May 26, 2007
By fax to 212-556-3622
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Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
To the editor:
RE: Bryan Burrough’s Review of Vincent Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History
Thank you for spelling my name correctly. Readers interested in the facts will be able to read my Blood, Money & Power, How LBJ Killed JFK and evaluate for themselves.
I have now read parts of Bugliosi’s doorstop and was amused by his many misstatements of material fact. His overwrought conclusions are simply without foundation and his practices violate simple rules of professional ethics.
My sequel on uncovering the cover-up will detail the ongoing search for the facts. Tom Wicker noted that we do not know what happened. Bugliosi also does not know and his efforts only disclose his narcissism, bias and malice. My sequel will disclose how he simply protests too much, and the order of proof will present the facts supporting my disclosures.
We will be ready for the jury in contrast to Bugliosi’s low-minded diatribes even a first-year student would avoid. Bugliosi, who is not even a Johnny Cochran, has made his case. My turn to close.
As I continue my disclosures, may you enjoy the read as I enjoy the write, and the right.
Very truly yours,
SHAME ON YOU, NEW YORK TIMES!
This Sunday's (5/20/07) New York Times Book Review will feature Bryan Burrough's analysis of a volume we've commented on a bit here this week -- Vince Bugliosi's take on the JFK case, Reclaiming History Click here for the review
What a pathetic excuse for a book review it is, especially one appearing in a major bastion of national culture!
I say this not, repeat, not, because of Burrough's pronounced bias about the
case or his strangely angry venom spit out at the JFK "conspiracy theorists," but simply because of its defects as an informative book review:
Not a single example of the dozens upon dozens of arguments Bugliosi musters
to prove the Lone Nutter case; not a
single example or fact or piece of evidence to justify the flat-out
mugging of the Warren Commission critics, as in this cheap shot:
"What Bugliosi has done is a public service. These people should be ridiculed, even shunned. It's time we marginalized Kennedy conspiracy theorists the way we've marginalized smokers. Next time one of your co-workers starts in about Oswald and the CIA, make him stand in the rain with the other outcasts."
Wow! Straight out of the O'Reilly-Coulter-Rivera smashmouth school of public
"debate." Apparently in Burrough's universe the way to treat people who go against the accepted grain is with undisguised contempt. Is your spouse or parent or child still smoking? Drinking too much? Not getting to church enough? Win him over with ridicule! Heap on the scorn! Or shun her altogether! Let them know they are unacceptable outcasts from the family circle. That'll get 'em to see the light!
Most revealing in that statement is its praise for Bug for performing a public service. Bears out what I said in the "Bug in My Bonnet" posts: the purpose of the book is political/ideological, not historical. Perhaps even theological: Burrough quotes with approval Bug's characterization of Barr McClellan's book fingering JFK as the prime mover behind the JFK hit as "blasphemous. . ." How very odd, since blasphemy is defined as an offense against God. "God" here is not necessarily LBJ, but the all-powerful, to-be-worshipped-and-trusted state.
But here's the real stunner about Burrough's review, the statement that reveals most about the bankrupt state of historical, political and cultural discourse in this thoroughly dumbed-down country of ours:
"This book should be applauded; I'm not so sure, however, that it should be read."
How could a presumably respectable and reputable vehicle like The New York Times Book Review publish such such an utterly stupid remark? It boggles the
mind. It makes one gag on the morning's coffee. It renders one speechless, the mouth having become a vomitorium. Let Private Gomer Pyle say it all:
"Shame! Shame! Shame!"
"Be no longer consumers of ideas, of history, of culture, of books," is what
Burrough and The Times are really telling us. "Become mere consumers of other people's ideas -- of our ideas. Applaud what we applaud. Ridulcule, mock and marginalize what we ridicule, mock and marginalize. Don't think and explore for yourself. We've already done it for you." (Burrough tells us that, yes, he did read all the book's 1612 pages; he was paid to. Message
here: Leave the judgments to the paid experts, to the mandarins.)
1612 pages are just too much for our
itty-bitty widdle bwains to
cope with, after all. And all that reading would distract us from important
public issues like Paris Hilton's prison wardrobe and