During fawning reports on Thursday's NBC Nightly News and Friday's Today, the network's news personalities expressed thrill over the discovery of a collection of JFK memorabilia once owned by Kennedy aide Dave Powers, with anchor Brian Williams raving: "It's an intimate collection of time spent with the President of the United states and his family. It's the kind of memorabilia only a close friend would have. And it shows a man, our president, up close." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
What the coverage failed to mention was the recent shocking revelation by former White House intern and Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford that the late President once pressured her to perform oral sex on Powers during one their trysts. The omission was particularly surprising since Alford recalled the incident in an exclusive interview with Meredith Vieira aired on NBC's Rock Center in February of 2012.
ABC News found scant time for the just-passed political conventions, coming in dead last according to a Media Research Center study. But the network on Tuesday did manage to, yet again, obsessively focus on John F. Kennedy, a man whose presidency ended 49 years ago.
Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos interviewed Caroline Kennedy about newly released tapes of her father. He played clips of JFK discussing serious issues and also playing with his daughter. Stephanopoulos marveled, "But here's the president on the one moment talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis, – boom – complete switching of gears." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite the revelations that, while having an affair with an intern, President Kennedy, pimped the teen out to staffers, gave the young girl drugs and helped her look for an abortion doctor, journalists Chris Matthews and former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas insisted that JFK and Jackie Kennedy had a "good," "full" marriage. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Thomas appeared on Wednesday's Hardball to spin for Kennedy. After Matthews played a clip of Mimi Alford talking about how she would have rubber duckie races with the President while taking a bath, Thomas deemed Kennedy "complicated." He added, "He obviously compartmented [sic] his life incredibly. I mean, I think, unbelievably, he had a good marriage even as he was doing all this terrible stuff."
Following an NBC Nightly News preview Wednesday evening of the Rock Center promotion for a book by Mimi Alford, in which she recounts how the 45-year-old President Kennedy seduced and carried on a sexual relationship with her when she was a 19-year-old White House intern, anchor Brian Williams conveyed the distress of JFK sycophants in his audience – and admitted his family was amongst them.
Talking with Meredith Vieira, Williams cited “a lot of e-mails” from people, who “sounds like a lot of us,” had a “picture of John F. Kennedy in the house when we were kids” and who are now “wondering, why do this now? Why tell her story now?”
According to Stephen King, conservative "hate" of Barack Obama is similar to the anger that led to the assassination of John Kennedy. Appearing on Friday's Hardball to promote "11/22/63," his new novel, the author compared, "Here is where hate will get you eventually. This is what happens. Finally, it's the barrel of a gun."
Discussing his book, a work of historical fiction about stopping JFK's murder, King asserted, "And also, there's also been this sort of atmosphere of real hate and obstructionism that surrounded both men." He continued, "So, I began to think history repeats itself and at that point I thought to myself, 'You know I really would like to write this book.'" It took liberal anchor Chris Matthews to point out the obvious: Lee Harvey Oswald was no conservative.
For the first time in recent memory, the number of Catholic Republicans in the House -- 61 -- nearly equals the number of Catholic Democratic House members, at 65. That marks a dramatic shift since the last Congress convened two years ago with a Catholic House contingent of 98 Democrats and 38 Republicans.
Continuing the narrative of Barack Obama as John F. Kennedy, on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith described how: "As the nation prepares for President-Elect Barack Obama to move into the White House, many Americans can't help but draw similarities between him and the late President John F. Kennedy." Co-host Julie Chen earlier teased the segment: "The new first family has been compared to JFK and Jackie and their young children. Can the Obamas bring that 'one brief shining moment,' that was known as Camelot, back to the White House?"
Smith narrated the segment, which juxtaposed images JFK with Obama: "It was a presidency filled with idealism, glamour, and excitement...A young Senator had been elected to lead his country. Now 47 years later, America has chosen another young Senator." Smith went on:
And the similarities are striking. JFK was 43 when he was inaugurated. Obama is just three years older, bringing a certain youthful vigor to the White House, including, young children. Both Obama and Kennedy were criticized for lacking experience and both knew the power of well-chosen words...Kennedy had more than his share of charisma and Obama knows how to light up a room. But it's their wives who might be the real superstars. Both men overcame significant obstacles to become elected. Anti-Catholic sentiment was still widespread in the country but JFK was elected the first Roman Catholic President of the United States.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy, who had been shocked by the hunger he saw in West Virginia, made the fight against hunger a theme of his presidential campaign. After his election he created the modern food stamp program, which today helps millions of Americans get enough to eat.
But Ronald Reagan thought the issue of hunger in the world’s richest nation was nothing but a big joke. Here’s what Reagan said in his famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which made him a national political figure: “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”