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JFK Historian Cited as Source for History Channel’s Maligned Series Speaks Out

By Daniela Perdomo at AlterNet 

Following my article last week on the campaign to quelch the History Channel’s upcoming mini-series on the storied Kennedy family — produced by a FOX News-affiliated right-winger — comes more news on the heated story.

For context, the channel is developing a mini-series called “The Kennedys” that has been called, by historians and people who knew the people that’ll be depicted in the show, sex and sleaze disguised as history. The best way to paint the picture is to quote what Ted Sorensen, JFK’s legendary speechwriter and adviser, told me for my article:

According to Sorensen, “not a single scene” in which he appears took place. “Some of that is simply sloppy invention, but most of it is because the script has been distorted by a hatred for the Kennedys,” he told AlterNet. “Almost everything is invented or slanted in one way or another against the Kennedys.”

Now it appears that David Talbot, a historian whose books the show’s screenwriter, Stephen Kronish, told the New York Times he read as background, is outraged that he is being cited as a source for the maligned script.

Talbot released this statement:

… I don’t recognize the JFK in his script. There’s no sense of that in the screen play, in this miniseries, there’s no sense that the Kennedy family was devoted to public service and sacrificed several of its sons to the cause. There’s no sense of grandeur and gravitas of this family and how again and again its sons, literally put themselves on the line for this country. That to me is the outrage. Yeah, you can have an evenhanded and truthful account of President Kennedy, not only his own discretions but also his fathers. That’s a matter of historical record at this point, but unless you put it in a truthful context to show that while meanwhile he’s changing history and fighting every day of his life to change history despite his own illnesses and his personal problems, then you have no kind of appreciation or measure for the man. It’s such a distortion and such a one –sided almost perversely so portrait of Kennedy that when I saw my booked linked to this, a book that is really all about his political courage, then to me it’s defamation.”