The Great and the Good, or, the Great and the Not-Yet-Found-Out, or if you prefer, the liberal, Democrat party 'elite' of America, have been ululating their praises for the late Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the WaPo, who died a few days ago. He was raised to hero status for unleashing his journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, onto Richard Nixon and in the end bringing about his downfall. I, too, applaud his effort but, alas, only with one hand. My applause would have been two-handed if Bradlee, a man eulogised as 'a great seeker of truth and justice', had found the very real courage required to do unto his great friends, the Kennedys, what he did to that common little upstart Richard Nixon.
As Andrew Ferguson reminds us at The Weekly Standard, Bradlee was part of the 'Brahmin' set of America which has now grown beyond the definition of just 'old North East Coast money' and now encompasses academia, elite journalism, Hollywood and the better sorts of philanthropy. But back in the day, Bradlee, who was 'old money' personified, was great friends with the Kennedys. He must have known of Jack's habit of screwing anything in a skirt who still had most of her teeth! More seriously he would have known of Bobby's habit of using the might and muscle of the Department of Justice to pursue his own personal agenda which might have included the murder of Marilyn Monroe. Did Ben Bradlee, 'the fearless seeker of truth and justice', go after those rascals the way he went after Nixon? Nah!
If you detect a certain amount of bitterness in this post your instincts are spot on. I was a young man in the Kennedy era and I fell for all that bullshit at the time. If you ever wonder why I am now such a bitter, grumpy, old cynic - blame the Kennedys, or better still, blame the likes of Ben Bradlee who knew the truth but lacked the guts to tell it.