Bill Sanderson Will Recount How Smitty Got His Story and Other Tales of Reporting the Kennedy Assassination at Our October 20 Zoom Meeting
In 2016, 53 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Bill Sanderson, a long-time reporter for the New York Post who is now a writer and editor at the Daily News, told the dramatic tale of a coup by reporter Merriman “Smitty” Smith in his book, “Bulletins from Dallas.” Smith, a White House reporter for UPI, succeeded in getting his story on the wire four minutes after Lee Harvey Oswald fired his rifle into the limousine carrying the young President. This was, of course, decades before the advent of the Internet. Smith won a Pulitzer for his work.
Sanderson’s book reveals how Smith did it and how every media outlet joined in the frenetic reporting on that day. Two tidbits: Smith and an AP reporter, who were both in the “pool car” following Kennedy’s limo, got into a physical fight over the phone in the car Smith used to call in the story; Walter Cronkite had to wait 20 minutes to get the story on television because it took that long for a studio camera to warm up.
Sanderson has kept up with the story and will be able to fill us in on the latest assassination conspiracy theories. He will also give his views of the state of today’s print journalism, and what it will look like in the future. Our October 20 noon program meeting promises to be fascinating.