DATELINE: History Channel’s Latest Fake News
Bob Baer, the purported former CIA agent who led Hunting Hitler for two seasons, has seemingly moved on to another project: finding out just how much culpability to give Lee Harvey Oswald for murdering President John Kennedy in the new History Channel miniseries call JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald.
Are we to presume then that the hunt for the Hitler story is over? If so, we were left hanging by Baer and History Channel.
Now it appears we are being handed an extremely limited search for the truth about Oswald. In the first two episodes we learn he was unstable and untrustworthy: now there’s a revelation.
In the meantime, Baer has dumped his eclectic and interesting team in the original series, including Tim Kennedy, to surround himself with a couple of ‘yes’ men. What this really means is that you are now deeply involved in the Bob Baer is everything show.
His stooges now merely seem there to be sounding boards with no reactions to what Baer contends. He is fond of claiming he is objective and a former CIA agent—and from the onset he wants you to know that Oswald acted alone, sort of.
Claims of newly released information really don’t pan out because most of what Baer reveals in the first two episodes was already known, except to “most people.”
The one-man band is now a traveling circus performer, going to Mexico City and Moscow in each episode to uncover people still alive, 55 years later, who met Oswald once or twice.
Whether this pans out into something earth shattering only future episodes will reveal, though Baer insists he will provide Oswald’s motive for his assassination of Kennedy.
We planned to check our skepticism at the door, but former Agent Baer keeps pushing it back in our faces. We will re-visit this series at the end of its run in a few weeks to see whether it passes the fake news test.
(For those interested, William Russo wrote a book in 2003 entitled Booth & Oswald that examined the formative education of each assassin. Available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.)