Unethical Quote of the Week: “Today Show” Co-Host Ann Curry

 “What about Caroline [Kennedy], who is still alive?…Did you think about, as you talk about unburdening yourself, the idea that you’ve burdened other people now with this?”

—-”Today Show” co-host Ann Curry,  interviewing Jack Kennedy mistress and teen-ages sex toy Mimi Alford on Thursday’s NBC and suggesting that Alford was wrong and greedy to share the story of how the late President used, abused, and sexually exploited her, as was his habit.

Ann Curry’s Law: “The important thing isn’t getting the true story, but to make sure to avoid telling the truth when it might upset people I like.” Got that, everyone?

That’s right, Ann…why reveal the nasty truth about the misogynistic and ruthless character of an American icon, when it is so much more pleasant to keep lies alive?

Curry is beyond belief. She is supposedly a journalist, and yet her professed concern is how Kennedy family members will react to credible information about one of their own. History, Ann? Understanding who America’s leaders are? Learning the truth? Exploding mythology burnished by a lap dog press and meticulously nurtured by a wealthy family with a well-documented history of adultery and misogyny? Do any of these seem like legitimate goals to Ann Curry? Alford, whose relationship with Kennedy has been thoroughly confirmed, was miserably treated by the sex-addicted President, and yet Curry thinks that the intern has an obligation to protect the Kennedy family.

If there is a more horrifying example of the media’s ethical blindness when the Kennedy clan is involved, I can’t think of it. Alford is a victim, a once-young women led into the clutches of a genuine sexual predator with unlimited power to make people do his bidding and punish those who did not. Amazingly, she kept her secret for almost half a century, more than enough time for the sting of her revelations to be mitigated (does anyone really believe that Caroline Kennedy doesn’t know about her father’s serial betrayals of her mother?). No one, especially a member of the profession that allowed her to be misused, has any business criticizing her. Criticize the man who forced her to perform oral sex on an aide, while he watched. Criticize the man whose reckless tom-cat/playboy habits endangered his office and the nation.

Moving on from outrageous bias, how about Curry’s hypocrisy? When has the media ever hesitated to publicize embarrassing stories, and even rumors, about public figures without any concern about their children and families? I wrote in an earlier post about the way JFK’s false image as a hero corrupts our leadership and the culture; Curry proves that Kennedy and the contagion of Kennedy worship that he spread still corrupts American journalism.

Curry’s colleagues, Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera questioned Alford’s credibility throughout the segment, as if Kennedy’s reputation and character were as squeaky-clean as Mister Rogers. We know he had sexual encounters with a mob moll and an Israeli spy, actresses like Angie Dickinson and Marilyn Monroe, and too many others to count. The late reporter Hugh Sidey, who covered Kennedy at the White House (and who was one of those who facilitated his sexual predation), wrote in Time that “there was a Mimi….there was also a Pam, a Priscilla, a Jill (actually, two of them), a Janet, a Kim, a Mary and a Diana I can think of offhand.” That he can think of offhand!  Isn’t that cute? Ah, that funny, naughty Jack Kennedy! What a man!

What a liar. What a fraud. And Mimi Alford is doing history and the nation a service by providing some eye-witness reporting on what kind of man America’s fate depended upon in 1962. For this she has to endure the sneering of Ann Curry and others who pass themselves off as journalists today and who, as is often the case with the news media, care more about preserving false illusions than telling the truth.

17 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Professions

17 responses to “Unethical Quote of the Week: “Today Show” Co-Host Ann Curry

  1. Even after all this time, I’m still startled about how much I never knew about JFK. I’ve often said that the best of the Kennedy men were always the first to go… from Joe, Jr. to Big Teddy. It should be noted that Kennedy likely won the White House on the weight of illicit Cook County votes. What an irony that another media-untouchable White House icon owes his position to the Chicago machine as well.

  2. Mr. Kennedy was a liar and a fraud you say? How is it that scholars and experts have called other men in history great leaders when they have had moral and ethical weaknesses as well? A father and a son were considered great military leaders, very wise in their executive duties, yet used lies, deceit and bribes to carry out their wills. They also became leaders without any experience. I comprehend that there should be qualifications for an individual to be elected a leader of a great nation. However, how does one decide if moral and ethical deficiencies will prohibit someone from effectively leading?

    • You do know that conduct matters, right? That there are differences between the magnitude of lies, and that there is flawed character and outright bad character? “Everybody does it” is no more an excuse for unethical conduct in leaders than it is an excuse for the rest of us. Kennedy, by, for example, having sexual realities with an Israeli double agent endangered US security—that’s not an effective leader, that’s a reckless leader who got lucky. Kennedy’s record does NOT show him to be an effective leader—he may well have been defeated for re-election. He blundered into the Cuban Missile Crisis and had Khrushchev not decided to avoid a war, JFK might have gone down in history as the worst bungler ever to sit in the White House.

      How do we know? We don’t. But leaders of strong character and judgment are better bets than sociopaths, and that’s what Kennedy almost certainly was..

      • Bill

        I’ve always maintained that the best thing that ever happed to JFK’s reputation was him getting assassinated. If he hadn’t been killed I think he wouldn’t be as fondly remembered as he is today.

      • I don’t claim or insinuate what Mr. Kennedy was wise or ethical in the least. We have all seen too many that have abused their positions for their own selfish ideas or reasons. I see on this blog the commentors that are so quick to judge others with allegiances or values other than their own. At the same time they justify their own relatives, friends, and heroes that have done similar WRONG acts. Even the ones who claim to have a strong religious faith have biases against their own or others who hold similar ethics and values. The hypocrisy in this culture is mind boggling. The biases in the media, with examples of Fox and MSNBC, have made it disturbingly difficult to learn the facts and differentiate between who or what is right and wrong. The distorted implications the populous is subject to is unreal. Then they go viral and they usually stick regardless if there is any truth to the story or not. How does one keep score of who is MORE ethical than others?

        • Pardon? I defy you to show me how this blog holds leaders to different standards according to their “allegiances.” As for values, are you suggesting that “I am President so I can use my overwhelming power to make my young 19 year old intern give blow jobs to my aides” is a “value”??

          How do I keep score? I do my best and try to apply objective standards; it’s my job. The predecessor the Ethics Alarms was called the Ethics Scoreboard for a reason. Here’s one: Bill Clinton abused Monica Lewinsky as an employer and a man, but at least he didn’t humiliate her, force her to take drugs and pimp her out. JFK was worse, and he had more than a dozen Monicas for Clinton’s one. Easy call. Regarding deficits of respect, fairness, caring, loyalty, honesty, decency, prudence and breach of trust, Kennedy was far, far more unethical.

          How indeed.

          • Jack, I won’t deny that when I started commenting a few months ago, I misunderstood your blog. Since that time I have found that you are more than fair. So I wasn’t accusing you of being unfair. I was writing about other commenters judging others after you have written a good post about some ethical dunce. I was talking about the hypocrisy of the people who claim to be religious or fair from the right or left, then jump to villify others because they have ideas that are neither good or bad. The people that won’t admit that the ideas or people they are loyal to have ethics that are suspect. Examples are the ones that threw the book at Clinton and will look the other way on Newt’s indiscretions and support him. Same with Nixon, JFK, FDR, Reagan, Bush or Obama. I was talking about the self rightous Christians that forget about King David or King Solomon.

            • Thanks for the clarification, and yes, you picked one of the great examples of all time: Clinton and Gingrich. Or Barney Frank and Larry Craig/ Mark Foley. Drives me crazy, and it’s good to know I have company.

  3. Elizabeth

    If the children and grandchildren (alive) should not be subjected to the truth about their fathers and forbears, history would be simply a grand story told on a grand stage.

    We all know (don’t we?) that Joseph Kennedy Sr. made his millions in bootleggng, that Jackie married “down” when she married Jack, Jr., that same’s ongoing infidelity was legend and protected by the Secret Service, that absent the Chicago/Illinois “mob” JFK would not have been elected (and perhaps we owe some thanks to the “mob” because eventually we got Lyndon Johnson, for whom history will present a true and honorable story), and that the rumor that Joe Kennedy Jr. did NOT want to follow in his father’s plans for him.

    Where do you think the great foundations come from? Ford, Carnegie, etc., etc. From guilt-ridden robber barons of the early 20th century who hoped to atone for their sins and their ugly treatment of the American worker. Come on. So what if Caroline is still alive? She was close to Jackie, and can’t be totally ignorant of her family’s history. Clearly too smart for that.

    So on the basis of Ann Curry and other comments, we should have waited until Hillary and Chelsea were DEAD before we went after Bill Clinton for sexual harassment!

  4. Patrice

    The level of interviewing ability and professionalism on the Today Show is ridiculous. We used to cringe whenever Meredith Viera was going to do an interview, especially one with family members who had suffered some terrible tragedy: “So, how did you FEEL, Mrs. Jones, when you heard that your sweet little daughter had been brutally molested and sadistically murdered by a recent parolee?” Mostly, Matt Lauer gets the charism of how to interview just about anybody, but his statements doubting Mimi’s veracity are a bad sign. We began watching the Today Show (and NBC News in general) on 9/11/2001. I rarely watch nowadays. Even Brian Williams is beginning to bother me.

  5. Michael

    I was always amazed how highly esteemed JFK is in the school system. If we talked about great presidents, JFK was always up there with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In fact, they usually put Lincoln first, then JFK, and Washington a distant third (or fourth, after FDR). In high school, I started wondering why he was so highly exalted and I couldn’t figure it out. There were no accomplishments. In college, when Bill Clinton was running for president, there was an analysis that showed that Clinton was very popular among women because they thought he was attractive. Since most of my teachers were women, I wonder if that is part of the reason for JFK’s popularity.

    I always wondered why Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t mentioned much. Maybe that is why kids don’t like history. We skip all the good stories.

  6. Bunny

    None of the details of this disgusting woman’s story can be verified, and this is nothing more than her desperate attempt to “go down” in history, and to make some money too. She said on NBC that she was a willing participant, and that she would do it all over again. How nice of her share and to burden the grandchildren with her debauchery. When future generations research the family tree won’t they be proud of granny!

    • I think that’s a repugnant and indefensible point of view. The woman was abused; the fact of her relationship with JFK has been corroborated with others; she has no obligation to protect his reputation, which is, and has long been, a manufactured myth, and she has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

      • Bunny

        The details of her story have not been coroborrated by anyone. I have heard that repeated quite a bit, and it just tells me that her story can’t stand on its own, and that they need to make it seem like others have already written about it. Sorry, but the only mention was by Robert Dallek in 2003 who wrote about a a rumor of an affair with an intern. He didn’t even mention her name. He based his information on an oral history given by B. Garamekian in which she says that she heard a rumor about a Mimi. That’s it. She does not confirm an affair or go into any details.

        From there we are supposed to make the leap that everything this troubled woman says is the truth even though none of it can be verified. That’s ridiculous. This woman has made some awful, unsubstantiated claims that are making her very rich. She’s disgusting.

        • That wasn’t what Curry was saying at all, so it isn’t even slightly applicable to the point. Curry was saying that she couldn’t;t have told the story if it was true.

          That said, the biased willingness of those like you who choose to impugn the former intern when JFK’s predilections are well documented astonishes me, and amounts to clinical denial.1) Her name was always included among JKF’ concubines by several of the journalists that aided and abetted Kennedy’s revolting lifestyle. 2) To presume that a woman like her, at her age, would suddenly subject herself to the sneers of Kennedy worshipers like you, not to mention the indignity of the accounts themselves, like the Powers story, defies belief. 3)Such books do not make their authors “very rich.” That’s a classic canard always used to legitimize anyone whose book damages the powerful. 4) Almost no one doubts her account, even the Kennedys. The arguments of the Kennedy cult gang, like Chris Matthews, has been that it “doesn’t matter,” and that Jack and Jackie had a “deeply loving” marriage. The first contention is insane, and the latter really is unsupportable with what we know about Kennedy’s betrayals even leaving out the latest revelations.

          Meanwhile, you have articulated the default defense of every rapist. Yes, when a woman is sexually abused, there are often no witnesses. I guess we should just believe the men, then.

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