretary. Wolf Blitzer (CNN, March 13) used the cover of a news program to broadcast a propaganda performance straight out of the Third Reich or perhaps from George Orwell's 1984. The orchestration presented Russia as a massive, aggressive military threat. The screen was filled with missiles firing and an assortment of American General Strangeloves urging provocative measures to be deployed against the Russian Threat. Blitzer's program is part of the orchestrated propaganda campaign whose purpose is to prepare Americans for conflict with Russia. It was such irresponsible propaganda and so many blatant lies for a media organization to sponsor that it was obvious that CNN and Wolf Blitzer had no fear of being called on the carpet for spreading war fever. The so-called "mainstream media" has been transformed into a Ministry of Propaganda. Similar propaganda is being spread in the UK where defense minister Michael Fallon declared Russia to be a "real and present danger" to Europe. US troops and tanks are being rushed to the Baltics on the pretext that Russia is going to attack. 

Keith OlbermannCBS News, ESPN's Keith Olbermann suspended for Penn State tweets, Staff report, Feb. 24, 2015. ESPN has benched anchor Keith Olbermann, shown in a file photo, from hosting his show for the rest of the week following comments he made on Twitter regarding Penn State University. "We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State," ESPN said in a statement on Tuesday. "It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN."