In the mid-sixties, there was a huge public outcry for information about the Kennedy assassination. Many millions of Americans were still feeling traumatized over the loss of their president, and though they may not have had any specific facts, were disgusted with the Warren Report pablum (read this as “snow-job” or “white-wash”). In television, the name of the game is “market share,” as high audience numbers translate directly into high profit-dollars.
acceded to this demand, but he was
never comfortable about it, and especially in light of the pressure placed upon
him by the Powers that Be. In effect, he was told that any hosting of JG would
have to include an effort to make him appear as irresponsible and a buffoon.
Before the two Garrison appearances—in 1967 and 1968—the star of the “The
Tonight Show” grilled the D.A. about what exactly he would discuss. As Garrison
quipped, “Why had I been debriefed in advance so that Carson could be apprised of my likely
As noted in an online article about the second Garrison appearance on “The Tonight Show” in 1968, by Larry Chin (1) :
Over the course of 90 minutes, the smiles and yucks went silent.
chuckling nighttime buddy, everybody’s friend, was the assassin. He badgered,
belittled, and mocked Garrison, repeatedly interrupting Garrison as he made an
impassioned plea to the American people to question the official story of the
JFK assassination. Carson,
When Garrison attempted to show the photograph of the infamous “Three Tramps” (still unidentified mystery men who were arrested behind the Grassy Knoll and marched through Dealey Plaza, likely members of the assassination team), Carson made sure America would not see it. He yanked Garrison’s arm aside, and cut the cameras.
Johnny Carson said, “...I think I would say [in reflecting his expectation of the thoughts of LBJ, and how he’d ordered considerable JFK assassin-ation materials sealed for seventy-five years] that, first of all, Mr. Garrison has come up with no credible evidence to support any of his theories.”Poignant and chilling words of Jim Garrison (2):
…but I am trying to tell you that there is no question, as a result of our investigation, that an element of the Central intelli-gence Agency, of our country, killed John Kennedy, and that the present administration is concealing the fact. There is no question about it, at all!!
[when asked if this was merely his opinion]…No, and I think that history will support this as fact.
The very last thing that Garrison said to Johnny during this appearance was:
Am I asking the people of
to believe this? I'm doing
more than that! I am trying to tell the people of America that the honor of this
country is at stake. And if we don't do something about this fraud, we will not
survive. And there is no way to survive if we don't bring out the truth about the
how our President was killed four years ago. And the investigation by the America Commission wasn't
even close. Warren
Now, how did the viewing public feel about Johnny Carson’s behavior during these programs?
On the next day, the New Orleans D.A. office reputedly received more than two thousand telegrams from various district attorneys across the nation. Viewers had wondered about
’s seeming anxious
antagonism and skepticism, and many concluded that Garrison must have “had
something,” considering that the host seemed bent on side-tracking and
sabotaging his message. There were so many complaints that NBC sent out
thousands of form letters saying that, “The Johnny seen on TV that night was not
the Johnny we all know and love. He had to play the devil’s advocate because
this makes for a better program.” In response to apologies for him, Carson was furious and
railed, “Garrison will never be on my show again!!” Carson
As a teenager in
sixties, I viewed these television appearances, but I may not have completely
grasped the full impact of Jim Garrison’s words. Today, on this subject (and in
the context of considerable twisting of
the facts and plenty of junk such as shots from the gun of a Secret Service
agent in the follow-up car, blood “back-spatter,” and naming the Mafia as the
guilty party), they’re like a “breath of fresh air,” and nothing less than
astounding. He was saying what very respectable researchers and public figures like
Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, Los Angeles Mark Lane,
Harold Weisberg, James Douglass, Douglas Horne and David Talbot, have been
saying through the years…that President Kennedy was removed by a coup d’etat,
and that there was a subsequent massive cover-up of this fact. And that, at the
center of all this, was “ .”
In my opinion, if a viewing of this does not “get you,” you’re lying down,
ready for the local coroner; part of the “Intelligence Community”; or a damned
Dr. Thomas C. Halle