This was a ready-made photogenic media package. We now know that much of it was just that — spin. The kind of slick PR machine that our latter-day leaders can only dream of.
His staff created the impression of warm, sweet and nice to people, reads a lot of books, a philosopher, and all that sort of thing. That was a pure creation of mythology. We are really talking about what marketing gurus would term the JFK brand. Think of those sun-kissed images of Kennedy in shades sailing off Hyannis Port, or playing with his children in the Oval Office, or his daughter Caroline seated on his lap in Air Force One. These are images that advertisers would die for; today they are promoted by Gucci or Prada. JFK was the original modern celebrity.
It is as if every presidential campaign since has channelled this brand power and has merely been a cheap parody. Think of the crowds throughout the Kennedy presidency that came out to greet him whether on the homecoming tour of Ireland or in Berlin or even on that day in Dallas.
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It was not only Americans who had drunk deep and been intoxicated with the heady swirl of the Kennedy myth. Those star-struck crowds would never reach the same fervour again. The promise and optimism of the Sixties would sour and curdle. This is the 'brief, shining moment' Jackie alludes to with her recollection of JFK listening to the musical Camelot in the evenings.
The post-JFK era ushered in a politics in which adoration was replaced by the jaded cynicism that we are all too familiar with. Perhaps this was an inevitable by-product of the over-exposure of the information age and the penetrating tentacles of the mass media. If Kennedy had lived, it is likely that he too may have been embroiled and scuppered by scandal perhaps as soon as the campaign. And we would not now look back fondly on or elevate him into the pantheon of great presidents metaphorically carved into Mount Rushmore but place him in the halls of infamy alongside Nixon — deformed and disfigured by political ambition like Richard III.
The stardust rubs off on any who are lucky to be close enough. The election campaign is now memorable for the moment when the young Clinton shook hands with his hero JFK in the White House rose garden. The strategy of the Obama campaign, running on hope, was testament to the enduring influence of JFK.
Yet Clinton would be smeared and nearly destroyed by the Lewinsky affair. It is remarkable to think of the gentlemanly agreement held by the newspaper men despite the lurid romps and indiscreet liaisons many of them taking place in the White House as Kennedy almost daily bedded escorts, starlets and celebrities.
And the Obama presidency is a stark reminder of frustrated legislative programmes and of how perceived potential can fizzle out. The hyperbolic language of Greek tragedy did not seem out of place in the years that followed the assassination. For the circle of intimates or what Gore Vidal might term acolytes and sycophants , such as Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger Jr, the modern age had produced one worthy of such description.
The lineaments of this tragic parabola from wartime heroics to peacetime leader to political murder were commensurate with such lofty sentiments. The lofty assessment of the early years would be lowered by more measured ones in later years. As Zhou Enlai cryptically said of the French Revolution, it may be too early to say. It is one of the great guessing games for those who partake in hypothetical histories of What If? What if Hitler had won the war? What if Kennedy had lived? Would his second term have seen civil rights legislation passed, pulling out of Vietnam and detente with the Soviets?
Or would the Kennedy presidency over two terms have actually been remembered instead for one thing, the inevitable escalation in Vietnam? So hallowed and revered is the myth enshrining Kennedy that it seems unthinkable. Contemporary historians should know better.
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One school of thought is exemplified by the likes of Oliver Stone. This attempts to recast JFK as a radical threat to the military-industrial complex. Yet far from being radical, JFK was a product of the establishment and a Cold warrior steeped in its rhetoric. Is it possible that a different Kennedy was emerging in ? One immediately thinks of the overtures of peace in the American University speech in Washington in which he spoke poignantly of our common humanity and reaching out to the Soviet Union.
Or was this all merely soaring rhetoric that Kennedy had wielded from day one in the inauguration speech? This argument posits that JFK was beginning to contemplate cooperation in the space race instead of a nuclear arms race and even some kind of accommodation with Castro. The closer we look the more JFK actually resembles the first Berlusconi. Admittedly, in another account of eloping with JFK, the most memorable detail is the unglamorous description of how long it took him to remove the strapping for his back.
Despite decades of lurid revelations, there is something Teflon about the Kennedy brand. Most of it does not seem to stick. The towering figures of the American mid-century — Roosevelt and Eisenhower — dwarfed their successors. The real legacy of the Kennedy era may be the curtailment of the executive power of presidents. Eisenhower himself warned of the influence of the military-industrial complex a term he coined in his farewell speech.
In the wake of the assassination, Harry Truman penned an opinion piece in The Washington Post on how the CIA had become too powerful, outgrowing its original remit of intelligence gathering by expanding into covert ops. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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Hello, comrades! Unless, of course, our Sherman tanks after their arduous trip through the Time Tunnel plunge through the Arlington Memorial Bridge and we have to fish them out of the Potomac.
John F. Kennedy - Quotes, Wife & Assassination - Biography
In which case, it will clearly be the result of sabotage by wreckers determined to ruin yet another celebration of the Most Abused President in All of Human History. Accutane is already controversial for its possible links to depression. It could also have a range of other effects. In , a family filed a lawsuit alleging that an acne drug made their teenage son suicidal. But since the FDA approved isotretinoin in , it had been plagued by controversy over whether it could alter brain chemistry and cause depression.
The case was dropped in Meanwhile, a steady stream of research has continued to probe the question of whether isotretinoin causes depression and suicide. None of it has conclusively proved an answer. But a study published today in JAMA Dermatology contends that, for all the focus on these most dramatic side effects, dermatologists and psychiatrists might have overlooked other potential mental-health risks for patients taking the drug.
Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. At a. The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane.
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He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified.
His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie. He was married and had three adult children. He lived in a gated development. He owned two houses. In his first house he had installed an elaborate Microsoft flight simulator. These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D. The plane was dark and quiet.
To hear more feature stories, see our full list or get the Audm iPhone app. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started. A new hypothesis suggests that their vaunted intelligence and short-lived, solitary nature are all linked to a fourth trait. A small shark spots its prey—a meaty, seemingly defenseless octopus.
The shark ambushes, and then, in one of the most astonishing sequences in the series Blue Planet II , the octopus escapes. Once released, it moves to protect itself—it grabs discarded seashells and swiftly arranges them into a defensive dome. Thanks to acts like these, cephalopods—the group that includes octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish—have become renowned for their intelligence.
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