Further, huge conflicts of interest exist for many researchers in reporting on this story.
Nina Burleigh, for example, is the author of A Very Private Woman, published in 1998 about the murder case. It suggested the jury erred in failing to convict Crump. Her career is that of a free-lancer, a tough business that requires high skill and good relationships with prestigious outlets willing to pay. The current Daily Beast / Newsweek acquired Newsweek from the Washington Post in 2010 for just $1 plus debts because the Post wanted to maintain editorial policies prevalent during its Post ownership. The Post still lists Bradlee on its masthead as vice president at large.
I'm not suggesting a conscious motive for her or anyone else. But the power structure got its name for a reason, and does not always work at the conscious level. The clear facts in this story are so pat -- Kennedy meets the belle of the ball three decades later and they plan world peace -- that it it would make a great yarn as a novel or film. But somehow few want to touch the more important real-life version.
An even greater obstacle for reader understanding than reporrter conflicts and financial incentives is the sensitivity still surrounding the Warren Commission findings. Veteran journalist Fred J. Cook, one of the first to attack the findings in print circa 1966, said he had never seen such universal acclaim in his career for an official report than the 1964 praise for the Commission's lone gunman theory. He recalled that even his wife told him -- for the first time in his long career -- to back down from a story: "Who are you to criticize the Warren Commission?!"
Showing further what Mary Meyer would have been up against, establishment journalists popularized the term "Conspiracy Theory" during that period to debunk critics of the commission by implying they were borderline crazy. This sneering term enables their news organizations to claim they covered all points of view, but also signals to VIP news sources that the reporters and authors are still trustworthy enough to deserve access to officials, which is the bread-and-butter of working journalists and even many biographers.
My view, which is shared by my thoughtful radio co-host, Scott Draugon, is to cut back on the self-censorship, name-calling, and let reasonably diligent authors have their say.
Calling something a conspiracy theory, for example, is a sign of weak research. Many conspiracies actually exist and succeed, as Republican Party pioneer Abraham Lincoln argued as a congressman in opposing what he regarded as President Polk's deceptive descriptions of military encounters against Mexico.
This week, we provided a forum for another independent voice, Peter Janney. Click here to listen to our interview, now available nationally by archive via the My Technology Lawyer (MTL) network. Better yet, sample his book at the link at the top of this column
Even those who might disagree with Janney's evidence or conclusions can admire his courage, passion, and craftsmanship in creating a remarkably well-done book of its genre.
This column is excerpted from a longer version with more background links at the author's Justice Integrity Project.