Accuracy In Media
Media Monitor

TWA 800 Heroes And Villains

By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid
March 3, 2000

The New York Observer is a weekly paper that regularly runs interesting and important stories that are missed by the New York dailies. Its February 21st issue carried a dynamite front-page story by Philip Weiss exposing how the timidity, laziness and dishonesty of the mainstream journalists has enabled the government to cover up the truth about the crash of TWA Flight 800.

Weissís article focuses on Kristina Borjesson, a former producer at CBS News, and Kelly OíMeara, a former aide to Michael Forbes, the congressman whose district was near the crash site. Both took a keen interest in the evidence that the government was engaged in a cover-up. They cooperated with Jim Sanders, the investigative reporter who was prosecuted by the Justice Department for digging up evidence that proved that the FBI was lying about the crash.

OíMearaís job on Capitol Hill gave her access to evidence that was being withheld from the media that clashed with what the FBI was saying. She made Jim Kallstrom, the head of the FBIís investigation, furious when she took Kristina Borjesson with her to see the TWA 800 wreckage in the Calverton hangar. Kallstrom called her boss, and shortly after that OíMeara resigned. She and Borjesson began working on a documentary on the crash for Oliver Stone, a project that was quashed.

At CBS, Borjesson got permission to accept a piece of evidence that Jim Sanders had obtained from a whistle blower on the official investigative team. It was a small bit of foam rubber from a seat on the plane that held a residue that might show that a missile caused the crash. When CBS Evening News refused to accept it, she gave it to Josh Howard, a senior producer at Sixty Minutes, who put it in his desk. She warned him that he might be subpoenaed by a grand jury, but that didnít worry him. Howard claims he canít remember any such conversations and that he never saw the evidence even though Borjesson put it all in writing in a memo, and sent him a copy.
She says CBS panicked when the FBI threatened a search if the evidence was not given to them.

Borjesson soon left CBS. A former colleague said, "Kristina wanted to find out what happened ... ..She was going against the grain of what the network was committed to." Bob Orr, the CBS correspondent who covered TWA 800, told Weiss he was not impressed by Borjesson. He asked, "What was her level of access and expertise? Who were her sources? One, and he was alarmingly thin." He said that the guys he talked to and trusted saw not a scintilla of evidence of a missile." He means senior government officials. He has never attended a news conference where eyewitnesses and independent investigators presented evidence supporting the cover-up charges.

Weiss says that "democracy depends on airing such views," but "simply raising questions about the official version has meant being discredited." He cites Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post who wrote an insulting item about Kelly OíMeara, after she published strong new evidence of the cover-up in Insight magazine. Kurtz told Weiss that she is an advocate because "she is skeptical of the official explanations in the TWA case."

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