in the first of what may or may not become a recurring series…
FACT TIME WITH OLINE!!!
oh hey, ya’ll. i’m a legit doctor now so please note the new, highly over-educated gravitas of my lit crit here.
good timing too because with the release of jackie, lo! a kennedy season is upon us.
translation: prepare yoself for some really ridiculously counter-factual daily mail reports.
technically, on the whole, this is not inaccurate. according to multiple sources, she did speak about suicide in the months after JFK’s murder.
what i would like to draw your attention to is this…
now, i realize that this is not actually the central claim of this article, but it is repeated multiple times…
and it is not true. as the gentlest of googles would reveal.
because, once upon a time, this was a huge big deal… in 2003.
when thomas maier was given access to letters by a jesuit priest- rev. mcsorely- with whom jackie kennedy had spoken at length after the assassination. maier included elements of these letters, which were available at the lauginer library in georgetown, and his conversations with mcsorely in his book emerald kings. and a big stink ensued. (which you can read about here and here and here and here and here– and which had long-term implications you can read about here.)
it maybe is or isn’t significant that the daily mail says these conversations “were revealed” in barbara leaming’s the untold story, as that does leave room for them to have been first revealed somewhere else. (and leaming’s book does have revelations of its own… the correspondence with mcnamara which was sold at auction is extremely insightful.)
but, based on this…
i’mma go out on a limb and assume that the daily mail based this report entirely on vanity fair‘s 2014 excerpt of leaming’s book. and took her use of widely known already established facts as REVELATIONZ.
(in contrast, this week’s people correctly identifies maier’s book as the source for the mcsorley conversations. so it is possible to get these things right.)
it may seem like i’m banging on about a small thing, but these are significant things: the origin of a story and a detail (misleadingly repeated three times) in a news source.
we live in a time when facts seem increasingly hard to come by and so details matter all the more.
i know, i know. it’s the daily mail. their articles are characterized by 1000 photographs, 500-word captions and few facts. but still. they can do better. i insist.
(side note: what IN THE WORLD is happening with the daily mail‘s captions??
i mean these are the people who brought us this:
dear daily mail, oh come on.)
the comments are an interesting melange…
NO, NO, LIES! DON’T BELIEVE IT. HER VOICE WAS NOT ELEGANT AND MEZMERIZING… BECAUSE SHE WAS A MONEY GRABBER. am i correct in reading the logic there?
this take down is instructive…
and suggests that we, as a people, are not completely credulous.
as does the sad little plea from this person, who appears to actually know something about the origins of this story:
and, for the first time, i realized just how much biography may have in common with the daily mail…