Saturday, November 15, 2008 , Updated 10:25 a.m., November 17, 2008
STOP THE (VIRTUAL) PRESSES! Pegasus News wins Katie Award for Best Website
Kennedy assassination veterans were on hand at the Sixth Floor Museum to share their remembrances of how things went down in 1963.
The newly-rejuvenated (and fairly judged) Katie Awards (50th anniversary edition) were handed out at the Sixth Floor Museum on Saturday evening, Nov. 15 - only a week before the 45th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Guess who won the award for best website. (Read on.)
On hand were maybe a couple hundred media types, who took the opportunity to scarf up canapes, cubed cheese, crab cakes and a variety of wine, beer and etc.
In commemoration of the events of November 1963, the program kicked off with a tag-team talk led by Hugh Aynesworth, a reporter on the scene during (and after) the assassination at Dealey Plaza. Also reminiscing about that deadly day and its aftermath were Buell Frazier, who worked with Lee Oswald at the School Book Depository; Jerry Hill, an officer who participated in the apprehension of Oswald at the Texas Theatre; and Jim Leavelle (complete with mouse-grey Stetson) who was famously handcuffed to Oswald when Jack Ruby shot him.
Turns out Aynesworth, on the staff of the Dallas Morning News at the time, was not on assignment when he was hanging out in Dealey Plaza watching the president's car go by - he was there merely as an interested citizen. When the shots rang out, he found himself without a notebook or anything to write with. Improvising in the tradition of dedicated newshounds, he extracted some unpaid utility bills from a jacket pocket and then grabbed a souvenir flag-equipped pencil from a school kid (turning over a couple quarters in trade) and started interviewing witnesses.
For his part, Buell Frazier expressed his opinion that Lee Oswald was a smart fellow and a fast learner (Frazier trained Oswald on how to fill book orders at the depository), and remembers giving Lee a ride to work on Nov. 22. But he says the package Lee brought with him, which he claimed contained curtain rods, was too small to have hidden the Carcano rifle used to shoot the president.
Jerry Hill described Oswald as a cool and calculated killer, who actually took the time - after firing four shots into DPD Officer J.D. Tippet - to eject the spent cartridge cases and load up new ones before heading off to the Texas Theatre.
Leavelle described how he argued against taking Oswald out through the basement garage (where all the media were gathered) in favor of exiting at street level directly into a waiting car - but he was overruled by department brass who wanted to show everyone that their prisoner had not been mistreated in any way. When he (Leavelle) saw Ruby holding the pistol down along the leg of his trousers, he tried to pull Oswald back out of the line of fire - but it was too late.
A total of 23 awards were handed out, and when it came down to the Katie for Best Website (drum roll), Pegasus News won it. And so did the Dallas Morning News. And so did KERA.
That's right, it was an online news site three-way, with no reference to any sort of tie - just three separate announcements of "Best Website."
Congratulations to those responsible for web operations at the DMN and KERA. We look forward to whipping your butts once and for all next year.
NOTE: I rushed off before photographing our fearless leader, Mike Orren, holding the golden girl - but I'm sure we'll have occasion to fire off a flash or two at Pegnews World HQ on Monday.
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