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November 22, 2003? In order to keep the myth alive about this man:
The following articles are meant to examine and explore the relationship between the three men above and the 40th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. How did it come to pass that ABC President David Westin, the late Peter Jennings, and writer and researcher Gus Russo met, approved and then decided to concoct a huge deception that is meant to recycle and resuscitate a forty year old lie that very few people believe? We try to do that here in order for the reader to fully understand what and why ABC did on November 20, 2003.
We trace and describe some previous network specials on the subject and how they were influenced and controlled by high officials inside and outside the government. Former Warren Commissoner John McCloy exerted enormous influence over a four-part 1967 CBS special on the assassination itself, and the CIA and Sarnoff family (owners of NBC at the time) had direct ties to a 1967 NBC special on Jim Garrison. We also trace the recent history of ABC, especially the momentous event that Andy Boehm and Jim DiEugenio describe in the 2003 Introduction and original 1987 article entitled "The Seizing of the American Broadcasting Company." This piece describes in detail an example of how the government can influence what is shown --- and not shown --- on the broadcast airwaves that are theoretically controlled by the citizens of this country. We suggest the reader examine this bloc of articles first.
We then move on and show as directly as we can how ABC came to the lamentable decision to produce a documentary that is simply insupportable by the facts, circumstances, and evidence. This bloc of articles includes a profile of ABC News President David Westin --- how he came to power and how his regime has differed markedly from his legendary predecessor Roone Arledge. We then describe the career of a reporter who sets a paradigm and precedent for ABC's actions on this case, reporter John Stossel who, although billed originally as a consumer advocate, is something short of that. We then examine aspects of the career of the chief consultant on this special, Gus Russo: his career in the Kennedy research field, his differing beliefs at times, and his dubious claim of a Pulitzer nomination. We then connect Russo to the main players behind the November 20th special, Jennings and Mark Obenhaus. We do this through the previous production of theirs based upon the controversial and specious book by Seymour Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot.
Finally, we begin to dissect some of the work of Russo and his friend Dale Myers, upon whom ABC has relied. We especially try to examine the work of Myers on the computer simulation he has had for sale for many years, and Russo's work on the most important aspect of any murder case, the medical and autopsy evidence. These are the most important aspects of any serious inquiry into a murder case. If those conclusions are faulty, everything that follows from it must be wrong.
The questions we ask here are two quite serious ones. Did ABC, through Westin, Jennings, and Obenhaus rig the deck to arrive at a preconceived conclusion? And if they did, why did they?
But also, through this detailed inquiry we hope to posit some wider, broader, more universal queries about the media itself. Is it possible for any huge network which works so closely with the government to be expected to tell the truth about any highly controversial and influential event in which it plays a controlling role? Who do people at the top of the network ladder serve today? And if they do not serve the public, what alternative does the public have in pursuing factual truth about these events? And does this pursuit of facts not available through the mainstream media, automatically place them in opposition to the media and the government? The exploration of those questions based on accurate information are meant to encourage a democratic debate about the state of our media today.