"What gets you the most upset about the JFK assassination?"
It was a very good and obvious question that my director, Kevin Fox, asked while we were reviewing the script and comes to mind again as we commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the event. Of course, a lot of things about the assassination get me upset--in particular that the real culprits (i.e. not Lee Harvey Oswald) still remain unknown to the vast majority of Americans.
But I also get upset over why the mere discussion of a conspiracy is considered beyond the pale for a host of serious thinkers in this country--from academics to acclaimed authors, newspaper columnists and TV pundits. It's a remarkable show of willful ignorance for a number of very intelligent people. Even a cursory examination of the evidence--how many shots were supposedly fired, from where, their impact on the bodies of JFK and Governor John Connolly (who sat in front of him)--puts in doubt the conclusions of the Warren Commission. The idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin is no slam dunk under any analysis. So why should discussion of a conspiracy be treated with such contempt? That's a fascinating question which I'll explore here in greater detail over the next few weeks.
Still, getting back to Kevin's question, the willful ignorance of the cognoscenti is not what most makes me upset. What makes me the most upset are the people who say that Americans don't really care who killed JFK. I've heard this from law enforcement officials and publishing executives--even some people involved in the theater. I could not disagree more. I think that most people do care and they care passionately. Until this point in time, my evidence has been anecdotal: whether in casual conversation, in a plane or at dinner, I have found people of all ages and backgrounds very interested in what I have to say and anxious to finally have the great mystery solved.