History Channel Dumps Right-Wing Kennedy Miniseries After Campaign By Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films

Joel Surnow may have created the popular TV show 24, but for his latest work, he ripped a page from his good friend Rush Limbaugh's playbook. 'The Kennedys,' a fictionalized miniseries, was a right-wing smear job on the former president, apparently portraying JFK as a money-hungry dictator, if this trailer is to be believed. It was meant to run on the History Channel, but after a thorough review and a very popular petition led for nearly a year by prominent documentarian Robert Greenwald and his Brave New Films imprint, the station decided to cancel its broadcast, calling it “historical fiction.” It must be pretty egregious -- the show stars popular actors Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes as JFK and Jackie, and it's hard to imagine any station turning down a sure ratings boon in lieu of its principles. In an April interview with The Wrap, Greenwald beseeched Kinnear and Holmes to demand a "historically accurate and politically unbiased script."

Kennedy biographer David Talbot, who Surnow cited as a source for his script, called 'The Kennedys' “largely a soap opera about the Kennedy sex lives” in an interview. “What I found so offensive about the screenplay was this image of him as a lightweight dilettante, when in fact he was perhaps one of the most well-traveled, well educated and thoughtful leaders this country has ever produced.”

As NPR points out, the miniseries will still air in Canada and internationally in the Spring, and considering its high-profile cast, it will likely have no trouble finding a home in the States (perhaps Surnow should give Fox a call). But it's a testament to the History Channel that they decided to halt 'The Kennedys' in favor of the truth. 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 8, 2011, 6:30am

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