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Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and the JFK Assassination


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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