Film uses N. Texas media coverage to tell story of Kennedy assassination

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by BRAD WATSON / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on November 19, 2009 at 3:29 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 19 at 4:09 AM

DALLAS - News coverage from Dallas-Fort Worth media of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 46 years ago is the star of a new documentary.

Nearly all of the material came from the archives of the Sixth Floor Museum. The documentary allows viewers to watch and hear history unfold as it happened.

The Lost JFK Tapes chronicle almost moment by moment what happened in Dallas during those the last few hours before the shooting.

There is no scripted narration, just the rough draft of history as told by radio and television reporters.

The National Geographic Channel film pulled footage from hundreds of hours of material from the archives of the Sixth Floor Museum.

"And a lot of that material really has not been seen," said Gary Mack, the Sixth Floor Museum's curator. "Some of it hasn't been seen since it actually happened."

Reports tell the story from the confusion and shock at Parkland Hospital to the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit and the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

The Lost JFK Tapes highlights the media coverage police allowed that would be unheard of today, especially at the Oswald news conference.

"The city was dealing with the fact that people were thinking that police were beating Oswald, so they wanted to make him visible," Mack said.

As it turned out, it was too visible as rolling cameras captured the shooting of Oswald.

It reveals a nation's dark turn, and when the medium of television was coming of age.

The Lost JFK Tapes airs at 8 p.m. next Monday on The National Geographic Channel.  

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com    

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