The mini-series, called “The Kennedys,” is the brainchild of Joel Surnow, a creator of the Fox action show “24” and an outspoken political conservative. That raised alarms among Kennedy partisans when the History channel said in December that it would pick up the project.
Now a documentary filmmaker who makes no secret of his liberal politics is releasing an Internet video in which Kennedy scholars say the scripts offer a portrait of the president and his family that is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, a hatchet job.
If you look objectively at JFK’s Presidency the only conclusion that you can come to is that it was an unmitigated disaster. Unfortunately there are still many people that have a lot invested, both emotionally and financially, in the Kennedy myth.
Even putting aside the shady dealings in Illinois and the acknowledged “investment” in West Virginia, there is still a lot for JFK to answer for. Assassination transformed him from a conniving politician into a secular Saint.
He froze up when facing the Bay of Pigs. He couldn’t bring himself to call it off, or support it. So he kinda sorta supported it, but was relieved when it failed.
At the 1961 Vienna Summit, Khrushchev dominated him and confirmed his (Khrushchev) picture of him as the son of a rich man who had used his father’s money to get elected. Based on this assessment Khrushchev went forward with both the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missiles.
Then Kennedy figured that he should show toughness by pouring advisers into South Vietnam. Even going so far as to ignore the Saigon Embassy advice and using his personal insider diplomat, Maxwell Taylor, to bypass them. We all know how that turned out. and there is not credible evidence that Kennedy was planning to pull out of Vietnam. He couldn’t allow the Communists to see him backing down…again.
He appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney General. Bobby conspired with J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap people that might cause the President problems and with the CIA in increasingly bizzare plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. People whine about Hoover but forget that RFK was privy to much of his shenanigans.
The world would probably have been a far different place if Richard Nixon had been elected. Khrushchev had had personal contact with Nixon and knew he was no shallow ‘pretty boy’. He might have thought twice about pushing Nixon’s buttons.
How might have that worked out in Berlin, Cuba and Vietnam?