In 1978, a JFK assassination hoax emerged that continues to fuel conspiracy theories and accusations against the Central Intelligence Agency. Two news stories began to circulate claiming that the House Select Committee on Assassinations had obtained an alleged 1966 CIA memo placing Howard Hunt, of Watergate infamy, in Dallas on the day of President John Kennedy’s assassination. Some conspiracy enthusiasts have tried to use the two articles to corroborate each other, unaware that they shared the same source. A review of over 1,000 pages of documents and testimony gives the story of - and dismantles - the HSCA memo hoax.
The Federal Communications Commission has released 13 pages of complaints received regarding the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner, focused mainly on Michelle Wolf’s controversial remarks. While most took issue with Wolf’s language (one viewer equated network profanity with bank fraud) , one irate Floridian went so far as to demand a written apology to the “American People.”
Want to explore the cutting edge of public records, while helping reporters, researchers, and others get more out of these critical laws? Apply to be MuckRock’s Sam Whitmore Media Survey Fellow and spend eight months with transparency as your beat, tracking changing laws, developing new FOIA strategies, and working on reporting and resources that will help all requesters.
Using records to inspect your snacks, understand Chicago surveillance, and following the money in law school gifts
Public records helped tell some important stories this week, ranging from the hidden dangers of the food we eat to the data that increasingly shapes our lives. Here’s some inspiration for your own transparency fight.
Emmy-award winning journalist Lynn Walsh joined us on MuckRock’s Slack channel last Friday, where she shared her advice on using FOIAs in an investigative piece.