Loyals Wage Campaign to Stop Kennedy Miniseries
By Mara Gay at AOL News
It might be the adulterous sex scene in the White House swimming pool that sent them over the edge. Or the line that has President John F. Kennedy saying he gets migraines unless he sleeps with a new woman every couple of days.
But the proposed script of a new History channel miniseries has drawn the ire of progressive historians and bloggers, who are waging a campaign to stop a portrait about JFK that some are calling a “right-wing political hit job.”
It began when Kennedy scholars, including Ted Sorensen, a Kennedy historian and former adviser, got ahold of the script and were horrified. Sorensen called the approach “vindictive” and “malicious,” and said that the script is historically inaccurate.
When liberal filmmaker Robert Greenwald read the script, he was so angry he started a “Stop the Kennedy Smears Campaign,” complete with a video featuring progressive historians calling for a boycott of the History channel until the network stops “running politically motivated fiction as historical.”
It didn’t help, of course, that the series is a project of “24″ creator Joel Surnow, who is an outspoken conservative.
In the video, the progressive historian Rick Perlstein, author of “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America,“ said the script was as “sordid” as possible, “invented stuff” and was “designed to make John F. Kennedy look like a fool.”
By this morning, the liberal blogosphere was on the attack as well, defending Kennedy’s legacy and condemning the History channel.
Hullabaloo blogger Digby said “putting the imprimatur of The History Channel on a work of sleazy right wing propaganda takes it to a new level. If you have the word ‘history’ right there in the logo, you have some responsibility to deliver historical accuracy.”
The Raw Story’s John Byrne called the series’ script “more than a little loose with the facts.”
But History is not generally known for attracting controversy, and the project’s screenwriter, Stephen Kronish, told The New York Times that such criticisms are unfair, because it is too early in the project to make such judgments and the script is not final.
“Next year, when it’s done and it’s on the air, if people want to criticize it, so be it,” Kronish, who calls identifies himself as a liberal Democrat, told the newspaper. “But at this stage of evolutionary development it seems that Greenwald’s agenda becomes all the more obvious.”
But in The Huffington Post on Tuesday, Greenwald argued that it was a matter of setting the historical record straight. “Historically misleading, demeaning and disgusting, this piece of far right propaganda goes beyond the bounds of decency, let alone historical accuracy,” he wrote.