It is one matter to distort the truth of how this great American prophet was taken from us, but quite another to have mainstream media perpetuate disinformation on matters of such public importance to the citizens of the Republic. An expert witness, at the King family civil trial, William Schapp, set out the historical use of government disinformation through mainstream media, dating back to the 1920’s.Disinformation is the promotion of deliberately misleading information for the purpose of giving false impressions of reality. Pepper lists these examples of disinformation by CNN, stating that, "In the second half of the program, the disinformation ran rampant":
...[The] program notably failed to provide a motive as to why this escaped convict [James Earl Ray, King's alleged killer] would even consider [killing King]...Pepper alleges CNN gave a false portrayal of James Earl Ray's background:
...[It] was hinted at by a reference of his refusal to go to a work farm attached to the Missouri prison because of the number of blacks in that facility. In fact, James was afraid of becoming tied into drug activity which was going on there and having his term extended. He would regularly roll dice with black co-workers when he worked in a shoe factory.CNN misleadingly alleged that James Earl Ray was a bank robber, according to Pepper:
I don’t know the former detective they brought on camera, but closer to the time, 1978, I spoke with the president of the bank and the Chief of Police, and both told me that the Ray brothers had never been suspects, and in fact they believed that they knew who did the robbery, but did not have enough proof to charge them. Further, they confirmed that despite mainstream published reports they had never been interviewed by the Congressional investigators, the FBI or the reporting media’s investigative reporter.CNN ignored the fact that ballistics proved the gun was not fired by James Earl Ray:
The failure to match the throw down rifle to the death slug became “inconclusive”. What does that mean? There was no ballistics match. The gun was not and could not be regarded as the murder weapon, and introduced into evidence as such. Yet it remains mounted in the Civil Rights Museum as precisely that; now with CNN’s blessing.CNN ignored eyewitness testimony and other evidence:
We had four witnesses who saw figures in the bushes (one New York Times reporter, Earl Caldwell), two observed the shooter coming down over the wall, another (Reverend James Orange) saw smoke kicked up and rising from the bushes, and another who saw the owner of the Grill which backed on to the Lorraine Motel, rush, from the bushes, past her into his kitchen still carrying the smoking gun he took from the shooter. CNN converted all of this evidence into one “unreliable” witness. The next morning that crime scene was cut down and cleaned. The CNN report supported the official story that the shot came from the bathroom window. It was well known that we had a reliable witness who saw the bathroom door open, with the light on, minutes before the shooting, and no one inside. It was empty, of course, because the shot came from the bushes. A clip from a CBS interview with a roomer who saw someone running down the hall was cut off just before the reporter showed him a photo of James, and he said that was not the man he saw. The man carrying the throw down bundle of items James was told to leave in the room (which also contained the throw down gun) dropped them in a doorway and got into the second Mustang and drove away. We had a witness who identified that Mustang as having Arkansas plates. It was parked south of James’s Mustang.CNN even ignored evidence that James Earl Ray was not at the crime scene:
We had two witnesses (one from the Corps of Engineers) and signed statements, evidencing that James drove away from the rooming house about 20 minutes before the shooting. All of this was known and put under oath, and ignored by CNN.CNN even pretended that one of the witnesses was "dead" when Pepper mentioned him. He was not:
It gets worse. When, I suggested to the CNN reporter that they interview the Captain, he said he was dead. They obviously did not want me to speak with him.The pattern of misleading statements and facts by CNN show a stunning example of disinformation; an attempt to deliberately misinform the public about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.