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Review: Title says it all in provocative ‘American Media & the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy’

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John F. Kennedy’s assassination as seen in the documentary “American Media and the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”
(Mary Evans / Ronald Grant Archive / Everett Collection)

Amounting to two-plus hours of conspiracy theorist porn, “The American Media & the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” directed and narrated by John Barbour, proves to be as long-winded as its accusatory title.

A follow-up to Barbour’s 1992 documentary, “The JFK Assassination: The Jim Garrison Tapes,” the new film is also informed by a three-hour interview he conducted with the late New Orleans district attorney who disputed the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

In addition to trotting out all the usual suspects, starting, of course, with the CIA, this time Barbour also points a finger at media complicity, accusing both the mainstream press and TV outlets of aiding and abetting a longstanding cover-up, condemning the likes of Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite as major culprits.

While an argument could be made for the film’s timeliness, given the outcry over “fake news,” Barbour, who reminds us that he was the creator and co-host of the ’80s reality show “Real People,” soon widens his target to include those who have personally wronged him, including the distributors and networks who passed on the previous documentary.

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He might view himself as “the cinder in the eye of unfulfilled justice,” but this cranky exposé would seem to more convincingly embody Barbour’s own personal resentments.

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‘The American Media & the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy’

Not rated

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Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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