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America's sweetheart

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday September 13, 2011 10:21 PM

I've always loathed Jackie Kennedy -- not as much as Mattress Jack himself, or Bobby, of course, but still. And yes, she saved Grand Central Station, so I hope that gets her out of Purgatory a millennium or two sooner than she otherwise might.

But still, what an awful woman. That breathy, little-girl voice, and the steel-trap Papisher demi-socialite climber. Ugh.

Come now the Jackie Tapes. One thing that seems quite clear is that there was never a fingernail's thickness of difference between her thinking and Jack's. I daresay she even found the bimbos a welcome relief from Jack's priapic importunities; Catholic girls were always easy but never genuinely enthusiastic. Or so I hear.

Speaking of easy, she found Malraux 'fascinating'; which really tells you all you need to know, doesn't it?

Of course the truly wonderful news is that she hated, hated Martin Luther King; and she seems to have read all the FBI tape transcripts that Miss J Edgar Hoover saw fit to pass upstairs at Camelot Castle. Here again, one feels quite sure that this is the Kennedy White House speaking with one voice. There are people who still believe the shabby myth that the Kennedys were sympathetic to the civil rights movement; and no doubt some will continue to do so; but La Belle Jackie's spitting-cobra venom won't make it any easier.

She seems to have been rather obsessed with Lesbian-Americans under the bed. Hmmm.

The damn book is published by Hyperion, which would ordinarily be a deal-killer for me. But I'll queue up for this one.

Comments (14)

Sidebar: Your beef is with Malraux the novelist, the diarist or the man?


I think it might be Malraux the Minister of Culture.

Aye. Even Camus found him odious in that role.


Sorry for the digression. My wife gave me wicked snaring glances tonight, when I broke into a gleeful chuckle at the thought of Lady Spider Onassis being besmirched by her own nixonian revelations. My better half is of an age to have strong impressions about that "embodiment of grace." I, on the other hand, tend to think Kennedy clanners look better in grave yard dress...


The Times' account of the tapes is wonderfully hilarious and pathetic:

In her distinctive breathy cadences.... the impeccable diction of women of her era and class...

[Jack] was, she says, kind, conciliatory, forgiving, a gentleman, a man of taste in people, furniture, books....

She presents herself in many ways as a traditional wife... Her marriage, she remarks, was “rather terribly Victorian or Asiatic.”

Really, this is to laugh or weep. Jackie's affected speech "impeccable"? Jack, the gangster's boy, had good taste in... furniture?! Shades of Henry James' Osmond, who had a 'genius for upholstery'. And 'rather terribly'? That's straight out of Eloise at the Plaza.

If the clan's association with Harriman were not enough to convince anyone that they're irredeemable, Mallrats ain' gonna tell 'em nothin'.


As a masturbating boy
I was immune to her wide eyed flat chested charms
The voice was of course not up to MM's baby doll variant

The fashionista of course conflates culture with couture

But I dare say you savage her to no effect boys

She in the end died well like her mate


Exchanging word bites over dinner with that shameless
Self promoter Malraux strikes me as
A delightful prospect
With her face and French at any rate


Harriman is not my first choice in litmus tests

His last wife however ......

I suffocate at the thought

She prolly could blow the ears off an elephant


She said her husband's speech writer Ted Sorensen had a "big inferiority complex"

Sounds quite plausible.

Peter Ward:
she saved Grand Central Station
Shame she couldn't a saved Penn Station for us instead. Though to be fair we did get a beautiful venue to host a basketball team with an impressive streak.

[Jack] was, she says, kind, conciliatory, forgiving, a gentleman, a man of taste in people, furniture, books....

And a taste for treating people and books as furniture.

Michael Hureaux:

My wife couldn't stand her because she was a New York city slumlord. It's interesting to hear of this stuff on her now, though, I've been perusing Thom Reeves' 1991 opus A Question of Character on hubbie Jack, who seemed to have been an even bigger dink than I thought he was previously. Dynasties are dynasties, and all of them are worthless.

From what I've heard about the Jackie Tapes, it's too bad that Earle Doud and Vaughn Meader aren't still around to do a sequel to The First Family...

"According to several sources, avant-garde standup comedian Lenny Bruce went on with his November 22 nightclub show as scheduled. Just hours after Kennedy's death, Bruce walked onstage, stood silently for several moments, then said sadly, 'Man, poor Vaughn Meader'." (Wikipedia)

Apparently, Queen Jackie was infuriated by the Vaughn Meader record.


De mortuis nil nisi bonum. Fuckin' cad.

Bill Jones:

The problem with this sort of Jackie O revelation is that it's really herd to keep track of the depth of hatred one feels for each iteration of my enemies enemy, who's also my enemy etc

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