Sabato's Crystal Ball

The Kennedy Assassination Document Dump Could Be a Fiasco

UVA Center for Politics October 19th, 2017

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“The federal government’s long campaign to try to choke off rampant conspiracy theories about the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy is threatening to end this month in massive confusion, if not chaos,” write Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and historian and journalist Philip Shenon in a column for Politico Magazine that appeared earlier this week. Sabato, the author of The Kennedy Half Century, and Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act, argue that the upcoming release of government documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy may “simply help fuel a new generation of conspiracy theories,” particularly if President Trump exercises his option to block any of the files from release.

To read their column about the pending release of the documents, click here.

The document release, whenever it happens, will bring the Kennedy assassination back to the forefront as the nation recognizes the centennial of Kennedy’s birth this year. JFK’s life and legacy, along with new and little-known stories, is the subject of a new documentary from the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts and hosted by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, This is the House that Jack Built is beginning to air nationally on public television — click the link below to see a trailer and check your local listings to see where it is showing in your area.

This is the House that Jack Built is the latest collaboration between the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. Three of their recent documentaries won Emmy Awards in the categories of Best Historical Documentary and Best Topical Documentary: 2016’s Feeling Good About America, which chronicled the 1976 presidential election; 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy; and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington, DC.