10 January 2005

Pitty, Isn't It?

      I remember some years ago seeing an interview with Knowlton Nash-- longtime anchor of The National on the CBC, for those of you too young to remember him-- in which he explained that in the early 60s, it was the worst-kept secret in Washington that JFK was having various dalliances with squads of young women. In fact, Nash explained, on the Kennedy campaign, JFK would seldom carry his own cash with him and would bum money from members of the reporting pool for such dalliances. Why didn't anyone report it? It wasn't considered news, and there was a sort of gentleman's-agreement against reporting such stuff. More importantly, most newspapers wouldn't want to trade in such smarmy allegation, even if it was true. (Those were the days before the Profumo scandal in the UK.) Now fast-forward forty-odd years. Somewhere Edward R. Murrow is turning in his grave-- and Hedda Hopper is cackling in Margaret Hamilton-glee, "Oh, my pretties! I'm free at last, oh Lord, I'm free at last!" Welcome to the Compromised Land.

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