My consumption of JFK 50th anniversary teevee continued unabated last week. It was such a televisual event that watching images, both familiar and unfamiliar, has occupied more of my time than reading stuff on the internets. I’ve skipped the more lurid programming that can be found around the dial and online. I’m inclined to reject the Warren Report but find the mega-coup/CIA/LBJ threads to be ludicrous albeit frequently unintentionally amusing. I’m not big on the Cubo-Soviet strand of assassination buffery either. I lean in the direction of Mob hit theory since it’s one of the few plausible explanations as to why nobody has squealed.
Now that I’ve declared myself a lone gunman agnostic, here are some random comments on some of last week’s programming with the odd link since I mustered the energy to consult with Mr. Google:
PBS’ American Experience, JFK:Speaking of rehashing material and treading on familiar-to me at least-ground this two-parter was competently done in the Ken Burns style. But it featured way too many historians doing the whole big picture dance thing for my taste. As much as I enjoy seeing Robert Caro, I prefer earlier Kennedy documentaries that featured the people who were actually there and knew the man. Give me Ted Sorensen over scholar-squirrel Robert Dallek any day. (I don’t know about you but I’m glad that my last name doesn’t evoke images of the Whovian villains, the Daleks.) If they were going to feature histo-journalists, I wish they’d have turned to Salon founder David Talbot whose book Brothers broke some new ground in Kenendy lore.
This documentary is a decent introduction for the uninitiated since it has a lot of good film clips of the life and times of JFK, but if you know the story, it’s strictly for obsessives such as moi.