What has been called the Kennedy Glorification Industry, or perhaps Jack and Jackie Glitter, Inc., swung into full DefCon1 mode the last few days to put down the Mimi Alford memoir about how JFK not only took her virginity but pimped her out to his aide Dave Powers in the White House swimming pool. JFK Inc. can’t employ the Clinton tactic of viciously attacking the credibility and reputation of the accuser, since she was discovered by a liberal biographer, Robert Dallek, several years ago. So instead the JFK library “coincidentally” released this week new private papers from Jackie Onassis, and last night the network nightly news programs dutifully ran weepy reminiscences about the 50th anniversary of Jackie’s televised White House tour. Alford? Alford? Never heard of her in the network newsrooms apparently.
Meanwhile, Chris Matthews finally got his JFK groove back, and his weekend panel that unanimously agreed that there’s nothing to see here, move along, move along:
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: That was my reaction, too. No, this seems like a lot of deja vu once again as far as that aspect of Kennedy’s character goes, but his image is still larger than all of that.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, I wrote a much more comprehensive book about Jack Kennedy. [Really? I hadn’t heard this. . .] I got to tell you, it’s all a part of the picture. You can’t defend it. He’s still a hero.