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JFK, Mass Media, and the Origins of ‘Conspiracy Theory’

Prefatory Note on Censorship in Academe

This study was written in 2013-14 as part of my academic research as Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. I have had numerous papers addressing news coverage of historical events published in academic journals over the past two decades. However, this was the first attempt to offer a scholarly treatment of a research object related to a conspiracy–how the news media “framed” New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s JFK assassination inquiry.

When I presented the paper at the Association For Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Montreal Conference in 2014 the panel respondent congratulated me on what he deemed to be a very well-researched and written manuscript. He further remarked that it was at most a draft or two away from submission for editorial review at a scholarly journal. I was also confident the study would eventually achieve publication. 

The paper was subsequently rejected by five journals out-of-hand. The editors refused to even send the paper out for review, which never occurred to me before. Notably, each editor provided a different reason for not wanting to give it further consideration. What is more, three of the venues had published my work in previous years. The paper nevertheless offers a timely contribution to understanding the historical origins of the term “conspiracy theory” and its development from perhaps the most momentous event in 20th century American politics.

This helped me to further realize how despite celebrated notions of unbridled inquiry and academic freedom, certain subjects so historically central to the nation’s history in fact remain taboo among academics–those entrusted by society to research such matters–vis-á-vis their counterparts in professional journalism, with both camps still proceeding in tacit agreement to police the boundaries of permissible discourse and thought. -JFT


Introduction

“It appears that certain elements of the mass media have an active interest in preventing this case from ever coming to trial at all and find it necessary to employ against me every smear device in the book.” –Jim Garrison (Playboy 1967)

The news media’s failure to interrogate and question the “the lone assassin” theory by the 1964 Presidents Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, otherwise known as the Warren Commission, should be recognized as one of the greatest episodes of journalistic misconduct in US history. The mass media have played a pivotal role in the coverup of the Kennedy (JFK) assassination that they unabashedly practice to this day. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the November 22, 1963 event was the first substantial challenge to the official narrative. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) countered Garrison’s efforts by calling upon its media assets to directly attack, defame, even sabotage the inquiry.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

From this episode the CIA developed one of its most potent psychological weapons against political dissent: the “conspiracy theory” label. Over its 50-year lifespan the label has time and again demonstrated its effectiveness in policing the public sphere by calling into question the credibility and even the sanity of journalists, academics, or any other public figure that dares question authorized myths for the masses.

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CNN Accidentally Airs the Truth About #Borderline Event (Video)

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Parkland Shooting: Revisiting the “David Hogg/’Alex Vieux’ Interview”

“It’s Not Real”

By James F. Tracy

In the wake of the Parkland shooting a handful of individuals pointed to one of many especially glaring discrepancies in the event’s coverage. An odd video depicts an apparent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student rehearsing a pro-gun control rant.

She’s doing so at the prompting of David Hogg, the would be high school-attendee and aspiring journalist, on the morning of February 14, 2018. This footage then oddly aired after the “live” Parkland incident that afternoon. To make matters more confusing, the individual goes by “Alex Vieux” in the morning, and “Isabelle Robinson” hours later as the same footage is widely broadcast in the aftermath of the event.

“I really don’t think there’s anything new to say, but there shouldn’t have to be because if you looked around this close and saw everyone just hiding together you would know that this shouldn’t be happening anymore, and that it doesn’t deserve to happen anymore [sic]. And no amount of money should make it more easily accessible to get guns [sic]. Uhm, and that’s that.”

Shortly thereafter the young woman becomes visibly nervous and, when Hogg asks, “Do you want to say anything else?” she demurs from stating her name on camera, “That was more or all articulated in my head.”

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Florida Atlantic University Fired James Tracy After Contact With Connecticut Police Agent

Criminal Intelligence Analyst Claimed to Work With “Sandy Hook Families”

Updated 11/14/18

Documents obtained by James Tracy’s attorneys in the discovery process of his federal civil rights lawsuit against Florida Atlantic University (FAU) now on appeal reveal that FAU administrators moved to terminate the tenured professor’s employment in December 2015 following direct communication with an agent from the criminal intelligence unit of the New Haven Police Department.

Misty Fitch, presently a Criminal Intelligence Analyst at the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), was employed as a crime analyst at the New Haven and Waterbury Connecticut Police Departments between 2006 and 2016.

Fitch contacted Tracy’s supervisor, FAU College of Arts and Letters Dean Heather Coltman, and pleaded with the university administrator to fire Tracy because of his alleged harassment of the Soto and Pozner families.

“I am writing to let you know that I am appalled that your university continues to employ James Tracy,” Fitch wrote in an email dated December 11, 2015, the day following the Hartford Courant and South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s joint publication of an opinion piece “targeting” James Tracy.

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The Parkland Puzzle: How the Pieces Fit Together

Florida Shooting Staged by Democrats for the 2018 Midterm Elections

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
—Mark Twain

Former chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DWS)—who had sabotaged Bernie Sanders’s campaign by assigning 13 primaries he had won to Hillary Clinton instead—worried that the Democrats might lose as many as 11 seats in Florida alone. Additionally, the forthcoming trial of her IT guy—whom she had allowed to spy on her colleagues in Congress—would draw attention to the dirty tricks that she had employed and damage their prospects to retain control of the House. It was imperative to change the narrative to one favorable to her party.

DWS had seen it before at Sandy Hook, where a staged shooting had allowed Obama to sign no less than 23 executive orders to constrain our access to weapons under the Second Amendment, even though, as officials with his own Department of Education admitted to Paul Preston, it had been a drill, no children had died, and it was done to promote gun control. From that point on, scams have become a staple of the Democratic campaign techniques—and it must have been irresistible to do an instant rerun of another in Florida.

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The “Wrap Up Smear”

Made Possible By Dead-on Arrival News Media

A CSPAN video from 2017 that surfaced in early October depicts Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi explaining how to defame someone via the “wrap up smear.”

“You smear somebody with falsehoods and all the rest, and then you merchandise it.”

“The difference,” Pelosi continues, “is we don’t engage in the politics of personal destruction.” While she suggests this is a Republican Party tactic, her own party is the most  prolific source of late in the “wrap up smear’s” deployment.

This manipulation of public opinion toward a specific object is  accomplished in de facto coordination with a news media that simply don’t check the facts or circumstances surrounding allegations.

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