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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Mike Farrell, of M*A*S*H fame, and Sylvia Meagher

Updated: May 24, 2023

One of the many interesting documents I found in the Sylvia Meagher archives was a series of letters between Mike Farrell and Sylvia Meagher. This was many years before he became famous as the star of the TV show M*A*S*H. Meagher took great exception to his comments on Jim Garrison.

Here is Meagher's reply:

Meagher writes that she has a "determination to have no association of any kind whatever with any committee or group which is so misguided or so unprincipled as to endorse or embrace the New Orleans "investigation" under the pretense of seeking the truth about the assassination."

Mike Farrell's replies that he "cannot make any determination as to the completeness, the validity or the folly of his case" and that he is "willing to wait until the trial to see this and on the basis of that evidence I will make up my judgment."

Here is Meagher's reply:

She also writes:

If Garrison had done and said nothing after having booked Shaw for allegedly conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, the benefit of doubt and the presumption of innocence would still be due Shaw, as a matter of right and law, until such time as he was pronounced guilty by due process. But Garrison has been anything but silent. He has peppered us with a stream of escalating pronouncements and accusations with constantly altered and elaborated versions of what happened at Dealey Plaza, which have no internal consistency or coherence, which are either totally unsupported by factual evidence or accompanied by "evidence" (e.g., the "code" P. O. Box 19106) which a ten-year-old child would find unconvincing and a twelve-year-old would recognize as the crudest form of fabrication. If anyone argues that Garrison has license to broadcast an unending stream of unsupported or insupportable charges, but that his critics have no right to repudiate or denounce his gross violations of fact and logic, it would be difficult to consider it merely "misguided."

The next day, Meagher wrote another letter:


Paul Hoch has sent me some links about Mike Farrell and the JFK assassination.

Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H): I was getting in my car after auditing an English class at Orange Coast College and heard the news on the radio. JFK was the first president I was old enough to vote for and he meant a great deal to me for lots of reasons. It was difficult to take it all in. I sat in front of the television stupefied, as many people were. I watched Jack Ruby shoot down Oswald in the Dallas police department garage and then tried to figure out what the hell was going on. I felt betrayed when the news media, which used to characterize Lyndon Johnson as a local yokel from Texas, was suddenly calling him the savior of the country. I began to think something is terribly wrong here. I think we’ve never been told the truth about Kennedy’s death, his brother’s or Martin Luther King’s. And the country is a lot worse because of the result.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts about Sylvia Meagher

A plea to Oliver Stone with a compilation of Meagher's writings about Jim Garrison.

Howard Roffman writes a letter to Harold Weisberg about Sylvia Meagher.

This phone call broke their relationship.

Sylvia Meagher's reply to Look Magazine's article "The Persecution of Clay Shaw."

An exchange of letters between Lane and Meagher.

Sylvia Meagher writes Clay Shaw, and he replies.

An unpublished Meagher memo on the trial of Clay Shaw.

Another unpublished Meagher memo on the Garrison investigation and Warren Report critics.

Sylvia Meagher's letter to the Editor regarding Garrison's interview in Playboy Magazine.

Meagher writes Harold Weisberg with her comments on the verdict.

James Phelan and Sylvia Meagher write Garrison letters about his book.

An exchange of letters between Thornley and Meagher.

Meagher writes Thornley about Lane's comment on RFK.

Meagher writes Clay Shaw.

Meagher writes Thornley with an opinion.

Exchange of letters between Meagher, Arnoni and Garrison.

Meagher writes Weisberg about the damage Garrison is doing to critics of the Warren Report.

Meagher replies to the New York Review of Books regarding Popkin's article on Garrison.

An exchange of letters between Popkin and Meagher.


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