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CNN Disservices History
#1
Some people emailed me and asked me to look at this series, American Dynasties: The Kennedys.

My gut instinct was that it would be pretty bad. Well, I did and I was right. As I mention in my review, its the continuing tabloidization of our culture.

Very disappointing, since as I show, the whole imbalance was quite conscious all the way down the line. And the worst part is this: Trump thinks CNN is too liberal! That is how far we have fallen. including PBS. Because this show was as rigged as the 1993 Russo/Myers "Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?"

Anyway, read it and weep.

https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/cnn-...e-kennedys
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#2
Jim,

Here's a link to a much shorter but more vicious attack on RFK from Gerald Horne (professor at U Houston) on Sputnik Radio. He's the first guest.
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#3
I don't see any link.
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#4
Phil Dagosto Wrote:Jim,

Here's a link to a much shorter but more vicious attack on RFK from Gerald Horne (professor at U Houston) on Sputnik Radio. He's the first guest.

The link takes you to a story about what is going on today- not RFK.
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#5
Jim DiEugenio Wrote:I don't see any link.

Jim Click on the word "link" Smile
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#6
Dawn Meredith Wrote:
Jim DiEugenio Wrote:I don't see any link.

Jim Click on the word "link" Smile

You have to click on the little orange arrow below the headline. That starts the podcast. Sorry for the confusion.
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#7
I just finished reading the in-depth review of the CNN Kennedy series by Mr. Jim DiEugenio.
It shows that people like Mr. DiEugenio (and other JFK experts) could have been consulted for a better over-all analysis of the lives of JFK and RFK. The only thing I would add about my impressions of the 6 part series would be:

1. The series failed to be honest about the Kennedy's and McCarthy. I don't think McCarthy was mentioned. The crime-busting nature of the Congressional experience is bogus. RFK worked for the McCarthy Committee for around 7 years. The McCarthy Committee morphed into the McClellan Committee, but the latter was chartered to investigate Communists in the Labor movement, so it was still part of the anti-Communist crusade in the McCarthy tradition. The Hoffa and Giancana stuff was minor grand-standing, in my opinion.

2. JFK really didn't do much of anything in the Senate. In the book "JFK In The Senate", by Shaw, there were only two things JFK did: first, he was involved in a project to honor certain famous Senators in history (big deal!) second, he helped rescue and pass the Landrum-Griffin Labor Bill (an anti-Union bill for the most part).

3. Failure to mention Vietnam would be a major failing. I agree, I don't remember anything about Vietnam in the series. But the failure to mention McCarthy was equally egregious.

4. Apparently, the portrayal of the Kennedy children as "soldiers" belonging to the parents JPK and Rose Kennedy was more accurate than I ever realized. The series quoted someone who described Rose Kennedy as a "battle axe". Wow.

5. By far the most important new thing to me was the marriage and death of Kathleen Kennedy. She married a Protestant English Lord who was killed in the War just weeks after the marriage. Then she remarried another English Protestant Lord. And just weeks later, they both were killed in a plane crash. CNN amazingly reported that Rose felt her daughter's death was DIVINE RETRIBUTION.

This is an example of how one sentence is more tell-tale than the whole rest of the series put together. To my (suspicious) mind, this reporting was pregnant with this question: if Rose thought her daughter's death was divine retribution for marrying outside the faith, did she do anything to help God's "divine retribution" along?

We know the one daughter Rosemary was sacrificed as a "soldier" in the Kennedy cause with criminal lobotomy which rendered her a vegetable. Did Rose arrange for Kathleen's Protestant husband to be sent to the front and put in harm's way? In my opinion, this was the suggestion of the series. And the death of Kathleen and her second Protestant husband in a plane crash weeks later---was this helped along in some way? (That's just what the series implied in my opinion)

The Kennedy parents, if you believe this series, just looked at their children a soldiers who would be sent into battle to die like all soldiers. That apparently accounts for why so many were injured or died violently. The parents were enablers. Their parents were giving them bad advice and encouraged them in risking their lives and health. This happened time after time.

6. As far as the philosophical position of JFK and RFK, to me the record is clear: they both were Catholic anti-Communist super-activists right up until 1959. Then JFK, meeting with liberals like John Kenneth Galbraith and friends, changed his stripes and stabbed the militant Catholic anti-Communist movement in the back. And that's what got him killed (in a nut-shell).

Mr. DiEugenio, in my opinion, may be the best analyst of contemporary history in the US. He has the advantage of being outside the mainstream globalist, propaganda filled-media.

I do think, however, that Mr. DiEugenio puts slightly too much emphasis on JFK's actions vis-a-vis Africa, India and Indonesia and too little emphasis on JFK's NATO, Germany and Berlin policy. But this is, I admit, splitting hairs.

Overall, an excellent review of an important media event, the CNN Kennedy Dynasty Series.

James Lateer
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#8
Mr. Lateer:

Here is my review of the Shaw book,

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kenne...the-senate

How you can say that all Kennedy did in the senate is the Landrum bill, and the picking of the five top senators, after all that is really kind of puzzling. Shaw himself stated that Kennedy's most notable achievement while there was the mapping out of an alternative way of looking at America's position in the Third World during the Cold War. Kennedy's railing against the Dulles/Nixon plan to nuke Dien Bien Phu in 1954 is one good example of it. All those speeches and radio addresses he gave upon returning from Vietnam in 1951 is another. Stevenson wiring him to shut up because his 1956 speeches were too radical is another. And how you can say the great Algeria speech was about Africa, i mean have you read the speech? Its not really about Algeria although that is the specific topic. Its really about America aiding a European colonial power trying to hang on to a failing empire, while France was splitting apart over the issue. He said the USA should be helping France to get out of the Third World not send her aid in weapons.

When JFK entered the Senate, there really was no Democratic alternative to the Dulles/Nixon Cold War extremism. I mean Acheson was really not much of a switch from Foster Dulles. It was really Senator Kennedy who managed to recognize that anti communism was not really a solution to the problems in Indochina. You could not stop nationalism with guns and bullets and screaming, The Russians are Coming. This is why JFK bought a hundred copies of The Ugly American, and gave them to each senator. As president, he helped get the film made. That was a perceptive book about the failings of the State Department in the Third World, specifically Indochina. It said that American policy consisted of little more than being against communism without recognizing anything that America was supposed to be for. I mean do you really think anyone else in the senate was doing that in 1957? I mean LBJ was the majority leader.

This should have been an important point on the show because it prefigures the split between LBJ on one side of the Vietnam issue, and JFK and RFK on the other. And it would have explained why the war escalated out of control after the assassination of JFK. It also would have shown why Nixon continued it for four years after and expanded it into Cambodia and Laos. Now that would have been educational and insightful to a mass audience. Which I think is why they did not go there at all and when they did deal with Vietnam, they misrepresented the issue with that hack Evan Thomas.

And BTW, you also ignore the things he did domestically which Shaw points out, like in housing, home rule for D.C,. and the economic front, like the St. Lawrence Seaway project, and education. Kennedy even wanted to lower the voting age to 18. And he was so obsessed with housing that he returned to the senate during his 1960 campaign to make a speech about it.

Another thing Shaw points out is that Kennedy also tried to make some headway with Russian satellites in Eastern Europe, specifically Poland. One of the first to do that also.

Anyway, this show was a real bummer. Better no one doing these specials than more baloney like this. It just makes everyone stupider.
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#9
Jim DiEugenio Wrote:Some people emailed me and asked me to look at this series, American Dynasties: The Kennedys.

My gut instinct was that it would be pretty bad. Well, I did and I was right. As I mention in my review, its the continuing tabloidization of our culture.

Very disappointing, since as I show, the whole imbalance was quite conscious all the way down the line. And the worst part is this: Trump thinks CNN is too liberal! That is how far we have fallen. including PBS. Because this show was as rigged as the 1993 Russo/Myers "Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?"

Anyway, read it and weep.

https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/cnn-...e-kennedys

Thanks for your review. We are in the in the post-truth world for sure.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
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#10
I think I did read the Shaw book, although all these books on that subject kind of blur together since there is a lot of redundancy. (I'm referring to biographies on Humphrey, Dirsken, Carl Mundt, etc.)

I guess my recollection was about any legislative accomplishments of JFK. It seems like you can divide Senators of this period into three categories:

1. Senators who sponsored a lot of successful legislation or attained leadership positions.

2. Senators who mostly operated in secret investigative committies to the exclusion of "out in the open" activities and,

3. Senators who were mostly there as a podium for talking and as a stepping stone for other stuff (like, say, Senator John Sherman Cooper).

It seems like (correct me if I'm wrong), JFK fell into the third category.

James Lateer
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