When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963

When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963

Hardcover(50th Anniversary Edition)

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When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BrianIndianFan More than 1 year ago
Bob Huffaker, along with Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise were reporters for KRLD in Dallas in November 1963 when JFK was assassinated in their city.  The authors provide their recollections of the day and the aftermath of the assassination in a way that is forthright and telling. It is a first person account that needed to be told before their particular voices are lost to history. They take care to let us know what it meant to be a reporter in 1963 and you were more than just a talking head; you had to write and edit your own copy and any audio or video they shot. These men were reporters who literally had their hands in the entire news process from front to back. They tell the story of the JFK assassination almost literally through their microphones and the lens of their cameras; who was covering what and where.  This is not a discussion of how the assassination was carried out; this is a tale of how the event was covered, whether from Love Field, Dealy Plaza, the Trade Plaza, Dallas PD or Parkland Hospital. Along the way, we see how the national and international media swooped in helped make that weekend the media circus that it was. (This reviewer shudders at the thought of such an unfortunate event of this magnitude in this era of 24/7 news cycles and the overwhelming rush to be "first" as opposed to "correct".)  Along the way, we also get a look behind the scenes at how these men utilized their contacts within the Dallas PD to get background information on their stories and how they did it in a manner that respected their sources.  By contrast, we also have evidence that the 21st century news media does not have a monopoly on crafting a narrative with which to frame a story.  Dan Rather - the purveyor of the forged George H. Bush Air National Guard documents - went and ran with a story about the children of one Dallas elementary school cheering when JFK's assassination was announced. This was made to appear that Dallas was "a city of hate". It turns out, the cheers were because they were being let out of school early; a reason for which any school-age child would cheer. Similarly, noted CBS commentator Eric Sevareid is faulted for relying on his research staff who spoke with one of the authors several times about Oswald's murder, yet none of that information made it to Sevareid's commentary that day. A major weakness of the book is the authors' seeming bias against conservatives. The authors frequently use terms like "arch-conservative", "rabid right winger" and the like; yet no liberal is given similar terms. In their end commentaries on the media today, they make many sideways remarks about Fox News, either expressly or implied using their slogan "Fair and Balanced". In my opinion, this takes away from their objectivity and as such causes me to de-rate the book by one whole star. BOTTOM LINE: This is a wonderful book for those interested in reading about the JFK assassination from a different point of view; namely, those who covered it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago