Saturday, November 22, 2008

The NY Times, Fox News and CNN Ignore JFK's Assassination

Camelot came crashing down 45 years ago today, an assassination that most of those in my generation believe changed America forever.

But three major national news outlets apparently didn't give a damn.

Can someone at Poynter or Pew explain how the New York Times, Fox News and CNN, among others, ignored the fact that on Nov. 22, 1963 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

How vacuous can our media be, and how uninformed or uninterested are the public?

A quick Google® News search served 68 SERPs (search engine results pages) for "JFK," the initials by which he was known.

At least the AP ran a feature picked up in several papers and broadcast Web sites about a couple who were closest to the president's motorcade when he was killed in Dallas.

The sole appearance of "JFK" in the New York Times was inside a quoted paragraph in the Times' Crossword Blog and it related to the New York airport and not the President. Idlewild Airport was renamed John Fitzgerald International Airport in memory and honor of Kennedy after the assassination.

If only Fox could have pulled its reference to Pamela Sue Anderson's opinion about marijuana it might have been able to spend a little time telling America about Kennedy's sad anniversary.

Nov. 22nd is seared in the minds of most Americans over 55. The all-night television reporting; Walter Cronkite taking off his glasses to tell us that the President was dead; Merriman Smith fighting off Jack Bell of the AP as he used the sole radiotelephone in the press car that followed the President's motorcade in Dallas; the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby.

I stood in a cold drizzle at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. the Saturday after President Kennedy was buried, waiting hours with thousands of other to walk silently by the President's temporary grave, covered by blankets of turf, watching the eternal flame flicker.

It's a shame that more print and broadcast editors couldn't spend a couple minutes today to bring a sense of history to their news.

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