COMMENTS: What the Hell?

Both CBS and NBC ended with Presidential history. NBC's Pete Williams told us that new forensics have discredited the 30-year-old conclusions of ballistics tests on the four bullet fragments found in Dallas from the assassination of John Kennedy. Those tests were the supposed proof of the single gunman theory, since they asserted that all four fragments were shards of a single bullet. Apparently they could have come from several bullets, which would have required multiple gunmen. This study, shrugged Williams, "provides more proof on one thing--the books on the Kennedy assassination may never be closed."

CBS gave plenty of free publicity to its in-house historian Douglas Brinkley, who is the editor of The Reagan Diaries, a newly-published collection of excerpts from the Gipper's hand-written daily thoughts during the White House years. ABC's Terry Moran (subscription required) filed the same story two weeks ago. CBS had Bill Plante, who covered Reagan at the time, wait for closer to the publication date to cover the highlights of his colleague Brinkley's work. A tiny point from Plante's piece sticks in the mind--about the odd way Reagan transcribed his internal thoughts. Musing about the implausibility of going to war with the Soviet Union he wrote: "What the h--l have they got that anyone would want?" To which, we would ask: who the hell censors his own cusswords when writing for his eyes only?


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