For all the internet has brought is in the last 20 years, perhaps overlooked the most is how much media has changed. Pre-Internet – news was provided by the Big 3 Networks and your local newspapers or weekly periodicals. Now you have thousands of sources of news, anybody can publish (for better or worse) info that would never make the news outlets.
I thought of this when I ran across this article written by Russ Baker – exposing a little known angle on the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan by John W. Hinkley.
One could easily file this under one of the many internet conspiracies out there, but the information contained in Russ Baker’s article is at least eyebrow raising when you look other Bush family political lore. Who knew there was a relationship between the Hinkleys and the Bush’s, and you would think it would of at least been discussed more indepth than the minor references printed in the news coverage of the day.
Russ mentioned that he left this story out of his book on the Bush family, fearing the book would be seen as a collection of conspiracy theories. So perhaps his website is the best place for this information – maybe not really ‘history’, but worth a special note.
How many previous historical documents have left out fringe stories or things feared to hurt the sales of books?
Historians have always had the tough job of piecing together a narrative based on fragments collected from documents, interviews, or news reporting of the day. It will be interesting to see if future historians are able to build a ‘more accurate’ history, as the volume of information on the internet should provide a huge increase in documentation and multiple facets of events and people. The future of history should soon be upon us.