Description

JFK’s legacy is inextricably tied up with the mystery of his death. If Abraham Lincoln, to quote Edwin M. Stanton, “belonged to the ages” after his assassination, JFK may well belong to the X-Files. The official story is full of holes, but many of the conspiracy theories of how he really died are equally hard to believe. Well, Jack O’Brien believes he’s discovered the answer. In this episode, he talks to noted JFK experts Jefferson Morley, of the Washington Post and JFKfacts.org, and Bonar Menninger, author of JFK exposé “Mortal Error”, to determine the surprising truth.

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gamerkilo
gamerkilo
3 posts

Just signed up, looking for the download button... (I see a play button, but I don't want to be tied to my PC, you mentioned a phone app right? I should try there)

austinthomas049
austinthomas049
1 posts

Went premium for this and I'm excited :D

gamerkilo
gamerkilo
3 posts

Found the button in the phone app to download for offline listening. I liked the episode having a few different angles on the whole event. Can we expect a second episode in a week or is this a monthly thing?

markgnagy
markgnagy
1 posts

The problem with this theory, and I was disappointed that Morley didn't bring this up, as it seems to be the definitive proof against the possibility of Menniger's theory, is that home video evidence exists that shows that the secret service agent in question neither stood up or took out his gun, and as such, would have not been in position to have shot JFK (http://22november1963.org.uk/did-a-secret-service-agent-kill-jfk-by-accident). Would have loved to hear both guests analysis of this piece of information.

thecrossbone
thecrossbone
2 posts

"Me thinks he doth protest too much"

n_c_k_n_c_k
n_c_k_n_c_k
1 posts

Signed up for Howl premium for this and these first two podcasts are well worth it already! I can't wait for more.

ancatdubh3
ancatdubh3
1 posts

I couldn't resist offering feedback. On the chance that it makes you more likely to read further, I'm a huge fan of the Cracked podcast. I'm a high school teacher, and it's one of the few podcasts (along with Radiolab) I've used in class. (I teach Philosophy and History, for what it's worth.) I'm still a big fan, but I'm going to spout off anyway.
I hadn't heard of the friendly-fire theory until listening to your episode. I've been convinced that Oswald did it alone ever since reading a book called Voodoo Histories and watching a surprisingly excellent BBC documentary called Beyond Conspiracy (it's on youtube). And to be fair, the friendly-fire hypothesis is the only contrary theory I've heard that has held my interest at all. Likely? No. But interesting enough to talk about... sure. Although I was probably more likely to keep listening because I've come to trust your ability to cut through bullshit and to identify and avoid the sort of everyday logical fallacies that lead us to bad conclusions all the time.
So here's why I'm writing: I think you screwed up on this one. It's not that, a la Morley, I'm offended by the idea of taking the friendly-fire hypothesis seriously. It's that, in your presentation of the subject, I think you made a number of crucial errors.
First of all, a very compelling case can be made that Oswald acted alone. As this is the default hypothesis (or the "official story"), you should have started by stating that case and then looking for any weaknesses that needed to be probed. You didn't do this. Instead, you stated a few cursory pro-Oswald theory facts and then went straight to Morley.
Secondly, after allowing Morley to raise the usual rhetorical-question-type objections and speculations, you singled out (of all the hundreds or probably thousands of alternative hypotheses) the friendly-fire theory to devote most of the rest of the episode to. I think you did well to let the proponent of that theory speak for himself, and you did well to go back to Morley for a counterargument. But it all became a mess: Menninger consistently misuses words like "evidence" and "proof" - for example, referring to the fact that the alleged Secret Service shooter didn't die as "evidence" that the hypothesis is correct. It is no such thing. Since we are firmly in the realm of speculation, I can speculate up all kinds of reasons that the powers-that-be elected not to kill him. (Maybe they thought it would be the one thing most likely to arouse suspicion. Maybe they tried to once and failed and got spooked. Maybe they were overruled by higher powers for unknown reasons. Maybe he made arrangements for the truth to come out if he died under suspicious circumstances. Etc.) By letting this kind of fast-and-loose misuse of fundamental concepts go unchallenged, you missed an important chance to challenge the theory's main defender, and to draw the listener's attention to an important and oft-overlooked distinction: the distinction between evidence and anything that can be interpreted as fitting a preferred interpretation.
Thirdly, of the pieces of "evidence" that Menninger offered, only one was actually evidence (although it was really evidence that the Oswald theory is problematic, and not evidence that Menninger is correct): Menninger's assertion that the hole in JKF's skull was too small to be from Oswald's gun. If true, this would be really, really important. Much more important than who smelled gunsmoke where (who knows what the wind did?) or what a ballistics expert concluded about X-rays. But this was precisely the one assertion you didn't ask Morley about, or try to verify independently. Instead (and this is my fourth and final point), you made the basic mistake of all conspiracy theorists: you asked Morley if he could disprove the theory.
The burden of proof is never on the doubter. I can't disprove that aliens didn't kill Kennedy, or (to use an example you've probably heard before) that there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn. That means absolutely nothing. When a reasonable and simple hypothesis exists (a narcissistic loser with good aim and established violent tendencies killed Kennedy), the burden of proof shifts to the claimant of another theory to demonstrate that hers is more likely. In other words, the burden of proof lies with the person making an assertive claim, not with the person raising objections to it.
Morley is right that the Kennedy assassination is an important event and worth talking about, and maybe Menninger's hypothesis will even turn out to be correct. But I was frustrated by your treatment of the subject. I remain a fan, and (I hope it doesn't sound insincere coming after a round of criticism) I look forward to future episodes.

christianminghelli432
christianminghelli432
2 posts

4 out of 5 stars. I know you wont even see this but shout out to the Cracked Podcast should be #1 on iTunes those mutherfuckers ringed it!this is christian minghelli btw
Just Gatta say though I cant wait for you to make more episodes please. Actually met you in person after one of those live podcasts at the UCB theater....Great time hope i didn't offend you then. Keep pod casting brotha Cracked for life

christianminghelli432
christianminghelli432
2 posts

my first comment on here was about Jack O'Brien^^^^^^^^^