Friday, October 19, 2007

`New York Times' Coverage of MLK Assassination Case

In an essay entitled “The Second Dallas Casualty: The Media And The Assassination Of Truth,” which appeared in the 1976 book Government By Gunplay, Jerry Policoff made this reference to Times coverage of the Martin Luther King assassination case:

“The Times record on the King case, once the `official’ verdict was in, was no better than it had been in the John F. Kennedy case…March, 1971 brought a challenge to the `official’ contention that Ray had killed Dr. King and that there had been no conspiracy. The challenge was a new book by Harold Weisberg, Frame-Up: The Martin Luther King/James Earl Ray Case…Persuasive evidence suggested that a bundle conveniently left behind in a doorway near the rooming house and which contained the alleged assassination rifle and several of Ray’s personal effects, had actually been planted on the scene by someone other than Ray. Much more in Frame-Up pointed toward a conspiracy in which Ray had served the role of `patsy.’

Frame-Up was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review on May 2, 1971, by John Kaplan…Kaplan’s review was…a personal attack upon Harold Weisberg which totally ignored the contents of Frame-Up…Published the same week as his review of Frame-Up was [his] article written for the U.S. Information Agency (the…propaganda arm of the government) entitled `The Case of Angela Davis…’”

In the preface to James Earl Ray’s 1992 book, Who Killed Martin Luther King? , Mark Lane wrote the following:

“I join in [the now-deceased] James Earl Ray’s call for the appointment of an independent federal special prosecutor to investigate the FBI’s involvement in the plot to kill Martin Luther King. The facts are clear that former FBI officials removed King’s defenses just before he was killed, transferred potential witnesses the day before the murder and tampered, `lost’ and destroyed key evidence. FBI written memos provide undisputed evidence that the bureau targeted King for harassment and `removal’ from the scene. This documentary evidence alone is enough to establish probable cause that the bureau, Director J. Edgar Hoover and his underlings conspired to assassinate the civil rights leader. Together with the testimony of former agents and Memphis police officers I am convinced that a federal grand jury presented with relevant evidence by an honest special prosecutor would conclude that Hoover and other FBI officials were responsible for the assassination of Dr. King.”

Next: Living On Stolen Goods protest folk song lyrics