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The Education Forum

Richard Reeves with Charlie Rose

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This episode was broadcasted yesterday on Bloombergs. Charlie Rose is in my view the supreme talk show host in the US and this chat is no exception. Quite a few pictures and some clips. (Fantastic photo of JFK, RFK, Schlesinger and Marilyn Monroe..)


Edited by Glenn Viklund
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  • 3 months later...

How was Reeves Portrayal of JFK?

I found this paragraph interesting about Reeves portrayal of the RFK campaign of 1968. I agree with the author, Joseph A. Palermo, that Reeves depiction is wrong.


On Sunday, March 31, 1968, a lengthy piece by the journalist Richard Reeves appeared in the New York times Magazine that referred several times to Kennedy's campaign organization as a

"well-oiled machine." The lateness of Kennedy's entry, and his hastily-assembled staff, did not stop Reeves from portray9ing the campaign as a juggernaut(10) It was the kind of media

exposure that reinforced complacency among Kennedy's supporters while energizing his opponents, and was a view Republican newspapers also promoted.(11) In reality, the the early

Kennedy campaign bore little resemblance to a a machine, well-oiled or otherwise.(p. 190, In His Own Right)


It was Humphrey who was playing the delegate game by sitting out the primaries, and getting the top labor bureaucrats signed up early. RFK was using grass roots community groups to bring a new kind of pressure-- one that elites within the Democrats felt were unseemly-- on the older party controlled delegate structures. Also Palermo points out that RFK was getting lots of local labor support that defied the George Blue Meanys of the day.

Reeves portrayal seems exactly the opposite of the what was actually happening on the ground in Indiana, Nebraska, and California.

Also Palermo points out the RFK would not hesitate to strongly criticize the Vietnam war even in the most staunchly Republican counties of Nebraska.

RFK talked class more explicitly than any democrat since. Yes, the full contradictions of his campaign must be explored. But I am tired of reading distortions from the so-called left-- however fashionable they are in their specious lefter than thouism-- that only help us move further right because they cover up the edge of what is permissible in US politics.

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