Column misrepresented JFK’s speech, accomplishments
August 6, 2008
To the Editor:
This is in response to the far-right-leaning column that your newspaper labels “Central View.”
William Hamilton has again tried to discredit Democrats with his mixture of facts and fiction. Mr. Hamilton is misleading and untruthful in so many areas that I tend to doubt most of everything else he has to say even though he sprinkles his rhetoric with a few facts now and then and makes undocumented claims to try and lend credibility to his far right wing opinions.
In his article of July 23 regarding Barack Obama, I would like to correct him on a few points which are pretty obvious.
Mr. Hamilton mistakenly blames John Kennedy for the Berlin Wall. In fact, the Soviet Blockade of East Berlin actually began in 1948 shortly after the war ended. Haven’t we all heard of the massive Berlin Airlift that provided millions of pounds of food and supplies to the blockaded city?
There had been barbed wire fences, gates, and armed guards in place from 1948 until construction of the wall began in 1961.
John Kennedy was not responsible for the Berlin Wall. That’s a ridiculous claim. Is George Bush responsible for the atrocities in Darfur because it’s occurring on his watch?
As far as Mr. Hamilton’s claim that John Kennedy relied upon his speechwriter in order to prevent him from having “foot-in-mouth disease,” perhaps Mr. Hamilton has forgotten that John Kennedy was the first President willing to face the White House Press Corps himself (instead of using a “press secretary”). John Kennedy allowed these biweekly question/answer sessions to be televised live and even continued to hold them during the most tension-filled weeks of his administration (Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis, etc.). If anyone is interested in REALLY seeing John Kennedy’s knowledge of the issues and his keen intelligence, then I would be happy to allow them to view my copy of “Thank you, Mr. President”. In it, John Kennedy answers every question thrown at him by a relentless press corps. Again, Mr. Hamilton has tried to discredit a Democrat with his slanted opinion.
Mr. Hamilton also claims to have been present when Kennedy gave his famous “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech and he says there was a stunned silence over JFK’s inappropriate language blunder. You can hear JFK’s actual speech and the tremendous positive response by the German people for yourself. All you need to do is go to http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkberliner.html and watch the live video of the actual speech and the crowds response to it. There is NO stunned silence and there is NO editing.
There was no language mistake. The vicious rumor (spread by conservatives who like to discredit John Kennedy with these sort of lies) that he said “I am a jelly donut” is totally false and had been put to rest long ago. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Hamilton must rely on spreading misinformation to unsuspecting folks who haven’t heard these old stories before.
Reader, beware. The column “Central View” is not factual. It is an opinion column whose purpose is to discredit Democrats and sway you to a conservative viewpoint based on untruths, false innuendo, and misinformation. Period. The Sky-Hi Daily News appears to be supporting Mr. Hamilton’s viewpoint by allowing him to keep the “Central View” title for his opinion column.