Salon’s Credibility on Life Support: Marxist Zealot Lee Harvey Oswald Revised and Repackaged as a ‘Right-Winger’Posted: July 25, 2014
“This entire article is a nonsensical mishmash of broken logical connections, slander, and outright historical ignorance.”
Via Salon today comes one of the most truly bizarre pieces of revisionist history I have ever seen, even within the context of articles appearing at Salon. The basic outline of the piece is as follows:
- Dallas in 1963 was full of crazy right-wingers;
- These people had guns;
- John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas in 1963;
- Barack Obama likewise has many right-wingers who oppose him; therefore
- It’s only a matter of time before one of them shoots him.
The baseless appeal to sensationalism and emotionalism is the primary (and usually only) tool in the gun control advocate’s toolbox. To that end, I have to admit that this is well played on Salon’s part; every reasonable person of all political stripes in America is legitimately terrified at the prospect of President Joe Biden. The problem (as always, when dealing with a gun control advocate) is that reason, logic and history demand a completely opposite conclusion. Let us grant for just a moment that Dallas in 1963 was full of various fringe right-leaning groups that were well armed. I don’t know; it might or might not be true. I’m not a Dallas historian and it’s not really relevant to the point of this post. The point is that factually, John F. Kennedy was killed by an avowed communist because of that communist’s belief that Kennedy was too tough on commies. These are not facts that are in reasonable dispute. Even if you are one of the grassy knoll people you have to concede Lee Harvey Oswald’s place as at least one of the shooters which means that, without a doubt, Kennedy was killed by left-wing extremists not right-wing extremists. In an especially delicious bit of irony, while trying to somehow pin Kennedy’s death on the anti-communists, they omit mentioning that seven months before assassinating Kennedy, Oswald attempted to assassinate one of the most prominent anti-communists in Dallas, General Edwin Walker. Read the rest of this entry »
[The 2nd in a 3-part series on JFK this morning]
Warren Mass writes: As the nation pauses to reflect on the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the respectful and civil recollection of this horrific act is already being marred by those who seek to politicize Kennedy’s killing to serve their own agenda.
With the passage of 50 years’ time, it becomes more and more doubtful that we will ever learn the entire truth behind the assassination. However, since some members of the media have already started to rearrange the events of 50 years ago to divert blame from a self-described Marxist — Lee Harvey Oswald — onto those they like to label as (variously) “ultra-conservative,” “archconservative,” or simply “right-wing,” a sane and sober look at these claims is definitely called for.
Leading the charge against the “ultra-conservatives” is Scott K. Parks, who penned an article for the Dallas News for October 12 headlined: “Extremists in Dallas created volatile atmosphere before JFK’s 1963 visit.” Parks lamented that following November 22, 1963, “Dallas became known to the world as the city of hate, the city that killed Kennedy.”
Parks proceeded to assign blame for exactly who was responsible for manufacturing this “hateful” atmosphere in Dallas, and — lest anyone miss his point — his explanation falls under a subheading, “John Birch Society HQ.”
Dallas, Texas: It was no City of Hate—no matter what the Left says.
The “Dallas-did-it” community of storytellers, historians, biographers, and myth-makers, having gone relatively unchallenged for half a century, are finally encountering a long-overdue confrontation. First George Will, Then here, of course, then Mark Hemingway, now William Murchison.
“Dallas was a City of Hate only in the overactive imaginations of people with axes to grind…”
For the American Spectator, Dallas native William Murchison writes: After a time, ruts appear in the intellectual landscape, engraved through repetition of the same words, the same notions and incantations. “City of Hate” would be one of those; another, “right-wing hysteria”; also “paranoia,” “kooks,” “extremists,” “deranged,” “out of control.” The image of Dallas, Texas, the city where President Kennedy was slain in 1963, has the familiarity of a television commercial played so many times that reflex takes the place of reasoned assessment. Why analyze or appraise? Dallas, if it didn’t gun down the president, certainly furnished the stage and props for a creep like Lee Harvey Oswald. What else is there, my friends, that’s worth knowing?
From the historical standpoint, that is. I’m not convinced, actually, that vast numbers of Americans spend their days plotting to make the city of Dallas pay for the assassination—in Dallas, by a Dallas resident—of a president not understood as one of “The Immortals” until he became so at the Triple Underpass in Dallas. It was a long time ago, 50 years this November 22. The caravan moves on. The burgeoning, self-assured city of Dallas, to which the Kennedy party came in 1963, bears only happenstantial resemblance to the great North Texas “metroplex” of which modern Dallas is just one constituent element, albeit a large and highly important one.
For all that, we may anticipate that the Kennedy observances this fall—centered, naturally, in Dallas, and with the city’s robust participation—will require in the minds of some a retelling of the legends: the patient reconstruction, block by block, street by street, of the City of Hate. Some just can’t get past it. I’m sorry for them. Their mental batteries need a recharge.
Readers know this is subject I’m covering, and will continue to cover, in the weeks leading up to the historic anniversary of JFK’s assassination. In the wake of the resurgence of left-wing propaganda about Dallas in 1963, its a topic that deserves honesty, legitimate pushback, and clarification. Stay tuned for updates. , I welcome The Weekly Standard‘s Mark Hemingway commentary, and include it here.
Mark Hemingway writes: The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy is nearly upon us, so one would expect America’s public intellectuals to be gearing up to present a series of sober and illuminating reflections about the tragedy’s cultural and political legacy.
Of course, that’s not going to happen. Any misty-eyed resonance that can be wrung out of JFK’s death is already being exploited by our elite media gatekeepers to advance a political agenda.
To start things off, the New Yorker‘s George Packer has filed a dispatch about the “the potent brew of right-wing passions, much of it well organized and well funded—Bircher anti-Communism, anti-Catholicism [and] racism” that is apparently to blame for JFK’s death. This is nonsensical on many levels. Racism is, of course, described as a “right-wing passion” though it is conveniently forgotten that at the time of JFK’s assassination this odious legacy was exploited and enforced primarily by the Democratic party. And yes, Dallas may have been suffused with “Bircher anti-Communism” but that seems very much at odds with the identity of JFK’s assassin who had spent time in the Soviet Union under mysterious circumstances.
George Packer of the New Yorker Doubles Down on Stupid: believes Dallas’ collective right-wing-extremist “invisible magical spirit forces” assassinated John F. Kennedy (instead of a doomed Marxist leftist, Lee Harvey Oswald)
Left-wing Fantasy Projection: “From Dealey Plaza to the Tea Party”
Here we go again. This is too stupid to seriously contemplate, but just as predicted, the Left is actually trying to forge a link between Kennedy’s assassination, and the grassroots elements of the current Republican party. Desperate, you say? Absolutely.
This utter nonsense has been thoroughly debunked [see Society is to Blame: When Liberalism Lost its Way, Dallas, 1963] and revealed for what it is–self-serving propaganda and revisionist historic fantasy.
“…The authors describe the potent brew of right-wing passions, much of it well organized and well funded—Bircher anti-Communism, anti-Catholicism, racism (Dallas was the last large American city to desegregate its schools), Kennedy hatred—that suffused many people in Dallas with the spirit of dissension and incipient violence during the early sixties, including some of its leading citizens: elected officials, Baptist ministers, the billionaire oilman H. L. Hunt, the right-wing zealot General Edwin Walker, even the publisher of the Morning News, Ted Dealey. During the 1960 Presidential campaign, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, the state’s most powerful politician, and his wife, Lady Bird, were spat upon in Dallas; Adlai Stevenson, J.F.K.’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was assaulted there just a month before the assassination. “WELCOME MR. KENNEDY TO DALLAS …,” ran the headline of a black-bordered, full-page ad in the Morning News on the morning of November 22, 1963, with a bill of particulars that stopped just short of accusing the President of treason. Kennedy had warned his wife, “We’re heading into nut country.”
Oswald was an avowed Marxist, which might seem to absolve the city’s right wing of any responsibility. But “Dallas 1963” places the assassin in context as a malleable, unstable figure breathing the city’s extraordinarily feverish air. Judge Sarah T. Hughes, who administered the oath of office to Johnson aboard Air Force One at Love Field, later said, “It could have happened anywhere, but Dallas, I’m sorry to say, has been conditioned by many people who have hate in their hearts and who seem to want to destroy.”