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Sat Nov 30, 2013 08:05
11:05 AM ET
CNN Collaborates With Tom Hanks’ and Gary Goetzman’s PLAYTONE for ‘THE SIXTIES’

Original docuseries co-produced with Herzog & Company bows with a special presentation of “The Assassination of JFK” in November 2013

CNN, Playtone, and Herzog & Company are co-producing a provocative, sweeping 10-part documentary series that will explore perhaps the most transformative decade of the modern era. The non-scripted series will be executive produced by multiple EMMY® Award-winning producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (HBO’s John Adams and The Pacific), and EMMY® Award-winning producer Mark Herzog (History’s Gettysburg) of Herzog & Company (HCO), as a CNN original series for CNN/U.S., it was announced today.

“From protests to war, to human rights, the Beatles, innovative technologies, and politics, the 1960s were an extraordinary era of consequential cultural and global change,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide. “We are so pleased to partner with Tom, Gary, and HCO to bring this very special series to our audience. Projects like this are emblematic of exactly the type of programming that we need more of, signifying a new direction and expanded sensibility at CNN.”

THE SIXTIES will launch with a two-hour special episode, “The Assassination of JFK (1963),” broadcast on CNN/U.S. in November 2013, and timed with the observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The inaugural episode will explore the key conclusions of the controversial Warren Commission, as well as the shocking impact of the assassination upon the nation, and upon American politics.

The series will resume in 2014 with episodes about the events and people that shaped our history and character as a nation. Episodes will focus on the indelible impact of music and technology of the era, drugs, “free love”, and rock and roll.

Key moments of the era will be revealed and explored through archival newsreel footage, personal movies, and interviews with eyewitnesses to history. Expert commentary from historians, including David McCullough, Robert Dallek, and Robert Caro, as well as recollections from people whose lives intersected with destiny, such as Dan Rather, Robert MacNeil, and others, will infuse new relevance to the cultural touchstones at the center of each episode.

About CNN

CNN develops original content through strategic partnerships and commissioned productions for television. Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, oversee the acquisition strategy of documentaries for CNN. Malhotra manages the day-to-day operations and works directly with filmmakers to develop original projects.

CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.


Parkland and JFK Assassination Truth with Author James DiEugenio

You call this a trial?

What follows next is the author's masterful discussion of the shameful London Weekend Television mock trial of Oswald in 1986. Vincent Bugliosi was the mock prosecutor at this trial. According to the author, it was this trial which inspired Bugliosi to write his overgrown tome, Reclaiming History. (DiEugenio, Chapter 3). Since the trial can be viewed online on YouTube, it is not this reviewer's intention to spend a considerable amount of time discussing it here. Suffice it to say, the author meticulously explains to the reader just how biased the trial was in Bugliosi's favor, and also illuminates the incompetence of Gerry Spence, the acting defense attorney, in defending the deceased Oswald.

In the opening paragraphs of his discussion, the author makes a number of astute observations of just why the trial was strongly biased against Oswald, and how this ultimately led to the jury finding Oswald guilty. First of all, obviously, Oswald was not present at the trial. As the author soundly explains, Oswald would have been the most important witness to his defense, as he would have been able to inform the jurors of his connections to extreme right wing figures such as David Ferrie, Guy Bannister, and Clay Shaw (ibid). Shockingly, Bugliosi actually wrote in Reclaiming History. that it was probably better for the cause of pursuing the truth behind Kennedy's assassination that Oswald died. (ibid). In this reviewer's opinion, this is one of the most bizarre statements that Bugliosi has made concerning the assassination.

Furthermore, the author notes that the following important witnesses were also absent from the trial: Marina Oswald, who, amongst other things, testified before the Warren Commission that her husband owned the alleged murder weapon. The three autopsy doctors who performed the autopsy on the President's body at Bethesda Naval hospital were also absent. Also, Sylvia Odio, the young Cuban woman who testified before the Warren Commission that Oswald and two Latin looking men had visited her at her apartment in Dallas, was also absent from the trial (DiEugenio, Chapter 3). Odio's testimony was crucial, as it strongly implied that Oswald was being framed for the assassination.

The author also makes several other sharp observations, such as the fact that the prosecution called a total of fourteen witnesses, whereas the defence called a total of only seven witnesses (ibid). The prosecution had also used scientifically false evidence against Oswald, namely, the Neutron Activation Analysis tests, which Bugliosi's witness, Vincent Guinn, presented to the jury as evidence that CE 399 (the magic bullet) went through both President Kennedy and Governor John Connally. This was allegedly accomplished by showing that the lead from the core of CE 399, was identical to the lead fragments embedded in Governor Connally's wrist (ibid). Neutron Activation Analysis has since been thoroughly debunked as a valid scientific method for identifying the origin of lead fragments.

Another key point the author makes is that the jurors (unlike in an actual trial) were not allowed to view the actual exhibits located in the National Archives in Washington. As an example of why this is important, the author states that the marksman who originally tested the rifle in evidence, said it had a defective telescopic sight and the bolt was too difficult to operate, but the jurors wouldn't be able to know that for themselves since they weren't allowed to actually handle the rifle. Furthermore, the defense was limited, as the 2 million pages of documents declassified by the Assassination Records Review Board, following the passing of the JFK act were not yet available. (ibid

In his discussion of each of the witnesses, the author first introduces them by describing who they were, and how they were involved with the assassination, and/or its aftermath and the investigations which followed. The author then provides an evaluation of how the witnesses were questioned by both Vincent Bugliosi, and Gerry Spence. For the purpose of this review, I will discuss the author's evaluation of one of the prosecution witnesses, and one of the defense witnesses. Let's begin with Ruth Paine, in whose house Oswald allegedly stored the rifle the Warren Commission concluded was used to assassinate President Kennedy. As the author introduces her, Ruth Paine testified at the London trial that she had helped Oswald obtain his job at the TSBD prior to the assassination (ibid). During the trial, Bugliosi attempted to make a major issue out of the fact that Oswald had normally visited the Paine home (where his wife was staying) on weekends after obtaining the job at the TSBD, but had broken that so-called routine by instead arriving on the Thursday night prior to the assassination (ibid). The author scores Bugliosi by pointing out that Oswald had broken that so-called routine the previous weekend, since he didn't turn up at the Paine home (ibid). The author also scores Gerry Spence by pointing out that Spence failed to mention that Oswald's "routine" was only one month old (ibid).

Bugliosi also tried to make a big deal out of the fact that Ruth Paine claimed someone had left the light on in the Paine garage on Thursday evening. Bugliosi asked Paine if she thought that it was Oswald who left the light on, and she responded that she thought it was him. The author scores Spence and the presiding judge for not objecting to the question, as it called for a conclusion not based on observable facts (ibid). It was an opinion which was contradicted by the testimony of Marina Oswald who said Oswald was in their bedroom at the time. The author also scores Spence for not objecting to Bugliosi's question to Ruth Paine about how Oswald viewed the world around him, since Paine had limited contact with Oswald (ibid). In this reviewer's opinion, the author could also have criticized Spence by noting, for example, that during his cross-examination, he didn't ask Paine about the metal file cabinets which contained what appeared to be the names of Cuban sympathizers. The information about these metal file cabinets was contained in the report by Dallas deputy Sheriff, Buddy Walthers, to Bill Decker, who at the time of the assassination was the Sheriff of Dallas County. (See Warren Commission, Volume 19, p. 520 for Walthers' report).

In his discussion of reporter Seth Kantor, the author gives credit to Spence for using Kantor, as Kantor discussed Ruby's phone calls with Mafia enforcers such as Barney Baker, Lenny Patrick, and Dave Yaras, in the latter part of 1963 (ibid). Kantor also testified that he had seen Ruby at Parkland Hospital, just as he testified that he had before the Warren Commission (ibid). However, the author criticizes Spence for not using Kantor more effectively on how Ruby had entered the basement of the Dallas Police Department, where he shot Oswald as Oswald was being transferred to the County jail (ibid). As a matter of fact, throughout the entire discussion of this sordid trial, the author rightly criticized Spence for not calling many of the key witnesses to the assassination to testify. For example, Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles (both of whom were on the rear stairs of the TSBD when Oswald was allegedly coming down the stairs, but never noticed him) were not called to testify. In the reviewer's opinion, reading the author's takedown of this trial was delightful.
IV: On first encountering Reclaiming History


JFK - murdered - by his wife. Jacqueline The Jesuit Assassin

Jackie Kennedy Is Killer Queen

Excellent JFK Documentary-Jack Anderson

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