An Interview with Joseph McBride, by Chris Gallop

JFK-The Continuing Inquiry, May 20, 2014


1. If you were alive, where were you when you heard JFK had been shot?

On November 22, 1963, I was in the cafeteria line for lunch at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, where I was a junior. I heard the news from a boy serving food and immediately spun around and ran out the door to a drugstore two blocks away where there was a radio. It was about 12:40 p.m. when I started listening, about ten minutes after the shots were fired. For the first twenty minutes I was listening, the network radio reports were saying that shots came from the front, from the railroad overpass or the hill overlooking the street. Then, around 1 p.m., the radio started reporting that all the shots came from behind, from a building called the Texas School Book Depository. I was struck by the strangeness of how the direction of the shots changed and by the lack of explanation for that drastic shift, although at first I didn’t fully understand what was being done to our consciousness of the event by the news media. Soon there were no more reports of shots from the front. That night, I watched on television as Lee Harvey Oswald, the man falsely accused of killing both President Kennedy and Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit, said, “I haven’t killed anybody!” and “I’m just a patsy!” I believed his repeated denials. And so by the early evening of November 22, I was not buying the official story that had begun to emerge so rapidly. . . .

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Interview of Joseph McBride by Robert Wilson, May 14, 2014


#1. In your book Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit (2013), you discuss how Lee Harvey Oswald was tried in the media by officials led by Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade who spoke of his guilt in definite terms.  Can you expound a bit on the coverage that Oswald received after his arrest?

McBRIDE: Trial-by-television unfortunately is now the norm in our society. Suspects spotlighted by the media are assumed to be guilty before proven innocent. The Constitution is regarded as “quaint,” to borrow the infamous word of George W. Bush’s stoogeish Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. I first saw this phenomenon in operation with the high-tech lynching of Lee Harvey Oswald (I was sixteen at the time; it had been going on well before that in the media-manipulating hands of Joe McCarthy and others). From day one of the assassination weekend in November 1963, the TV networks and most of the print media assured us that Oswald was the lone killer of President Kennedy. On the other hand, I was a skeptic from day one, because (1) I had heard the early radio reports of shots from the front and listened as they were magically transformed into shots only from behind, between 12:40 and 1 p.m.; and (2) I believed Oswald’s protestations of innocence on live television that night. The notion promoted by government officials and the media that he shot the President to gain notoriety is hard to reconcile with his repeated statements that he didn’t do it.

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The JFK Assassination: The Bob Wilson Book Review of ‘INTO THE NIGHTMARE’ and Interview with Author Joseph McBride, February 6, 2014


Joseph McBride’s new book, ‘Into The Nightmare’ (Hightower Press, 2013) is a fine read for the seasoned researcher, or the interested newcomer. McBride had been a campaign worker for President John F. Kennedy and investigated the assassination that broke the hearts and killed the dreams of millions. With Prof. McBride’s keen mind and extensive knowledge, his pen can record these events in a way the reader can easily grasp. The murder of Officer J.D. Tippit in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963, the day Pres. Kennedy was shot, helped to assure that Lee Harvey Oswald would be held in a climate of extreme bias, profiled as a cop killer. McBride clearly shows the evidence proves Oswald did not shoot Kennedy, or Officer Tippit on that day which altered the course of our history for the worse. . . .

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An Interview with Joseph McBride, by Dan Akira Nishimura

Noir City, Fall 2014


San Francisco State University professor Joseph McBride has published seventeen books, mostly about film. Growing up an Irish Catholic, young Joe aspired to be a priest or (after discovering girls) a lawyer/politician. Those plans ended abruptly when President Kennedy, the man he and his family had campaigned for, was shot and killed. With everything he believed in turned upside down, McBride began a lifelong quest to discover the truth of what happened that afternoon in Dallas.

His arduous research has culminated in the publication of Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit. President Kennedy’s death “set me firmly on my course to be a professional writer rather than a politician.” True to his Irish roots, McBride shows innate storytelling abilities as he describes his grief, anger and eventual resolve to set the record straight about that terrifying weekend in November 1963. Like a bespectacled Philip Marlowe, McBride follows the trails of clues wherever they lead, poring through documents, interviewing relatives, law enforcement officials, and eyewitnesses — and ultimately butting up against Washington insiders like Donald Rumsfeld, the Bush family juggernaut, and the editors of the supposedly “liberal” publications, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

While maintaining the principles he was raised with, he’s become a political gadfly, willing to take on all sides. Our interview took place as Tea Party Republicans had managed to do something even the murder of a President couldn’t accomplish — a partial shutdown of the government.

Noir City: Joe, we greatly appreciate your taking the time to discuss your new book. First question: Are the premiums on your life insurance paid up? 

. . . 

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JFK assassination revisited, Part 2: Joseph McBride on “Into the Nightmare,” by John Valeri

Hartford Books Examiner, November 20, 2013


The author of Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit (Hightower Press; 2013), McBride is an American film historian, biographer, screenwriter, and professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University. He has published seventeen books since 1968, including acclaimed biographies of Steven Spielberg, Frank Capra, and John Ford; further, he has written for publications including Life, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The Nation. Into the Nightmare is the result of a thirty-one year investigation into the Kennedy and Tippit murders and draws upon the author’s rare interviews with people in Dallas, archival discoveries, and his expansive knowledge of the country’s social history.

Into the Nightmare was published last June and has been met warmly by members of the research community. Vincent Palamara, civilian expert on the Secret Service and author of Survivor’s Guilt, praised, “Every once in a while, a book comes along that is not merely a book, a good book, or even, for that matter, a great book, but what I am fond of calling a master work. ‘Into the Nightmare’ by Joseph McBride is just such a rare commodity: a master work on the assassination that is very well written (even poetic at times), thought provoking, and well researched.” Further, Joseph Green of called the book “a jagged reminder of old school reportage” and noted, “Going against the grain, he [McBride] he asks difficult questions and tries hard to answer them. And even if every question cannot be answered satisfactorily, much compelling information surfaces throughout.” . . .

Now, Joseph McBride takes readers Into the Nightmare

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An Interview with Brian Wilson

Carbondale Nightlife, Carbondale, Illinois,, October 2013


1) You began writing on film in 1967, and were one of the young scholars championing and legitimizing the work of classical Hollywood directors like Welles, Hawks, and Ford during a pivotal time in the history of American film criticism.  What advice do you have for young writers who may be interested in starting down a similar path today?

A: It was easier to get started then, because the field was relatively new. A young writer such as me could get published widely and quickly. Film books were urgently needed. Today, the Internet is the focus of most reviewing and other writing on film, though there still are print magazines, and scholars can publish books, even if the demand for them unfortunately has lessened. We used to say that “Film is the art form of the twentieth century,” and this is the twenty-first. The problem every writer on film is facing now is how to make money from the Internet. New young writers have to write for nothing for a while (as I did) to get started, but soon enough you need to make a living, somehow. It’s hard today, but we’re in uncharted waters. Combining writing with teaching, as I do, is a good idea for many reasons. 

2) Given your lifelong preoccupation with the cinema, what was it that inspired you to movie in such a different direction for Into the Nightmare?  What connection, if any, do you see it having with your film scholarship?

A: I worked as a volunteer in John F. Kennedy’s campaign in the 1960 Wisconsin presidential primary and began following the news of his assassination minutes after it happened. I had even written a short story about his assassination in October 1961 because of my fear that such an event might occur. This profound rupture in our national fabric became a lifelong preoccupation. . .

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Whodunit: SFSU Professor Joseph McBride Finds New Angle on the JFK Assassination, by Casey Burchby

SF Weekly, August 28, 2013


Noted film historian, critic, and journalist Joseph McBride has quietly
maintained a parallel career for decades. While he was writing acclaimed
biographies of Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, John Ford, and Frank Capra, while he worked as a columnist and critic for Daily Variety, and while he taught in the Department of Cinema at San Francisco State University, McBride dedicated a separate track of his life to researching the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Last month, McBride released the product of his decades-long effort, Into the Nightmare. The book documents his investigation and focuses on a little-understood piece of the assassination’s puzzle: the murder of Dallas police Officer J. D. Tippit, who was purportedly (according to the Warren Commission) killed by Lee Harvey Oswald 46 minutes after Oswald shot the president. McBride’s research has led him to believe that Oswald could not have shot Tippit, which by extension would tend to cast doubt upon the validity of the Warren Report’s other conclusions.

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2013 JFK Conspiracy Rewind, by Jeffrey Wells

Hollywood Elsewhere, August 4, 2013


JFK assassination conspiracy mania peaked with the 1979 conclusion by the House Select Committee that President Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” But the tide began to turn in the wake of Oliver Stone‘s fascinating but much-assailed JFK (’91) and the subsequent publishing of Gerald Posner‘s “Case Closed” (’93), which argued that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I not only feel that JFK is one of Stone’s finest films, but that it’s close to absurd to completely dismiss the scores of hints and indications that Oswald wasn’t the only shooter that day in Dealey Plaza. I’ll admit that it’s theoretically possible that Oswald acted alone, but this has always seemed highly unlikely to me. There is simply too much smoke. Nonetheless Posner’s and Vincent Bugliosi‘s book “Reclaiming History” (’07) have made viewpoints like mine seem a bit dated and outre.

This background makes the recent publishing of Joseph McBride‘s “Into The Nightmare: My Search For The Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit” — an unregenerate, balls-against-the- wall JFK conspiracy book that thoroughly and painstakingly dismisses the lone-gunman theory — seem extra-nervy. Especially considering that the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder on 11.22.63 is less than four months off, and the fact that two films that embrace the Posner-Bugliosi scenario are opening this fall — Peter Landesman‘s Parkland (Open Road, 9.20) and the National Geographic Channel’s Killing Kennedy, which will air sometime in November.

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An Interview with Joseph McBride on his new JFK book Into The Nightmare, Part 2 by Joseph Green (San Antonio, Texas), July 30, 2013


This is a continuation of my interview with Joseph McBride regarding Into The Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and J. D. Tippit, so it is best to begin there first. As you will see shortly, there were so many fascinating twists and turns that it proved impossible to get to them all, and unfortunately the talk had to come to an end. For more details, please see McBride’s superb book.

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Joe McBride Goes Public with Private Obsession about Kennedy Assassination by Doug Moe

The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin), July 22, 2013


I have spoken to McBride several times, mostly about film, and occasionally about newspapers and Madison lore. It was always enjoyable. Not once did he mention John F. Kennedy, the president assassinated in Dallas 50 years ago this November. That seems worth noting since it turns out that while film may be McBride’s passion, the Kennedy assassination is his obsession. He was quiet about it for a long time.

“You risk a certain amount of ridicule and abuse,” McBride said last week by phone from California. Some people are always going to roll their eyes at the suggestion anyone besides Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed Kennedy, and McBride most certainly believes it wasn’t Oswald.

Doug Moe Article

An interview with Joseph McBride on his new JFK book Into The Nightmare, Part 1 by Joseph E. Green (San Antonio, Texas), July 21, 2013


Joseph McBride has been researching the Kennedy assassination for most of his life. As a twelve-year-old in 1960, he handed out flyers for John F. Kennedy’s presidential run and was only sixteen when Kennedy was murdered in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. He grew up to be a journalist, having published in well-known entities such as The Nation and The New York Review of Books, but also producing many books – including biographies of Hollywood greats like Orson Welles, Frank Capra, John Ford, and Steven Spielberg. His newest work is entitled Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit.

For the uninitiated, that subtitle might be surprising. Who is Officer J. D. Tippit? That has been one of the enduring mysteries in the JFK assassination, and McBride breaks much new ground in piecing the story together. Tippit was allegedly murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald later in the afternoon after Oswald had already allegedly killed the President. In fact, Oswald was never arraigned for killing the President, only Tippit. However, the idea that he shot either man is extremely dubious and fifty years of controversy have resulted. McBride enters this fray with a remarkable new work that is part memoir, part critical analysis, and part investigative journalism. He kindly agreed to participate in an interview.

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“Into the Nightmare” probes John F. Kennedy assassination by Ray Kelly

The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts), July 18, 2013


A myriad of books examining President John F. Kennedy’s life, death and legacy are due as the 50th anniversary of his assassination nears on Nov. 22.

Since that fateful day in Dallas, there have been those who believe JFK was the victim of a government conspiracy. They reject the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman.

One of most exhaustive looks at an assassination conspiracy is now out – “Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit” by Joseph McBride. (Hightower Press, 675 pages).

McBride, a professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, is a renowned film historian and biographer. A former newspaper reporter, he also wrote about George H. W. Bush’s early CIA connections for The Nation in 1988. “Into the Nightmare” is the product of McBride’s lifelong interest in JFK and 30 years of investigation into the president’s murder.

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Joseph McBride discusses The Murder of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit

COPA (The Coalition on Political Assassinations) 20th annual conference, Dallas, Texas, November 23, 2013

On YouTube

Joseph McBride discusses “Political Truth: The Media and the Assassination”

On Len Osanic’s YouTube series 50 Reasons for 50 Years — Episode 46, October 27, 2013

On YouTube

Joseph McBride Discusses “The Tippit Shooting, ” the Life and Death of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit

August 17, 2013


Episode 45 — Joseph McBride: The Commentary Track interview by Frank Thompson, August 18, 2013

Link to Podcast

Black Op Radio Interviews by Len Osanic

Part 4: August 15, 2013

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Part 3: August 8, 2013

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Part 2: August 1, 2013

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Part 1: July 25, 2013

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Newstalk Radio Ireland Interview by Sean Montcrieff

July 18, 2013

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