ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
84°
Partly Cloudy
H 88° L 64°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    84°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 64°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    83°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 64°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    66°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 85° L 61°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Why JFK conspiracy theories live on 50 years later

Nov. 22 marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death — but it certainly doesn't mark the end to the speculation on how he died. (Via Dallas Morning News / Walt Cisco)

"Who actually fired the shots that killed Kennedy? Why did Ruby shoot Oswald? Was there a conspiracy?" (Via U.S. National Archives)

The official story, of course, is Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot at the president's motorcade from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

But whether it's the CIA, the Mafia, the Soviets, the Cubans or even UFOs, conspiracy theories surrounding JFK's death live on in books and film. (Via Discovery)

"We've come to know it as the magic bullet theory." 

But the conspiracy holders aren't alone . ​(Via Warner Bros. / "JFK")

But the conspiracy holders aren't alone.

The birthers will tell you President Obama isn't really a U.S. citizen. (Via ABC)

And the 9/11 truthers say George W. Bush was really behind 9/11. (Via CBS)

Absurd as these ideas might seem, they're quite common. Polls show at least half of all Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory, even when there's no credible or convincing evidence.

Why? The Christian Science Monitor's Patrik Jonsson suggests it's in our very nature as Americans, writing: "In a country where the Founding Fathers' distrust of government is enshrined in the Constitution, conspiracy theories often give wider scope to that worldview."

Still, you'd think in the age of the Internet, some of the more out-there theories would be laid to rest.

But confirmation bias — the idea that we seek out confirmation, not information — is a very real thing. And Google hasn't helped.

As The New York Times' Maggie Koerth-Baker puts it: "It can be comforting to do your own research even if that research is flawed. It feels good to be the wise old goat in a flock of sheep."

But of all the conspiracy theories, doubts surrounding Kennedy's death resonate the most. A recent poll found 59 percent of Americans believe there's more to the story — the U.S. secretary of state included.

JOHN KERRY: "I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone." (Via NBC)

So what makes JFK so different? Writing in The Washington Post, two University of Miami political scientists theorize: "The victim was an American president and the potential villains include actors of immense reach and influence. … Anyone, regardless of political affiliation, can find a detested powerful actor to blame."

In other words, the idea that the American president could be taken down by a lone shooter may be too hard to swallow. The conspiracy theories, however crazy they may be, in a way give us comfort. (Via John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)

But perhaps it was Kennedy himself who said it best: "For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic." (Via John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

- See more at Newsy

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • Many experts say head lice infestations are at their peak during this time of the year as kids head off to summer camp. A Jacksonville, Florida, woman who owns a lice treatment center said it's most common with young children, but she's also seen an increase in cases of head lice in teens. Mandy Ottesen owns Fresh Heads. She said it’s very important that parents use a high-quality comb and check their children’s scalps often. “It’s our busiest time of the year,” Ottesen said. “Most people think we would be more busy when school is in session, but that’s not true.” With a lot of kids heading to camp during the summer, one concern that some parents overlook is head lice. Ottesen said lice is almost always transferred between direct head-to-head contact so infestations increase when children are in close proximity to each other. “With young kids, they have no personal-space preferences. They tend to be closer together than adults are,” she said. But Ottesen said she’s also seeing an increase in the number of high school students getting head lice. She said selfies could be to blame. Lice may jump from head to head as teens lean against each other to take photos. Ottesen said using a preventative head lice repellent can help ensure bugs don’t crawl into hair. To learn more about preventive products and treatment options for head lice, visit freshheadsliceremoval.com.
  • A driver is in serious condition following a rollover crash.   The driver apparently was driving too fast to negotiate the curve near 9200 East 46 Street near the U.S. post office around 2:22 a.m. Friday. He lost control of his pickup truck, causing it to overturn several times and throwing him out of the vehicle. Tulsa Police Corporal Jeremy Lawson said the driver “actually vaulted over a creek that runs underneath the road (and) rolled several times before coming to rest in a parking lot.”  The driver was not wearing a seat belt. The crash caused numerous injuries to the driver’s face. He was taken to a Tulsa hospital. Cpl. Lawson said both speed and alcohol are going to be factors in the accident. There were no passengers in the vehicle.
  • A mall store employee in Arkansas is recovering after a customer bit her while attempting to steal a stripper pole, police said. The employee, who was working at the Spencer’s retail store in Little Rock’s Park Plaza Mall, said a customer entered the store and tried to return an item, KATV reported.  The employee told police she recognized the woman because she had suspected the customer of stealing from the store on another occasion, the television station reported. According to the store’s manager, the customer decided she would rather take a stripper pole in place of store credit, but did not have enough money. The woman then attempted to leave the store with the pole, KATV reported. The employee followed the employee into the common area of the mall, wrestling the pole away. At that point, KATV reported, the customer bit her on the upper right arm before fleeing the mall. Mall security was contacted, but the woman could not be located, KATV reported.
  • Oklahoma Democrats are pinning their hopes for the future on a woman who admittedly hasn’t much of a past, since she’s 24 years old. But Anna Langthorn, the new Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair, has very definite goals, and a vision for the future of her party. And she’s not shy about saying it’s going to be a long, hard road to return the ODP to a state of parity in what is known as the reddest of red states. We’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to get back to any kind of balance, and it’s gonna happen over the course of the next ten years, not overnight -- Anna Langthorn, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Her election at the state convention in May made her the youngest ODP chair in history. She says it’s also a sign that Oklahoma’s Democrats want change, and she’s encouraged by what she sees as a resurgence in activity in a party that only fielded a handful of candidates in the last election cycle. “We’ve seen in the party, this year, a huge revitalization,” she said. “We have organizational meetings in the spring, precinct meetings and county meetings and congressional district meetings and our convention, and the turnout for all of those meetings was triple in most cases what it normally is.” County organizations in the western part of the state that have been dormant, in some cases, for 20 years have restarted, she said. The GOP has opened the door, to some extent, with a series of resignations that will require six special elections to fill open seats before the end of 2017. “Those special elections, with the exception of one, are all the result of Republican leaders either abdicating their duties because they got a better job offer, or Republicans having scandals, right? Either ethics or sex scandals,” Langthorn pointed out. So job one for Democrats is to try to pick up some of those seats in the state legislature. But 2018 is right around the corner, and from the governor’s office on down there are a number of key offices on the line. “In 2018, we have a lot of opportunity to hold Republicans accountable,” Langthorn said. “But we have to do the work.”
  • A pit bull dog will be euthanized next week for attacking two young children as they sat in their car seats.  Police say a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl suffered puncture wounds to their faces after the dog broke through a fence in Lancaster and attacked them Monday.   The children's mother was able to pull the dog away from the van with the help of several other people.   Lancaster Police Lt. Bill Hickey says the girl was released from the hospital Thursday. The boy is still hospitalized in serious but stable condition.   Hickey says the dog's owner is voluntarily euthanizing the animal June 30. The dog is currently under quarantine.