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Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and the JFK Assassination

Lee Harvey Oswald

JFK Gets the Message

COMMENT: Author Russ Baker has penned an article that provides considerable insight into how our media and political establishments work. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly wasn’t always as he is now.

O’Reilly did a story for Inside Edition on George de Mohrenschildt’s relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA’s subversion of Jim Garrison’s investigation into the JFK assassination and the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation into the same crime.

(O’Reilly has a book about the assassination coming out. It remains to be seen what he writes at this point in time.)

For major network television, the contents of the O’Reilly story were explosive, to say the least. Russ notes that O’Reilly was shocked at the lack of interest on the part of other members of the working press. One wonders to what extent that may have influenced O’Reilly’s drift to the political right.

Certainly, the lack of positive reinforcement or even interest on the part of the American journalistic community demonstrates the extent to which the fourth estate has become a fifth column.

It must be comforting for the malefactors who run our political establishment to know just what a bunch of whores our working journalists really are.

Listeners are strongly encouraged to read Baker’s seminal Family of Secrets and to listen to FTR #’s 711 through 716–interviews with Russ about the contents of the book.

“The JFK Factor: Bill O’Reilly on the Assassination, Then and Now” by Russ Baker; WhoWhatWhy; 2/23/2012.

EXCERPT: . . . “O’REILLY: Living in Dallas, Oswald was befriended by Russian-born George de Mohrenschildt. Investigators determined he was a contract agent for the CIA in Central America and the Caribbean. In 1977, moments before he was to be interviewed by House investigators, de Mohrenschildt blew his brains out with a 20-gauge shotgun. House investigators believe he was a crucial link between the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald.

There is no question that the sealed JFK Files are extremely embarrassing for the CIA. House investigators have told Inside Edition that the Agency did not fully cooperate in their investigation and that the CIA had final say in the final report that the House Assassinations Committee made public. Thus the public report makes no mention of the CIA’s links with Lee Harvey Oswald. But the secret documents are another story.

…House investigators uncovered evidence that the CIA planted nine agents inside the Garrison investigation to feed him false information and to report back to Langley what Garrison was finding out.”

That was explosive content, and O’Reilly was prepared for major press interest in this scoop. That’s not, however, the way things played out.

Jerry Policoff, who interviewed O’Reilly back in those days for an article in the alternative newsweekly The Village Voice remembers: “He thought the piece was so important that he held a press conference to promote it.  Of course no mainstream media showed up.  He expressed his astonishment to USA Today, and I interviewed him as a follow-up.  He repeated to me that he could not understand how the media could not even show up at a press conference on such an important issue.” . . . .

. . . . One pundit, who used to appear on Fox a lot in O’Reilly’s first years there, recalls a producer mentioning that O’Reilly wanted to continue doing JFK assassination reports, but that network chief Roger Ailes and other top management “kept stepping on the story.”


6 comments for “Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and the JFK Assassination”

  1. @ Dave: I just read Russ’ article and it is excellent. I must agree with you that journalists, in general of course, tend to be and to behave like whores and constitute really a fifth column. The disappointment and astonishment that O’Reilly felt when nobody in the mainstream media showed up for his press conference is all too familiar. I have seen it many times, in Canada and elsewhere. It is as if journalists were primarily concerned about keeping their jobs and not getting into arguments with their bosses. We can certainly understand them if they have a family and so forth, but then journalism is not really the best job for people like that. They should choose another profession, less risky and less demanding.

    Unfortunately, the consequence of that, is that reporters are ready to do anything the power elite asks them to do, like covering certain subjects and not covering other ones, interviewing certain people and not others, praising certain individuals and trashing others, etc. If I can give an example, although I know that a lot of people don’t like her and consider her as a fascist, but the French press has been completely disgusting with their treatment on Marine Le Pen since the beginning of the coming Presidential Election in France. If they treat the other candidates with respect, care and easyness, they behave like bitches with her. You wouldn’t believe the questions that they manufacture for her, and the non-verbal stuff and attitudes.

    I think the myth of impartiality of the press has gone overboard. It’s gone. The media has become the lapdog of the power elite. They are footsoldiers who obey to higher-ups. It’s sad but that’s reality. That’s why real journalists such as Russ Baker, Gould-Fitzgerald, Robert Parry, Lucy Komisar and Daniel Hopsicker are rarely if ever invited on the big media, and I am not talking about top-of-the-notch researchers like you, Dave. The United States have run out of villages for you, so they can’t chase you out anymore.

    Overall, I think O’Reilly understood really soon that if he wanted to go up the ladder in the job of journalism, he would be better putting his investigation on JFK on the back burner, if not directly in the fridge, or in the trash.

    Posted by Claude | March 2, 2012, 8:10 pm
  2. @Claude: I usually don’t like trash talk myself but as for Marine Le Pen, I’ll take at least a partial exception. Quite frankly, respect isn’t something she deserves and kudos to the French media for saying ‘F*** you’ to the international elite for once and giving her the treatment she has richly earned. And I hope the media in other countries will have the balls to take on their authoritarian jerkoffs as well because they won’t here in America for the most part(with a few brave exceptions, e.g. Rachel Maddow, Olbermann, Colbert, etc.).

    Posted by Steven L. | March 3, 2012, 2:38 am
  3. @Steven L: Your last commentary is a clear expression of the point I was trying to make. The method of investigative journalism is supposed to be based on impartiality, neutrality and science. In a lab, a scientist doesn’t judge the molecules he/she is studying. He/she carefully notes what is going on in the glass and writes a report. That’s science. You seem to take pleasure in the fact that Marine Le Pen has been trashed by the French media because you think that “she deserves it”. But what if it was somebody you liked? What would you say then? The only way to protect freedom of expression is to protect it for everyone, and the only way to have a trully good press is to make sure that reporters remain impartial and neutral in their investigations. If you condone the biases of the press because it fits your temporary feelings and opinions, then you are encouraging them to continue being partial, and that will be detrimental to democracy itself.

    And on Le Pen, she has been taking a lot of heat for what her father has done and said before, for which she is not responsible. And for the French press, you’re completely wrong. The French press protects fiercely the interests of the international elite, that’s why they are coming down on her like that. The saddest part in this, is that you’re maybe thinking that Sarkozy should be re-elected, and that he is a good guy, while it is not the case at all. During his presidency, he did everything he could to sabotage the country, to break its sovereignty and to obey Angela Merkel with every demand, like if he was her lapdog. To understand the world of politics of today, we have to look beyond appearances. That’s what I am encouraging everyone I know to do.

    Posted by Claude | March 3, 2012, 11:49 am
  4. @Claude: Frankly, Claude, I have no respect for Sarkozy either. But Le Pen is no enemy of the world crime network by any means and neither was her father. I myself have looked WELL beyond appearances, btw, and this is exactly why I said what I have said.
    She looks nice, and she seems to be reasonable to some. But she is definitely crooked through and through. How you are seemingly unable to see this right now is beyond me because you’re usually on the same page as I am(or not far behind).

    Posted by Steven L. | March 3, 2012, 8:32 pm
  5. Side comment: Salon.com is generally not anti-conspiracy, and especially not anti-conspiracy in the case of the JFK assassination. Salon.com founder David Talbot has written numerous articles and a book dealing with assassination conspiracies and (in my opinion) should be considered one of the more well-regarded JFK assassination researchers. His more recent book on San Francisco (“Season of the Witch”) deals with numerous conspiracy topics of the era including Operation Chaos, MKUltra, COINTELPRO & others.


    FRIDAY, FEB 1, 2013 6:16 PM UTC

    O’Reilly’s JFK assassination fib

    The Fox host fabricated a story about hearing a shady associate of Lee Harvey Oswald commit suicide


    Bill O’Reilly’s bestselling book on the JFK assassination, “Killing Kennedy,” partly follows the travails of O’Reilly himself as a young reporter trying to uncover the truth behind the president’s death. As author and former Salon politics editor Jefferson Morley highlighted this week, however, O’Reilly’s firsthand accounts appear lacking in the truth department.

    In an incident detailed in the book (and flagged by media outlets including USA Today) O’Reilly claims he was tracking down an interview with George de Mohrenschildt, a Russian expat with possible CIA connections who was friends with Lee Harvey Oswald. Investigators looking into the JFK assassination were seeking information for de Mohnrenschildt when he reportedly committed suicide in 1977. According to “Killing Kennedy,” O’Reilly was on the Russian’s doorstep when he heard “the shotgun blast that marked the suicide.”

    But as Morley pointed out this week, this was pretty much dramatic baloney:

    “… [O’Reilly’s] is 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.

    “… 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 knowO’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 as he calls Fonzi to break the news.

    Perhaps most bizarrely of all, and a detail not missed by Morley, O’Reilly recounts his fantastical mission to de Mohrenschildt’s doorstep entirely in the third person, calling himself “the reporter.” But perhaps the linguistic dissonance O’Reilly places between his current self and the young reporter he used to be is appropriate. As Morley notes:

    One thing is certain: The young Bill O’Reilly had the nerve to call and report. The current Bill O’Reilly has the impulse to avoid and embellish. In one little fib, O’Reilly reveals how he abandoned fact-gathering in favor of myth-making.

    Posted by R. Wilson | February 1, 2013, 2:54 pm
  6. […] for being one of Fox News’ res­i­dent attack dogs, Bill O’Reilly actu­ally did some good work on the JFK assas­si­na­tion, before he under­went his Dam­as­cus Road Con­ver­sion to the […]

    Posted by Dave Emory: Interview With Russ Baker & The U-2 Incident Revisited – 8/4/2013 | The Freedom Report | August 5, 2013, 3:14 pm

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