According to a front page article in The New York Times this morning there is a new mini-series about John F. Kennedy’s presidency being written for the History channel, and while there is no cast or footage yet, those who know anything about JFK want the script stopped.
The reason being, they say, the “Kennedys” screenplays contain many factual errors, some benign, some outrageous.” For example, one mistake that hits close to home to all of us is that the script has President Kennedy introducing the Peace Corps during the Bay of Pigs crisis in April 1961, when in fact JFK signed an executive order creating the agency one month earlier.
The mini-series, called “The Kennedys,” is being produced by Joel Surnow, a political conservative. Kennedy scholars say the script offers a portrait of the president and his family that is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, a hatchet job.
Mr. Kronish, the script writer, says that some factual details, like the date that the Peace Corps was established, were changed for concision or dramatic license, but not with malicious intent.
“This is not a documentary. It is a dramatization.” As the author, Mr. Kronish said, it was his job to “take these people off the dusty pages of history and make them come alive.”
Fine, I’m all for creativity, but if you want to move “dates” for dramatic purposes, move the Cuban invasion. After all, it wasn’t a success, but the Peace Corps is!
Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams should write a letter to the New York Times expressing the concerns the agency and RPCVs have about anyone jerking around with Peace Corps facts. I suggest that you all email Allison Price, the Peace Corps Director of Communications, with the suggestion that she draft a letter for Aaron to sign and send asap to the New York Times. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And while you’re at it, send your own letter to the Times.