Every year, on November 22nd, I break out my trusty cone of silence to avoid the ridiculous overhyping of the JFK assassination anniversary. But this year, which, in case you somehow don’t know, marks the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, there’s no avoiding it. There’s nowhere to run. There’s nowhere to hide. No grassy knoll or book depository in which to seek shelter. The JFK assassination anniversary is everywhere.
And it’s not just today, November 22nd. No, thanks to the fact that a half century has passed since John F. Kennedy’s brains were quite literally blown out all over the place, this has been JFK assassination month. The mere presence of the number 50 makes this all somehow more important, I guess?
There have been countless TV specials. If you were busy last night and missed JFK: The Lost Tapes on Discovery, The American Experience: JFK on PBS, or the Tom Hanks-produced The Assassination of President Kennedy on CNN, never fear, because if you’re around on Friday night, you can still catch JFK: The Definitive Guide on History, CBS Evening News’ interview with a former Secret Service agent who was in the doomed motorcade that hallowed day, or JFK: In His Own Words on HBO, just to name a few. Even the good Reverend Al Sharpton is plopping into the slop with his own special at 9 p.m. on MSNBC.
There are, of course, new books attempting to solve the mystery behind who really killed JFK. The most prominent recent release is Roger Stone’s self-explanatorily titled The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. Stone is the political operative who, in 2008, creatively named his anti-Hillary Clinton group Citizens United Not Timid. (I’ll let you work out the unfortunate acronym.) Unsurprisingly, Stone’s JFK book lacks any enlightening perspective or earth-shattering details. He’s merely putting a new spin on an old theory.
And then there’s the Australian cop whose book, JFK: The Smoking Gun (real original, mate), explains that the whole JFK assassination mess was not an assassination at all. It was an accident! Oops. Sorry, Jackie.
There have been thousands of articles relating to the JFK assassination in major print newspapers in the last week alone. On Friday, in U.S. newspapers and wires, there are many hundreds. Everyone from the Aiken Standard in South Carolina to New Mexico’s Albuquerque Journal has something to say.
But nobody has anything new to say. The newspapers are basically reading the JFK Wikipedia page and slapping a few thousand words together, maybe with a quote from some local yokel answering the seemingly timeless question: “Where were you the day that JFK was assassinated?” My answer? “Who cares!” And some of the TV stations are brazenly rebroadcasting old anniversary specials. For instance, MSNBC’s 7 p.m. JFK “special” with Chris Matthews is just the show they broadcasted 10 years ago on the 40th anniversary. But hey, at least Matthews realizes that there’s nothing new worth saying.
I’ll see you on Monday when we can forget about all this for another year. I hope.
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