For Immediate Release


Martha de Hoyos  (310) 204-0448, ext. 225

Brave New Films

Brave New Films's Robert Greenwald Denounces Joel Surnow's History Channel Production of the Kennedys As Political Attack Through Character Assassination

Leading Historians Ted Sorensen and Thurston Clarke Charge the Miniseries with Being Blatant Distortions of the Truth

LOS ANGELES - Brave New Films's Robert Greenwald is taking on Joel Surnow and his
upcoming History Channel project, "The Kennedys", charging it with
being a politically motivated character assassination of President
Kennedy and unfit to be portrayed as history.  Variety
described Surnow as "politically active in conservative politics" and
refers to the miniseries as viewed through the lens of the conservative
right.* Greenwald and Brave New Films have enlisted leading historians
Ted Sorensen, Thurston Clarke, David Nasaw, Nigel Hamilton, and Rick
Perlstein to inform the public of the blatant political bias and
inaccuracies of the miniseries.

is best known for his Fox television show "24" and executive producing
"The ½ Hour News Hour" for the Fox News Channel. Surnow, a long-time
friend of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes, has
been described by the New York Times as "[having] hardly been shy about
his conservative politics."**

To view Brave New Films
online film detailing portions of The Kennedys script with historians
commentary, please click the link below:

originally heard about the script from my friends in commercials, film,
and television.  I have read and seen lots of bad television, but this
is political character assassination of the lowest and dirtiest kind.
It is inexcusable that The History Channel seems to be morphing into
Fox News with this.  I've produced about fifty-plus movies and never
have I read anything this distorted, political, and filled with
propaganda being sold as historical truth. It is shocking that the
History Channel would carry such a historically inaccurate and
politically slanted script
." Robert Greenwald, Director, Brave New Films

is only one of the people subject to character assassination [in The
Kennedys]. There's also character assassination against Bobby, against
the President's father, Joseph P. Kennedy...I could go on and on down the
list...It's just amazing that anyone could be as mean spirited and
vindictive as this...
There will be hell to pay if anyone is ever foolish enough to put this banal, repetitive, old hat lists of libels and slanders on the air." Ted Sorensen, President John F. Kennedy's Special Counsel and Adviser

makes the many historical inaccuracies in this screenplay so suspect,
and wicked, is that they are, almost always, devices aimed at
portraying President Kennedy, his wife, father, and other family
members in the worst possible light. To call these 'mistakes' is too
kind; they are conscious political hits." Thurston Clarke, Historian, Kennedy Scholar, and Author of Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech that Changed America

script degrades Joe Kennedy, Catholicism and Irish heritage and makes
their real life characters into cartoon characters; they not only have
to reduce Joe Kennedy to a foul mouth, nasty father who would send his
son into harm's way to protect the family name, who turns
son-against-son, child-against-child, who cavorts openly with a
mistress...all of which is caricature. It makes fun of his Catholicism,
and it makes fun of his Irish heritage and that's just unacceptable." David
Nasaw, Professor of American History and Chairman of the Center for the
Humanities, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

travesty of The History Channel's characterization of the real John F.
Kennedy is absolute rubbish. To me it's a Republican version of Joseph
P. Kennedy that was trotting out twenty or thirty years ago. It was
trotted out when JFK was campaigning for president. It was the notion
that here was a very powerful figure with a lot of money who was going
to dictate what happened to the United States and therefore, the
world." Nigel Hamilton, Senior Fellow in the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

struck me that the writer wanted to tell as distorted a story as
possible, and find very little in the Kennedy years that possessed any
dignity what so ever. A lot of it is designed to basically make John F.
Kennedy look like a fool."
Rick Perlstein, American Historian and Journalist

*Variety, March 25, 2009 Kennedy mini: The View from the Right

** The New York Times, December 14, 2009 Joel Surnow Takes on the Kennedys


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Share This Article

More in: