Two days ago I wrote that Gregg Kinnear‘s decision to play President John F. Kennedy in an allegedly right-wing-friendly History Channel miniseries called The Kennedys “means [he] isn’t all that worried about liberal Hollywood establishment types frowning at this decision, and is willing to risk offending those (like documentarian Robert Greenwald and former Kennedy confidante Theodore Sorenson) who’ve sounded alarms about the tone and political leanings of the forthcoming epic.”
Sure enough, Greenwald went public yesterday with a challenge to Kinnear and Katie Holmes (who’s signed to play Jackie Kennedy) to “insist on a historically accurate and politically unbiased script.” Translation: “You’re already being looked at askance, Kinnear and Holmes, for agreeing to star in a piece of right-wing revisionism about a beloved liberal president, but your reputation with the Hollywood community might be salvaged if you can bring pressure upon those fucks you’re working for to eliminate the wildly fictional and salacious aspects that we read in an early draft of the screenplay.”
Greenwald began squawking about The Kennedys last February, claiming that it does “everything in its power to demean and make them quite disgusting figures.”
The forthcoming eight-hour miniseries is being produced by 24 producer and avid conservative Joel Surnow, and it’s Greenwald’s belief that Surnow intends to paint Jack Kennedy with a morally conservative brush by depicting him as a womanizing sleazeball, and by portraying him as more of a conservative-minded type than his mostly liberal reputation has indicated thus far.
But within the realm and reality of the early ’60s, Kennedy was a centrist and at times center-right. He was pro-free market (although he once got into an angry fight with U.S. Steel over the hiking of steel prices), and was committed to a strong defense, and was fiercely anti-Communist, of course. I doubt if he’d been born in the late 1940s or early 50s and been elected to the Senate or to the White House that he’d be much different than Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton philosophically, but he was hardly a flaming lefty by the standards of his time.
And his womanizing was, of course, legendary…c’mon. He was arguably the randiest U.S. President of the 20th Century. Greenwald is reportedly pissed about a scene in The Kennedys in which JFK asks his brother Robert, “What do you do when you’re horny?” and tells him that if he doesn’t have sex with unfamiliar women “every couple of days I get migraines.” Well, no offense but that sounds an awful lot like the Jack Kennedy I’ve been reading about for years. I can’t remember the source, but I remember an account claiming that Kennedy once remarked to a friend that he didn’t feel he’d really had a woman unless he’d had her all three ways. Hah!