Times Slanders Assassination Victims
by DCDave

The Washington Times has a regular feature at the bottom of its editorials section each Saturday called "Nobles and knaves." The former are people whom they praise for some recent action and the latter are people they similarly condemn. Forget the nobles this time. The knaves identified on Saturday, February 24, 2001, are "the relatives of Bill Clinton."

So far, so good. But check out this first sentence of explanation: "Since Bill Clinton left the White House, he has become an inadvertent ringmaster in the biggest circus of political family corruption since the Kennedys sat in the big tent of Camelot."

Say what? What a gratuitous smear of the reputations of John and Robert Kennedy this is! In recent years we have been bombarded with books about John Kennedy's personal recklessness, as if to convince us that he was really like one of those movie or TV villains who "needed killing," or at least to lessen the sting of having him violently taken from us. But try though they might, they can only find examples of misbehavior that are carnal, not venal, at bottom.

"Oh, but what do you expect from The Washington Times?" I hear you say. "The Times is a conservative Republican newspaper, and they never miss a chance to smear Democrats."

If that were their motivation here, they didn't have to reach so far. They didn't have to lie. Had they said simply that Bill Clinton was the most the most corrupt person to occupy the presidency since Lyndon Johnson, they would have made an accurate statement, in my estimation. Why did they jump over him to swipe at Kennedy, running the risk of making themselves look silly in the process?

I suggest that it is for the same reason that we keep seeing these highly-publicized books that attempt to tear down Kennedy's reputation while Lyndon, by comparison, gets practically a free ride. Lyndon Johnson and the people in the national opinion molding industry were partners in treachery of the highest sort. Together they covered up the conspiracy behind the heinous act that elevated Johnson to the presidency. On its face, they were accessories after the fact, but one need devote a little thought to it to see that they also had to have been implicated in the crime itself. The perpetrators had to have known that the man with the newfound power to make them pay the supreme price for their crime would not do so. So the Vice President had to have been safely on board with the plot. The same goes for the major news media. The plotters had to have enough confidence in their control of the media to know that the media would not expose the government's cover-up, rather, that they would be a party to it.

"Surely not everyone with power and influence in the news media could have been on board," I hear you say again. Well, there you're right. There was, as it turned out, Dorothy Kilgallen, a born skeptic with a nationally syndicated column (albeit a show biz gossip column) and a high profile as a regular on the network TV game show, What's My Line?

Dorothy soon went the way of JFK, though, and it looks as though her example and that of George Polk and Don Hollenbeck before her has been enough to keep the others in line.

David Martin
February 25, 2001

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