Guthrie traveled with Hill back to Dallas, starting at Love Field where President and Mrs. Kennedy landed, then traveling seven miles to downtown Dallas, and ending in Dealey Plaza. Hill was the man seen jumping onto the back of Kennedy’s limousine after he was shot. He tells Guthrie about the deep depression he fell into after the events in Dallas.
As the New York Times Alessandra Stanleywrites in a column on the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK, “Modern television was born on the day John F. Kennedy died.” As we’ve been sharing the past couple of weeks, the networks have special plans for coverage of the anniversary. We’ve rounded them up for you:
The Daily Beast talks to a handful of reporters, including Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer, about their memories from the day JFK was assassinated. Lehrer, a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald at the time, recalls interacting with the President’s assassin at the police station — and the mistake he almost made covering the story:
Jim Lehrer’s story on the security surrounding the president’s visit had featured a map of the motorcade route and had run on the first page of the Dallas Times-Herald that morning. A copy was later found among Oswald’s effects. Lehrer, then a young reporter, recalled now the informality in the police station, where they were moving Oswald from one office to another, “and I went right to Oswald. ‘Did you kill the president?’ ‘I didn’t kill anybody,’” he replied. “I wrote that down,” Lehrer said. Asked if he believed him, Lehrer said, “Not my job to be judge and jury.”
The police brought Oswald out “so people could see they weren’t beating him up. He had some scars from when they arrested him. They wanted to show there were no new scars,” Lehrer recounted. “I stood next to Jack Ruby. I didn’t even know who he was.” The Dallas Times-Herald was putting out new editions every 60 or 70 minutes, and Lehrer got a tip from an FBI agent that a Secret Service agent had been killed along with Kennedy. He called it in, but the tip turned out to be wrong, a mistake that bothers Lehrer to this day. “In today’s world, that would have gone out like that,” he says. A Rewrite man on his own spiked the story after talking to Parkland. “I saved your ass and your job,” he told Lehrer.
Texas Christian University’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to name the University’s College of Communication the Schieffer College of Communication in honor of legendary newsman and 1959 graduate Bob Schieffer.
“I am deeply honored,” says Schieffer. “This is a terrific vote of confidence and recognition from the Board and the TCU leadership of the great things that have been happening in the college.”
Schieffer’s name had already been affiliated with the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication, which is located within the College of Communication. The Schieffer College of Communication naming will take effect immediately.
Networks are planning special reports and broadcasts for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy.
CBS News will include reporting from the only current network news anchor who was in Dallas on the day of the shooting. Bob Schieffer, who was a reporter with theFt. Worth Star Telegram, will anchor his “Face the Nation” from Dallas on Sunday, Nov. 17. The night before, Saturday, Nov. 16 at 9pmET/PT, Schieffer will host “As it Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years” produced by the “48 HOURS” team. Schieffer will give viewers a look at four days that changed America and American television history.
On Friday, Nov. 22, the actual anniversary, Scott Pelley will anchor the “CBS Evening News” from Dallas. Pelley will interview with Clint Hill, a former U.S. Secret Service agent who was in the presidential motorcade when President Kennedy was assassinated.
CBS News’ Bob Schieffer was working an overnight shift at the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and was asleep when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, 50 years ago next month. But, once he heard the news, he rushed into the newsroom to help out.
“Every phone was ringing and I picked up the phone and a woman said, ‘Is there anybody there who can give me a ride to Dallas?,’” Schieffer recalled on “CBS This Morning.”
“I said, ‘lady, we don’t run a taxi here, and besides the president’s been shot.’ And she said, ‘Yes, I think he’s my son, the one that was arrested.’” Shieffer almost hung up on her, but then turned it over to the city editor. The two of them went and picked her up and brought her to Dallas. It was Schieffer’s first big national story which led to coverage, and payment, from the two big newsmagazines at the time: “Newsweek paid me, I think, $60 and TIME paid me $50,” Schieffer says.
Schieffer was on to promote a CBS Sunday Morning piece on Abraham Zapruder, the man who shot the famous home movie of the JFK assassination.
“If we wanted a more stark demonstration of the differences in these shows, I think this morning is a perfect example,” Rhodes tells TVNewser. “We have done more Syria on this morning show than anyone,” says Rhodes. “And we’ve been rewarded for it by viewers.”
That “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose got the interview should not come as a surprise. He’d interviewed Assad before, and has been working for months to secure this interview as the Syrian civil war intensified. “He’s had a track record on this story for a long time,” says Rhodes. The entirety of the interview will air tonight on Rose’s PBS program.
Rhodes’ boss, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager put on another hat this weekend: as Rose’s producer. “When you have a situation like this, you don’t know what you’re going to find when you get there,” says Rhodes. “There’s no substitute to having people there with the experience and confidence to confront that. That Jeff was able to go, is great”
Rose and Fager spent Saturday night in Damascus, before heading to the presidential palace Sunday morning. Hours later Rose was in Lebanon phoning into CBS’s Bob Schieffer breaking the news of his interview. That’s also around the time the White House first learned about it.
Which means it came as news to Rhodes’ younger brother, Ben Rhodes, who is the White House Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication.
“CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose got an interview today with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This is Assad’s first TV interview since President Obama asked Congress to approve the use of force against the Syrian regime for use of chemical weapons. Rose, now in Beirut, called in to “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
“He denied that he had anything to do with the attack. He denied thad he knew, in fact, that there was a chemical attack, notwithstanding what has been said, and notwithstanding the videotape. He said there’s not evidence to make a conclusive judgment. He would not say, even though I read him the lead paragraph of the New York Times today, in a story about their chemical weapons supply. He said ‘I can’t confirm or deny we have chemical weapons.’ He did say, if we do in fact have them, and ‘I’m not saying yes or no.’ they’re in centralized control, so no one else has access to them.”
When Rose asked him if he expected an attack, he responded, “I don’t know.”
The interview will air tomorrow on “CBS This Morning” and on Rose’s PBS show tomorrow night.
This afternoon at 3 PM, President Obama is scheduled to have a press conference to answer questions from the White House press corps.
While he has answered a few questions at press events over the last few months, his last real press conference was in April. He is scheduled to leave on a family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard Saturday.
The broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC all say they will be carrying the press conference live. As usual, expect the cable news channels to cover it in full as well. Bob Schieffer will anchor for CBS. Lester Holt will anchor for NBC, with Chuck Todd at the White House. David Muir anchors for ABC with Jon Karl and Martha Raddatz in DC.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” was the most-watched Sunday public affairs show June 2, topping NBC’s “Meet the Press” by +470,000 Total Viewers and +70,000 A25-54 viewers.
Compared to the same week last year, only “Face the Nation” (+19% in Total Viewers / +13% in A24-54) and Univision’s “Al Punto” (+14% / +13%) are up in both ratings measurements. “Fox News Sunday” is up +5% in Total Viewers and down -20% in the A25-54 demographic, and “Meet the Press” (-5% / -1%) and ABC’s “This Week” (-11% / -24%) were down across the board.
Cable replays of “Fox News Sunday” averaged a combined 2,389,000 Total Viewers and 482,000 viewers in the demo. “Meet the Press” delivered an additional 939,000 Total Viewers and 506,000 A25-54 viewers with rebroadcasts.
“Face the Nation” is based on the first half-hour only, as the full contiguous hour aired in just 63% of the country.