During ceremonies honoring the late President John F. Kennedy, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw said residents of conservative states wanted to see the 35th president dead. Folks on Twitter were only too happy to correct him.
During his Friday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” Brokaw recounted the following story:
I was a reporter in Omaha. I was the morning news editor. I did the cut-ins for the ‘Today’ show on the noon news, and it was kind of an exhausting schedule, about nine hours. And I was in the newsroom kind of cleaning up, and the bells on the wire machines went off. AP and UPI was how we got the news in those days. Not a tweet or anything online. And it meant there was a bulletin of some kind. And I went over and Merriman Smith — who really became legendary for dictating on the run, the UPI reporter – had dictated that shots were fired at the presidential motorcade, the president perhaps fatally wounded. That was the first thing that we saw. And then, of course, it rolled out there in Parkland, and then the announcement of his death.
We didn’t have the network up at KMTV because NBC would give back a local station one hour of midday programming. I ran down — there was a garden show on the air. So I put it on over the garden show and then did that a couple of times. And this was unusual, but it was not unheard of. As I came running out of the announce booth, the chief engineer — with whom I didn’t get along very well, a really curmudgeonly guy, old, kind of a gnarly guy – and he said, “What happened?” And I said, “Kennedy was shot.” And he said, “About time somebody shot that S.O.B.” That was heard in other places, mostly in the conservative states. But he was, that was reflecting his real feeling, and they had to peel me away from him. I then ran back up and continued to work.
Had Brokaw wanted to add color to the proceedings, it would have been far more appropriate to remark on Kennedy’s wit, which he often displayed at numerous press conferences, or the sense of glamour the Kennedy clan brought to the White House.
What made Brokaw’s remark particularly odd is that JFK was perhaps the most conservative Democrat of his time. He fought for lower taxes, promoted personal responsibility, was strongly anti-communist and was considered a hawk.
To top it off, he was assassinated by a deranged, lone communist sympathizer — the very antithesis of a conservative.
Twitter lit up. One user with the handle, @HeavensLane, implied Brokaw was merely following the NBC party line:
Another Twitter user said that although Kennedy was assassinated in the conservative South, the Southern states had a heavy hand in putting him in the White House.
Wikipedia provided this map of the 1960 election results, clearly showing how the red states strangely voted for Kennedy, the Democrat:
And then there’s this, showing true hate: a book bearing the title, “The Assassination of George W. Bush: A Love Story.”
Although I seldom agreed with his politics, I used to have a certain amount of grudging respect for Brokaw. That respect died on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.
If you haven’t already, check out ‘Fasten your seat belt’: Judge Napolitano stuns Juan Williams
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