When do you think elite American opinion will accept the JFK assassination as a high level domestic coup d’état?
[a question by Robert Morrow- my response:]
I do think we have always lived in parallel universes and have never fully appreciated the paradox. On the one hand, the “JFK” movie was a huge box office hit and created the JFK Records Act and the ARRB…yet, on the other hand, I remember seeing articles chastising those with an interest in the case (“few on the outside world care”- the reaction from the press to the June 1991 Fredonia Third Decade conference that had about 60 participants tops). On the one hand, JFK is frequently at or near the top of public opinion polls…yet historians frequently place him in the “average” to “slightly above average” category. On the one hand, books on JFK’s life are huge best-sellers (Dallek, Matthews, Alford, Hill, etc)…yet, on the other hand, JFK is marginalized in a lot of circles for his womanizing and the alleged connection to Marilyn Monroe.
Continuing on this trend: on the one hand, JFK assassination books (this 50th anniversary) are selling like crazy- huge pre-order sales for multiple titles and several are already best-sellers (“Hit List”, Ventura’s new book, Corsi’s new book)…yet, on the other hand (and this can be attached to all the prior points), the average person is lost in their own world in the 21rst century in the year 2013, worried about the economy, their own personal life, etc., “tuned-in-turned-on-dropped-out” with their iPhones and their ear buds, and doesn’t really care…at least, no where near as much as we do (or wish they did). The fact that the latest opinion poll “only” shows a 57-59 percent PRO conspiracy belief is alarming- it used to be 75-90 percent. The advent of time has a lot to do with this.
If we can acknowledge that this is an HISTORICAL topic and that the average Joe only has so much interest in the case, we will have our heads on straight and not lose perspective.
To answer the question directly (finally!): they will never do so because to make that leap is to acknowledge that this is NOT the country we were promised…people may BELIEVE there was a conspiracy but they do not (want to) KNOW it; big difference.
Groden is fond of the saying “It may be too late for justice in this case [it is], but it is never too late for the truth”…
Now, maybe it is.
I wrote my book (coming out 10/22/13) for the historical record and the truth, sure…but I KNOW there is a powerful mental block from the media and the public (let alone the government) to acknowledge that “the good guys” (the Secret Service) could have been responsible, either thru “just” negligence or worse. Look how Clint Hill is deified by many- ’nuff said.
I always knew you can take a large segment of the population with a grain of salt (as to their real interest in anything beyond the borders of their front and back yards)- two examples come to mind:
Mark Lane gave an impassioned and moving speech about the case in February 1992 at the local Borders in Pittsburgh, PA. When he was done, some 20-something stood up and said “I think Bullwinkle killed Kennedy” to gales of laughter…yet those SAME people had his book in their hands for purchase and autographs!
A bearded researcher (who shall remain anonymous) appeared on a cable access program and, likewise, gave a stirring presentation on the case for conspiracy. The host took the first caller on the phone lines. The caller giggled and said “are you still a virgin?” and hung up.
People may buy a product, but do they truly BUY it?
I think I know what the REAL story is: most people view this as dramatic entertainment; nothing more, nothing less (think of the millions who saw “Titanic” and “Lincoln”). Another personal story: a non-researcher from my area, barely an acquaintance, purchased an early edition (1994) of my book straight from me at my old apartment door. He showed up and paid me cash- during the transaction, I asked him what his take on the case was. His answer: “I don’t really care, I just love to read about it.” Sad but true.
I think the moral to the story is this: what WE get up in arms about in this case concerns US but the average Joe doesn’t give a rat’s behind. Perhaps THAT is why stupid theories like Greer shooting JFK appeal so strongly to novices (non-researchers): it “solves” the case in a non-Oswald fashion.
In the past twenty+ years, THE two inquiries I field the most from the “average Joes” out there: “do you think Marilyn Monroe got it on with JFK?” and “do you think the driver shot Kennedy?” Again, sad but true.
I remember thinking, after all the mass hoopla of the “JFK” movie, with the pinch-me-I’m-dreaming television coverage, programs, and whole bookshelves of new books on the case (many of dubious quality), we were due for a letdown or even a backlash…then came JAMA (1992) Posner (1993) and Mailer (1994) [Bugliosi and Blaine messed up- they appeared on “off” years when the case wasn’t red hot (2007 and 2010). Blaine’s mistake is to my supreme benefit- I get to answer his propaganda in a huge anniversary year]
We need to remember: there are experienced authors and researchers (us), the novices (well-meaning readers of books only), then the “average Joes”: the well-meaning couch potatoes who “believe” there was a conspiracy, then burp and ask “Are the Cowboys playin’ tonight?”
Reality at its finest (or worst).