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Wednesday, 05 August 2020 04:23

25th Anniversary of Probe/CTKA/KennedysAndKing

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Jim DiEugenio comments on his 25th Anniversary of publishing on the assassinations of the 1960s and gives some encouragement on how you can participate in keeping it going.


This is now 25 years that Jim DiEugenio has been the editor/publisher of first, Probe Magazine, and then the web sites Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination (CTKA), and now Kennedys and King.com.

You can help us stay alive, expand our reach and influence, and do more investigative in-depth stories by donating to our cause. We very rarely—if ever—directly ask for contributions. But a silver anniversary is certainly a good time to do so.

You can help by contributing through our simple PayPal donation counter. Even better, become a regular contributor by donating a small amount each month. There is no other web site like this one. No one else brings you this quality stream of stories and news on these important subjects. Show your appreciation. Help keep us going.


KennedysAndKing: Take us back to the beginning Jim? How did Probe Magazine start?

Jim DiEugenio: That was due to the furor over the release of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK. A few of us who were interested in the JFK case met several times and we decided to try and accomplish something. The idea was to create an organization that would do a bimonthly journal and some speaking engagements in the local area. And that is how it started back in 1993.

KaK: Why are you celebrating a silver anniversary this year then?

JD: Because it was at the end of July 1995 that Lisa Pease and myself took over the editing and publishing of that journal. I was the publisher and editor. Lisa was co-editor and did the technical print layout of the magazine, at which she was quite good.

KaK: Was there a point at which you thought you had really reached a level of achievement?

JD: Yes, it was the issue that we timed for the release of the film Nixon at the end of 1995. We designed that issue around, not just the Stone film, but around Watergate and Nixon’s life. And we devoted a two page spread to the character inks between the Watergate scandal and how some of those same people were involved in the JFK case (e.g. James McCord, Howard Hunt and Dick Helms). Plus we did not take the conventional view of Watergate as put out by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in All the President’s Men. Our view was that of Jim Hougan and his book Secret Agenda. I was surprised at how that viewpoint blindsided a lot of our readers. They simply were not aware that there was a different take on the crime.

KaK: How did Probe Magazine morph into the web site Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination?

JD: After we had ceased the print run of Probe, Peter Jennings did his special on the JFK assassination, which he called Beyond Conspiracy. I heard from a reliable source that his lead consultant was Gus Russo. Therefore, I knew what it was going to be like from what Russo had done in 1993 for PBS. It was even worse in some aspects. I mean there was Dale Meyers saying the Warren Commission’s major thesis was now, through his computer, the Single Bullet Fact, not theory. So John Kelin, a skilled web master, put together the original web site, which we called CTKA for short. And as with Probe, after the debut, we gained some quite distinguished contributors. Lisa and I did not have to write half the stories. We got people like Milicent Cranor, Gary Aguilar, David Mantik, Seamus Coogan, Joe Green, Martin Hay, David Josephs, and Vasilios Vazakas to write for us. That lasted more than twice as long as Probe Magazine. But it had a similar approach: we would cover news, research articles, and reviews of films and books. And we did that for all four of the assassinations: JFK, Malcom X, MLK and RFK. That was important, I thought, since I had come to the conclusion while doing Probe that they were all related in some way to each other. And I wrote about that idea in the anthology Lisa and myself published through Feral House called The Assassinations, which was kind of a best of Probe collection. I should also add that I became a semi regular guest on Black Op Radio at this time, so I now had a listening as well as a reading audience.

KaK: And then how did CTKA change into Kennedysandking.com?

JD: This was through the surprise efforts of my friend Al Rossi. I met Al through online correspondence, not knowing at that time he was another Lisa Pease, very well versed in the language of computer technology. In fact, that is what he does for a living. So he, at first secretly, began building a whole new layout for the web site. About a third of the way through, he told me about what he was doing: redesigning the layout and transferring all the files to another ISP. I don’t have to tell you how much that would have cost to do if I had hired a professional designer. I could never have afforded something like that. Contrary to popular belief, and the late Vince Bugliosi, there is not any money in this. We manage to scrape by. But he did it gratis on his free time.

KaK: What about the status of the site today as Kennedysandking.com?

JD: Al had to step down for medical reasons and, thank God, Dave Nesbitt took over as web master. I have to say, I have been lucky in that regard. In addition to John Kelin, I had Debra Conway and Gokay Hasan Yusuf as temporary web masters for the long run of CTKA. And personally, I think today, in both the format and quality of the content, we are as good as we have ever been. In some ways better, because Al was able to collect so many of our best articles into an archives at the new site. Also, because we have visual and audio files available, like my 26 part interview with Dave Emory. That interview is still one of our highest rated pieces even though it has been up for well over a year.

KaK: What would you like to do if your fund drive is successful?

JD: One of the things I would like to do it so increase the reach of the site through what is called an SEO company. That acronym means search engine optimizer. See, there are some very bad sites out there, that have large footprints on the web. For instance, John McAdams web site is awful. But due to Wikipedia, which has become the NY Times internet version on the JFK case, McAdams’ site gets a lot of visits. Our site, which has much better information and analysis, does not have Wikipedia as a booster. In fact, I have seen the Wiki back pages dialogue on some of their JFK articles. When someone brings up our work, inevitably someone attacks us. (See this article on that subject)

Our articles are much better researched with much newer and more factual information than McAdams. So that is one of the things I would like to do, if we have the funds to do it. I would also like to do what is called special placement of certain pieces we run to get them more prominently placed on social networks like Facebook. I think the interest is out there, especially for high level work like ours. So, with the help of our readers, I would like to try to extend our reach. What would be great is if we could get some contributors to make a monthly pact with PayPal. We have a couple of readers who do that now. But if we could get a significant number, who would contribute say $20 or $30 or $50 dollars a month, then we could attain what is called a capital budget to achieve our goals, knowing that each month we could cover the costs. That could raise our profile. I think the quality of our content deserves it. Unlike say a rightwing/libertarian site like Quillette, we don’t have a Roger Thiel type billionaire who is sympathetic to us. We have to go about it with the help of many people contributing much smaller amounts. Unlike Quillette, we are not out to destroy; we are trying to build something.

Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 04:49

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