CounterPunch is at times a valuable journal. But apparently they cannot outgrow the legacy of Alec Cockburn. What he represented on Kennedy and Vietnam was a gross distortion of historical fact, which is a shame when it’s done by the Left as well as the Right, laments Jim DiEugenio.
Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., February 16, 2018 through May 20, 2018
A study in contrasts concerning the journalism of Robert Parry, whose singular groundbreaking investigative work did more than any other to shed light on the interconnected scandals of the Reagan era, vs the Washington Post, unduly celebrated by the eponymous Hanks/Spielberg film for its supposed role in publishing the Pentagon Papers.
Listen to the audio and read the transcript at Our Hidden History.
As a corrective to yet another tendentious Hanks-Spielberg historical rewrite, Jim DiEugenio provides a review of past work which puts The Washington Post in a more accurate perspective.
See now "The Post and the Pentagon Papers" at Consortium News.
Part 2 of the interview by David Giglio of Our Hidden History with Jim DiEugenio, covering 1963-1975.
The following interview was conducted by David Giglio of Our Hidden History with Jim DiEugenio about his four part review of the Burns/Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. But it goes beyond the material in that series and uses information recently declassified by NARA. Part 1 covers 1945-1963. (Click on the image for the audio.)
The best volume on Robert Kennedy I have read since Arthur Schlesinger’s two volume set in 1978. If you want to know about Bobby Kennedy’s life, the Schlesinger book is your choice. But if you want to know who RFK was in his last years, this is the book to read. No politician I know of ever did or said these kinds of things at home and abroad, writes Jim DiEugenio.
The best evidence for the triumph of neoconservatism, including over PBS, is to compare the 1983 series, Vietnam: A Television History, with the Burns/Novick version. The former is more honest, more hard-hitting, and more complete on the facts of the war. In a very real way, that comparison tells us how the Nixon/Kissinger view of Vietnam and the world eventually eclipsed JFK's, concludes Jim DiEugenio.
As depicted in Athens or at the Globe Theater, with tragedy there is always an element of both rage and violence. Johnson assiduously worked to spring his own trap on himself. And that is what is missing from this film, writes Jim DiEugenio.
With their defense of the Dulles brothers as “decent people” in Part One, the disappearance of Kennedy’s withdrawal plan and the championing of Vann and Sheehan in Part Two, so far the net value of this documentary is something less than zero, writes Jim DiEugenio.