The activity and assignment of a noted White House reporter.
A anniversary afterwards John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy fabricated bright that she capital to keep certain reporters from autograph about her husband’s presidency. Foremost among them was Merriman Smith (1913-1970), whom she derided as a absinthian old man. Since 1941, Smith had been the White House anchorman for United Press International, and he had become a celebrity in his own right, the columnist of several books, and a bedfellow of Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, and Merv Griffin on late-night TV. But as anchorman and above New York Post editor Sanderson portrays Smith in his admission book, Jacqueline Kennedy had every reason to animosity him: an alcoholic, Smith was a beggarly drunk; he lashed out in anger and annoyance at his aboriginal wife and generally at his administration at UPI; he was ruthlessly competitive, consistently “poised to action his colleagues to get the story aboriginal and right.” Sanderson cites one argument with a adolescent reporter who dared to belie Smith about the exact moment back Lyndon Johnson took the adjuration of appointment afterwards the assassination. “He about put a bang lock on me,” the anchorman claimed, due to the one-second aberration in time. Sanderson implies that Smith’s affair over capacity fabricated him a abundant reporter, but still, he emerges as a difficult, self-important, antagonistic man. Focusing on Smith’s advertisement of the Kennedy assassination, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, Sanderson conveys the astriction and abashing afterwards the event, as Smith and added newsmen accolade to ascertain facts. Smith anon became a admired of LBJ, who gave him appropriate admission and acclimated him “as a aqueduct for routine information meant to enhance his image.” Drawing on interviews and abounding oral histories, Sanderson recounts Smith’s addled life, but he strains to justify why he claim this biography.
More absorbing than Smith himself is the author’s assuming of the account business in the 1950s and ’60s.
Thanks to one reporter’s skill, we can fix the exact moment on November 22, 1963 when the world stopped and held its breath: At 12:34 p.m. Central Time, UPI White House reporter Merriman Smith broke the news that shots had been fired at President Kennedy's motorcade. Most people think Walter Cronkite was the first to tell America about the assassination. But when Cronkite broke the news on TV, he read from one of Smith’s dispatches. At Parkland Hospital, Smith saw President Kennedy’s blood-soaked body in the back of his limousine before the emergency room attendants arrived. Two hours later, he was one of three journalists to witness President Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One. Smith rightly won a Pulitzer Prize for the vivid story he wrote for the next day’s morning newspapers.
Smith’s scoop is journalism legend. But the full story of how he pulled off the most amazing reportorial coup has never been told. As the top White House reporter of his time, Smith was a bona fide celebrity and even a regular on late-night TV. But he has never been the subject of a biography.
With access to a trove of Smith’s personal letters and papers and through interviews with Smith’s family and colleagues, veteran news reporter Bill Sanderson will crack open the legend. Bulletins from Dallas tells for the first time how Smith beat his competition on the story, and shows how the biggest scoop of his career foreshadowed his personal downfall.
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Bulletins from Dallas: Reporting the JFK Assassination
- BookBulletins from Dallas: Reporting the JFK Assassination
- Author:Bill Sanderson
- Publishing Date:2016-11-01
- Publisher:Skyhorse Publishing
- Number Of pages:280