The Kelly File commemorated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy last night in typical Fox News fashion: by using it to advance its anti-liberal agenda. Just like Chris Wallace did last weekend, Megyn Kelly apparently thought it was extremely important – perhaps the most important fact – for Fox viewers to know that Kennedy was killed by a communist. As I have previously noted, on Fox, “communist” is synonymous with “liberal.” Then Kelly further used that “news” to suggest that liberals were engaging in some kind of cover up in order to avoid responsibility and blame conservatives.
Kelly began her lengthy segment commemorating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination by saying, “Journalists across the country share a contemporary view of what led to his assassination and some are doing a little revisionist history.”
New information about the assassination? About Kennedy’s life or death? Nope. What Kelly wanted to highlight was that liberals don’t want to acknowledge that Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist. As if that, alone, marked him as a villain.
The Kelly File’s guest for the segment was Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review. Kelly opened with the following exchange:
KELLY: There’s all sorts of conspiracy theories about what, who killed JFK but what you point out is, one thing’s certain: the man who we believe pulled the trigger or at least in part, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a communist. And yet, that isn’t necessarily accepted fact by some on the left, apparently.
LOWRY: Yeah, it’s the strangest thing. You have a communist shoot and kill the president of the United States and conservatives get blamed. At the time, and still to some extent, today. And you see it in the argument that somehow (he made airquotes) Dallas killed Kennedy, a city of hate, as it was known. And there are two problems with this. One, cities don’t kill people. Two, Oswald was a committed Marxist and there’s zero doubt about that.
KELLY: And you talk about how at the time even, the New York Times headline said, “Why America weeps: Kennedy victim of violent streak he sought to curb in the nation.” And Earl Warren, the chief justice, blamed “the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots!”
Kelly and Lowry went on to discount as some kind of liberal propaganda new reports that Dallas in 1963 had been a seething cauldron of right-wing rage. Kelly referred to a Slate article which called a letter from Kennedy’s press secretary “eerily prophetic” because it warned him “he might be killed by a right-wing mob” in Dallas. Kelly sneered, “Really?”
But he’s not killed by a right-wing mob, of course. And we’ve seen pieces in the New York Times and the New Yorker, there’s a new book out called, ‘Dallas 1963’ that basically traffics in this idea that somehow, the intolerance of Dallas killed John F. Kennedy. And there’s nothing to that. …Intolerance and bigotry didn’t pick up a rifle and kill Kennedy. A communist did that. And liberals really didn’t want to admit it because they prefer to make Kennedy a martyr to civil rights because they thought that was more noble and it was more useful politically.
But if you pay close attention, you may notice that neither Kelly nor Lowry disputed the fact that Dallas was, in fact, a morass of hate toward Kennedy. As the Christian Science Monitor (hardly a bastion of liberalism) wrote about the book, the authors argue that the right-wing agitators “created the poisonous far-right milieu” that set the stage for the killing. The Monitor goes on to say:
The authors comb through the anti-communist paranoia that reached fever pitch in a city that despised Texan Lyndon B. Johnson as a traitor. A fierce contingent of the John Birch Society took hold in Dallas during the Kennedy administration, as did an emergent National Indignation Conference (which, when it expanded countrywide, actually called itself the “National National Indignation Conference.”) Jack Ruby ran a soft-core strip club that catered to the Dallas elite that had a glad-handing network of power driving the city. They saw Kennedy as – in Dealey’s words – not a “man on horseback” leading the nation but a man “riding Caroline’s tricycle.” They charged rhetoric-inflamed citizens to drop the usual politenesses and behave in a mob-like manner, as when the leading citizens of Dallas angrily swarmed Johnson and his wife in 1960. The morning of Kennedy’s assassination, the Birchers had run a mocking full-page ad in Dealey’s News, and printed “wanted for treason” fliers featuring a mock mug-shot of Kennedy.
So while Kelly found time for arguments against the book's premise, she never got around to saying what it got right.
Kelly insists she is not an opinion host. “You’re not going to hear what I think,” she likes to say. Maybe so. But she sure seems to want a say in what you are thinking.
Really, these people are smoking some pretty funny stuff.
“Rupert Murdoch hates the fact-based life.”
That is exactly why I usually call him “Herr Goebbels II” and his faithful elephant-sized toady Roger Ailes “Herr Goering II”. Always remember:
IF IT WALKS LIKE A NAZI, TALKS LIKE A NAZI, AND ACTS LIKE A NAZI…….well, we all know the rest.
Now that’s tolerance!
Mr Oswald “defected” to the Soviet Union and intended to renounce his US citizenship in October 1959 (after having served in the US Marines for almost two years—in fact, his status as a Marine was one of what he’d hoped to use as a “selling point” in his “defection”; incidentally, he never did formally renounce his citizenship). Interestingly enough, there’s NO actual proof that Oswald was, in fact, a “card-carrying” Communist; when he entered the Soviet Union, he said he was a Communist but, after 50 years, there’s no physical evidence that he actually belonged to any Communist (or even Socialist) Party—it would’ve been rather difficult for him to have been at the time since he joined the Marines (McCarthyism may have been gone but you simply could NOT join the US military if you’d displayed anything more than an intellectual curiosity about Communism). However, less than 3 years later—in June of 1962—he returned to the US, largely because he’d become DISENCHANTED with life in the Soviet Union. He’d been assigned some fairly mundane factory work (but he did get some perks for his “defector” status) in the city of Minsk (now the capital of Belarus) but he grew very bored. He contacted the US Embassy to have his US passport returned and, after marrying Marina, managed to get the paperwork to bring her (and their child) to the US. While living in Dallas, the Oswalds became friendly with the (anti-Communist) Russian emigre community—though the community was more friendly with Marina. Also, it’s a bit notable that during official police investigation after the assassination, Oswald denied being a Communist, stating that he was a Marxist.
Still in all, regardless of Oswald’s politics, there’s NO denying that forerunners of today’s Teabaggers (most notably, the John Birch Society) placed ads in the Dallas papers calling for Kennedy’s arrest as a traitor and we ALL know how little it takes for right-wingers to go over the edge.
OK, Meg — suppose Oswald was a communist.
My question is, SO FREAKING WHAT?? He didn’t kill Kennedy, so what’s that go to do with anything?
“Intolerance and bigotry didn’t pick up a rifle and kill Kennedy.”
Maybe not, Rich — but intolerance and bigotry sure as hell greeted JFK with an advertisement that read “Welcome Mr. Kennedy To Dallas . . .” in the 11/22/63 Dallas Morning News . . .
Stay tuned for much, much of the librul as communist crap from FNC. Wait until de Blasio takes over as NYC Mayor in January. He’s way out on the left (much too far for my taste), but watch the FNC slimeballs zero in on him!
I was 6 years old, living in the Los Angeles area. I don’t remember the exact moment when I heard, but my first memory of that day was watching Air Force One landing in DC and seeing the casket being taken to a hearse, and seeing Jackie holding Bobby Kennedy’s hand still wearing her pink outfit with the blood stains. We didn’t know at the time it was pink because we only had black & white televisions. Years later we learned that they tried to get her to change but she said no, I want them to see what they did to him.
The next day was a Saturday and back then when we only had two or three channels, Saturday morning for a six year old meant it was the only day we got cartoons, and they didn’t have them that day.
When I watched Rudy kill Oswald I didn’t understand what the commotion was all about. The bad guy got it is all I thought. It was like watching a western, cop or monster movie where in the end the bad guy always lost.
On Monday the day of the funeral we had no school that day, I don’t remember John-John’s salute, but do remember watching the internal flame being lit at sundown. Unless solid evidence proves otherwise I do believe Oswald acted alone.