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JFK: Breaking the News


Michael Hogan
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JFK: Breaking the News(PBS)

Sunday, November 19, 1:00pm

A look back at how Dallas reporters covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Included: how the limited technology hindered their efforts; and the journalistic decisions reporters faced when reporting the news. Jane Pauley narrates.

I just finished watching the above documentary on PBS. Basically, it concerns the reporters and photographers that were in Dallas that weekend. To me, it served as a powerful reminder why the events of that weekend still reside in so many people's memories, even to this day. It features interviews with Hugh Aynesworth (claimed to be the only human being to witness President Kennedy's murder and Lee Oswald's arrest and subsequent shooting by Jack Ruby), who doesn't miss his opportunity to dismiss conspiracy theorists. PBS also plugs Aynesworth's book, which shares the same title as the documentary.

Also featured was Gary Mack. In a brief discussion at the end of the show, Mack allowed how so many books on conspiracy erroneously claim the motorcade route was changed. Mack said the route was known for a week. He may well be right, but the context in which this was presented was dismissive of all conspiracy by implication. I have a feeling Mack's remarks were heavily edited, or selectively chosen for inclusion.

There's a lot of interesting footage, much of it familiar. One news cameraman was filming Oswald's arrest inside the theatre, but his settings were wrong and most of the the images he captured were too dark. For just a few moments though, Lee Oswald's face is in the light, and the anguish and shock on his face is plainly visible as the police are leading him outside. I wonder if Oswald's captors were aware that someone was filming.

Another brief clip shows Ruth Paine speaking in front of the camera, stating that Oswald never displayed any signs that he was capable of such an act, but that he mostly kept to himself and wasn't the type to be a part of any organization. I have paraphrased her comments, and would like to view that clip again.

There are a lot of recollections by reporters that were there and are still alive today.

JFK: Breaking the News winds up paying homage to the reporters and photographers in Dallas that weekend. According to the narrator, that weekend marked the beginning of the modern era in televison news journalism. I found the black and white film clips riveting, but much of the narration and conclusions very superficial.

Has anyone else seen this program? If so, I would be interested in their impressions.

Edited by Michael Hogan
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JFK: Breaking the News(PBS)

Sunday, November 19, 1:00pm

A look back at how Dallas reporters covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Included: how the limited technology hindered their efforts; and the journalistic decisions reporters faced when reporting the news. Jane Pauley narrates.

I just finished watching the above documentary on PBS. Basically, it concerns the reporters and photographers that were in Dallas that weekend. To me, it served as a powerful reminder why the events of that weekend still reside in so many people's memories, even to this day. It features interviews with Hugh Aynesworth (claimed to be the only human being to witness President Kennedy's murder and Lee Oswald's arrest and subsequent shooting by Jack Ruby), who doesn't miss his opportunity to dismiss conspiracy theorists. PBS also plugs Aynesworth's book, which shares the same title as the documentary.

Also featured was Gary Mack. In a brief discussion at the end of the show, Mack allowed how so many books on conspiracy erroneously claim the motorcade route was changed. Mack said the route was known for a week. He may well be right, but the context in which this was presented was dismissive of all conspiracy by implication. I have a feeling Mack's remarks were heavily edited, or selectively chosen for inclusion.

There's a lot of interesting footage, much of it familiar. One news cameraman was filming Oswald's arrest inside the theatre, but his settings were wrong and most of the the images he captured were too dark. For just a few moments though, Lee Oswald's face is in the light, and the anguish and shock on his face is plainly visible as the police are leading him outside. I wonder if Oswald's captors were aware that someone was filming.

Another brief clip shows Ruth Paine speaking in front of the camera, stating that Oswald never displayed any signs that he was capable of such an act, but that he mostly kept to himself and wasn't the type to be a part of any organization. I have paraphrased her comments, and would like to view that clip again.

There are a lot of recollections by reporters that were there and are still alive today.

JFK: Breaking the News winds up paying homage to the reporters and photographers in Dallas that weekend. According to the narrator, that weekend marked the beginning of the modern era in televison news journalism. I found the black and white film clips riveting, but much of the narration and conclusions very superficial.

Has anyone else seen this program? If so, I would be interested in their impressions.

Dammit! Are they rerunning it? (I'll check.)

Feel free to post VCR/Tivo alerts for special pertinant programs everyone...

JFK: Breaking the News(PBS)

Sunday, November 19, 1:00pm

A look back at how Dallas reporters covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Included: how the limited technology hindered their efforts; and the journalistic decisions reporters faced when reporting the news. Jane Pauley narrates.

I just finished watching the above documentary on PBS. Basically, it concerns the reporters and photographers that were in Dallas that weekend. To me, it served as a powerful reminder why the events of that weekend still reside in so many people's memories, even to this day. It features interviews with Hugh Aynesworth (claimed to be the only human being to witness President Kennedy's murder and Lee Oswald's arrest and subsequent shooting by Jack Ruby), who doesn't miss his opportunity to dismiss conspiracy theorists. PBS also plugs Aynesworth's book, which shares the same title as the documentary.

Also featured was Gary Mack. In a brief discussion at the end of the show, Mack allowed how so many books on conspiracy erroneously claim the motorcade route was changed. Mack said the route was known for a week. He may well be right, but the context in which this was presented was dismissive of all conspiracy by implication. I have a feeling Mack's remarks were heavily edited, or selectively chosen for inclusion.

There's a lot of interesting footage, much of it familiar. One news cameraman was filming Oswald's arrest inside the theatre, but his settings were wrong and most of the the images he captured were too dark. For just a few moments though, Lee Oswald's face is in the light, and the anguish and shock on his face is plainly visible as the police are leading him outside. I wonder if Oswald's captors were aware that someone was filming.

Another brief clip shows Ruth Paine speaking in front of the camera, stating that Oswald never displayed any signs that he was capable of such an act, but that he mostly kept to himself and wasn't the type to be a part of any organization. I have paraphrased her comments, and would like to view that clip again.

There are a lot of recollections by reporters that were there and are still alive today.

JFK: Breaking the News winds up paying homage to the reporters and photographers in Dallas that weekend. According to the narrator, that weekend marked the beginning of the modern era in televison news journalism. I found the black and white film clips riveting, but much of the narration and conclusions very superficial.

Has anyone else seen this program? If so, I would be interested in their impressions.

Thanks for the summary. Sounds like it's part of the official mythology.

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