Saturday, February 18, 2017

'We could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press' - John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy points to a reporter during
a press conference on July 5, 1962.
Click image to enlarge.

The 45th President of the United States — who, during the campaign, called the media "scum" and "dishonest" — went full psycho on Friday and tweeted that the news media is the ‘enemy of the American people.’

Via Dallas Morning News: What you need to know about the enemies of the American people the president warned you about.

(Over at the Minority President Report, retired Miami Herald newsman Marty Merzer has compiled a detailed and comprehensive look at the reactions to the president's remarks.)

So now might be an opportune time to take a look back at how a real president dealt with the press more than a half century ago. .

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, "was the first president to effectively use the new medium of television to speak directly to the American people. No other president had conducted live televised press conferences without delay or editing," according to the the JFK Library website.
"The public loved John F. Kennedy's press conferences, although some of his advisors worried about the risk of mistakes by the president and others thought the press showed insufficient respect for the dignity of his office. By November 1963, President Kennedy had held 64 news conferences, an average of one every sixteen days. The first, less than a week after his inauguration, was viewed by an estimated 65 million people"
During an interview in December 1962, Sander Vanocur of NBC asked Kennedy about his reading habits.

A few months before the NBC interview, President Kennedy gave an address on April 27, 1962 before the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

At one point during his speech, Kennedy said "without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive."

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