The Cruel, Cruel Bobby Kennedy

Jack Newfield, a journalist who worked at the Village Voice, New York’s Daily News, Post and Sun, along with writing ten books, passed away at age 66. AP’s obituary for him lets this example of groupthink go by without comment–probably because its writer feels exactly the same way:


Newfield traveled with Kennedy during his presidential campaign and was present at the Ambassador Hotel when the candidate was assassinated on June 5, 1968.

His second book, “Robert Kennedy: A Memoir,” came out the following year.

“Though it’s really unknowable, I think that if Bobby had lived to be president we would have ended the Vietnam War much sooner, renewed the war on poverty; we would have had a totally different policy toward blacks than Richard Nixon had,” Newfield had said in an interview.

So does he mean that Newfield thought that Bobby would never have passed affirmative action or invited the first black Americans to sleep in the White House as guests of the president?

Of course not. But it would have been nice for the obit writer to research the facts before choosing that particular quote.

(Yes, I just defended Richard Nixon. And yes, I do feel a twinge of embarrassment at having done so.)


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