Those of us 50 and over know where we were when we first heard that President Kennedy was murdered. So why do we feel compelled to trade stories of that day 50 years ago today?
The answer generally is “I was at…” work, school, home... working, pretending to study, napping on the couch, taking my car in for repairs, and -- most frequently-- eating lunch.
We in the news business love “people” stories and we love “major” anniversaries. To what end? Well, they’re easy to write or broadcast. Very little research required. They bring flutters to our hearts and with any luck to yours. And in the case of JFK, the conspiracy theories have kept the story alive.
LBJ did it. The CIA did it. The Secret Service did it. Gangsters did it. Or the Cubans. Or the Russians.
Oh, but the Warren Commission was stacked and misled. And the autopsy was performed in DC and not in Dallas. Any fool can see this was a setup. Or so we're told. But as time passes, we still wonder and study and make TV programs about it all and all put us to sleep.
It now appears that one or more of those theories will eventually be shown as fact. And it was a shocking event, something that no one then living had previously witnessed. Certainly we should remember the day, the event. We should hold memorial services. We should pause and reflect.
But do you really care what a stranger in the next seat on the train was doing at the time… unless the stranger turns out to be a retired Federal agent or Walter Cronkite’s barber.
--Do freshmen members of Congress get an alphabetized book of excuses for when they get in trouble and if so, has any normal person seen it? Rep Trey Radel (R-FL) is a newbie but came up with the usual garbage when police bagged him and his bag of white powder. “My alcoholism led me to an extremely irresponsible choice…” sounds like something that experienced representatives have used for more than 200 years of misdeeds.
--Congressman Drugbust is best known for his proposal that food stamp recipients undergo drug tests or face denial of service. Rep Jim McGovern (D-MA) came up with an appropriate rejoinder. He suggested giving members of congress drug tests.
--The Shrapnel section started a few years ago to cover in three sentences things that didn’t require the usual 500 words. Lately we’ve found there are things worth noting that didn’t warrant three sentences. So, today, we introduce a new and occasional feature called…
-A Costco in Simi Valley CA has apologized to customers who were offended when they discovered the price tags on their Bibles included the category “fiction.”
-Mayor-elect de Blasio is being swamped with applications for all the vacancies he’ll have to fill but so far the only one he’s talking about is a new police commissioner.
-How about them R*dskins?
-Harry Reid showed some spine by changing the filibuster rules to make it harder for a lone gunman to block appointments and all the Republicans are in a twist because they don’t remember that they did that to Clinton’s nominees.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2013