Skip to comments.The Camelot Cover-up Continues
Posted on 04/10/2011 9:28:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
Gene Healy, author of The Cult of the Presidency—America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, suggests: “In an age when Americans periodically swoon for imperial presidents, a little sacred cow-tipping would be a public service.” The made-for-television mini-series, The Kennedys, recently airing on ReelzChannel is a case in point.
Unceremoniously cancelled earlier this year by The History Channel as not a good “fit” for “the History brand,” the project was controversial almost from its inception. This had to do completely with the hypersensitivity of a vast array of myth-guardians who stand perpetual watch over the Kennedy family, as well as the career and legacy of America’s 35th President. And these members of the Camelot cabal pretty much wrote the book on branding.
I have long been a student of the Kennedy era and I wrote a Master’s thesis on it many years ago while working on my political science degree. And frankly, I have yet to see a scenario or fact presented in the broadcast that has not appeared in the history available at any public library or bookstore. I find myself wondering why the fuss?
The John F. Kennedy portrayed in this new series is a real life character—warts and all. Greg Kinnear does an admirable job with the JFK persona, as does Katie Holmes with Jackie Kennedy. Is it all flattering? Certainly not. But JFK comes off as a much more sympathetic character in this current portrayal than might have been expected after hearing all the advance hype and horror. In fact, in my opinion the production spends a tortured amount of time showing him as a man much more “conflicted” about the flaws, now well known, than he really was.
I can’t for the life of me see why The History Channel blackballed the miniseries, when they regularly show things like Monster Quest, Swamp People, and Clash of the Cavemen. You know, real serious history stuff. Not to mention the fact, that the network regularly peddles speculative conspiracy theories, from novelist Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, to several programs dealing with various theories on—ironically—the Kennedy assassination.
Of course, there was a very real conspiracy behind The History Channel’s decision to dump the miniseries. It doesn’t take Glenn Beck’s blackboard to connect those dots. But after watching The Kennedys, I am completely at a loss to figure out why anyone seriously found the material objectionable. The broadcast broke no new ground.
Likely, the keepers of the fictional Camelot flame simply didn’t want another reminder of the vast disconnect between calculated and conjured myth in the wake of Mr. Kennedy’s tragic death and actual reality. Whether one reads a good book about the Kennedy years or watches The Kennedys on ReelzChannel, one thing is clear—there were potential ethical and moral time bombs threatening his presidency. And there is a credible case to be made that had Kennedy lived beyond that fateful fall day in 1963, and had he managed to be reelected in 1964 (not at all a sure thing), he may not have survived a second term, politically.
That’s right. As Hugh Sidey suggested before his death in 2005—the same Hugh Sidey, who as an editor at Time Magazine during the Kennedy years, was also a Camelot insider—JFK’s various and sundry moral, ethical, and judgmental, pecadillos might very well have led to his actual impeachment.
The Kennedy administration could very well have been on the road to its own kind of Watergate.
From the improper use of the FBI in surveillance and investigation in matters not at all related to national security, to misuse of the Secret Service, to his affair with a mistress of a major crime boss, with its obvious compromises, Mr. Kennedy played by his own rules against the backdrop of the last gasp of an age of media mercy. He lived on the edge, from his monumental sexual addiction, to his experimentation with illicit drugs, to his dependence on substances that, while not illegal, were questionable—John F. Kennedy’s time was running out. People were always covering for him and clearly many still are.
But was it only a matter of time before someone broke rank?
If Watergate taught us anything, it was that it is hard to keep a lid on a big story—even in the White House. Had John F. Kennedy lived and had his shortcomings been investigated and written with Woodward-Bernstein-like passion, it is not far-fetched that he may not have been reelected in 1964. And if he did manage to win that race, and investigators did their jobs, JFK might very well have been impeached or pressured to resign.
Then again, that may be fantasy, because it was unlikely that Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post in those days, and an inbred Kennedy crony, would have allowed any such story to go forward. At any rate, it all went away that sad November day and we are left with a legend that does history, not to mention the American people, a disservice.
And because what could have been a major broadcasting event has been dispatched to cable television’s backwater, it seems that the cover-up continues.
That “brief and shining moment” that never really was, lives on.
The threat to the left of a Goldwater presidency was worth almost any coverup.
History repeats itself with the media covering up for the Obama 'Camelot.'
JFK’s assasination was a horrible tragedy because it made him into a martyr, foreclosing any real examination of a genuinely and seriously flawed man who ran an equally flawed administration. That, indeed and primarily, is why no one should even contemplate doing such a thing to the Illegal.
The whole Camelot era was a myth to begin with. It was conjured up by Jackie Kennedy with the help of Theodore White, the author.
People only talked of the Camelot era after JFK was assassinated. It’s not as if people said on inauguration day 1961, “The Camelot era has arrived”.
That said, it was tragic that JFK was assassinated, and good people of all politicial persuasions mourn that event. But the revisionist history efforts which went into overdrive on behalf of the Kennedys are something else again.
Isn’t it true that, with the retirement from Congress of Ted Kennedy’s son, that there is no Kennedy in elective office anywhere anymore?
The last gasp is still gasping for obumo.
“Cult” of the Presidency is right.
There also exists
“cult” of the minister, where the congregants are expected to cover for the minister’s drug use, affairs, etc.
It is BS.
Who knows what the media is covering up today, especially considering that a good liberal whom they revere is in the White House?
These cover ups do happen today. For example, after the fact, we learned that the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine had the Monica Lewinsky story, but that they had sat on the story for months. They didn’t want to go with the story because of the political damage it would do to Bill Clinton. They said that they didn’t release it because they were still verifying details and all that.
Now, if they have some scandal which would damage a Republican/conservative, would the same editorial judgement apply; would an organization such as the Washington Post sit on such a story??????
JFK was taken out by forces who believed he was a prime target for blackmail. His failure to back the joint chiefs at the Pay of Pigs and his blockade of Cuba in ‘62 convinced some that he was in a job way over his head.
The Profumo scandal in Britain convinced others to worry. If a British defense secretary could cause a government to fall in a sex scandal, what position was the Kennedy government in? JFK and Bobby were bagging women two at a time...and lots and lots of people knew it.
With LBJ as VP very powerful forces understood that Kennedy’s murder could and world be covered up.
IF it happened to the illegal, it’d be the left that did it!!!
Having an affair with a Russian spy. Fell asleep at the wheel of his boat and a Japanese Destroyer ran it over.
“What position was the Kennedy government in?”
Sources say the missionary was preferred.
I think the whole Watergate affair answers your question. Rhetorical, though it was.
Ben Bradlee was a Kennedy toady from the beginning and Newsweek’s Washington Bureau Chief. He became WaPo Managing Editor in 1965 and Exec Editor in 1968.
His sister-in-law Mary Meyer was one of Kennedy’s concubines.
After the series was panned by a lib reviewer, I decided to watch it. It has been enjoyable in a soap-opera kind of way.
Even during the Kennedy era and moreso after the assassination, the MSM advocated its position as the watchdog, choosing to look the other way. Just as they do now. Our republic cannot last if the media chooses to only go after those they deem as worthy targets, based on ideology....
Mr. Kennedy played by his own rules against the backdrop of the last gasp of an age of media mercy.
Utter nonsense. The MSM still goes out of its way to protect its favored "Progressives", who are in truth regressives to an age of unlimited government.
In my opinion Kennedy was the first president totally created by the press. Compare him with Roosevelt who dominated the press and used it to impose his will. Nixon and Johnson were destroyed(unmade if you please) by the press.
An altogether easy task; given that the Right takes for granted that history will speak for itself and of course it does not.
Second, Kennedy was pushed relentlessly by the media in a day prior to the public being aware of media manipulation. Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore were selected for their roles on the Dick Van Dyke show partially because of their similarity in appearance to the Kennedys. McHale's Navy and the movie "They Were Expendable" were created because of the PT 109 experience of Kennedy.
The John Kennedy PT 109 experience was a microcosm of his life. He was originally refused the command because of his sexual involvement with a possible spy and his health. After obtaining the command due to his father's political influence, he was in command for less than three months, two of which were spent refitting the boat before it was destroyed in combat. The investigation into the loss did not reach a conclusion, which is extremely unusual for a ship loss. The navy never considers losing a vessel to be a good thing, but the press hailed Kennedy as a hero.
He ventured into combat when he could have easily avoided it, and took an extremely dangerous assignment. He may not have been particularly competent, but he was there. Through all the Camelot hype, and equally important, those who detest him, there was a real man. Like Lincoln, the true John Kennedy will never really be known.
Clearly the most over-rated President if you consider what he actually accomplished vs. how highly he is rated. He gave some inspiring speeches and avoided going to war with the Soviet Union over the missiles in Cuba, but there is not a lot else. Perhaps the moon landing happened sooner than it would have if he had not decided to make it a goal to get there before the end of the 1960s.