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Rewriting History

I was watching the History Channel last night and watching a show on the nuclear arms race.  Interestingly, they described the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba as happening before JFK took office, and then discussed the Cuban Missile Crisis as JFK's first interaction with Russia.  I find this to be really odd revisionism, and if it were not for Coyote's Law, I would ascribe this to the ongoing Kennedy family effort to polish JFK's historical legacy.  But, having written Coyote's Law, I will just assume the show's producers were ignorant.

Update: I take the point that the Bay of Pigs invasion was a CIA plan in the Eisenhower presidency.  However, JFK was deeply involved in the planning and decision to go ahead, and in fact he and his advisers actually modified the plan, including the invasion site, in ways that hurt the probability of success (if there ever was any).

Posted on April 12, 2008 at 09:12 AM | Permalink

Comments

Maybe they decided that mentioning "pigs" in the context of a family of Irish origin would be offensive stereotyping?

Posted by: dearieme | Apr 12, 2008 9:44:38 AM

I don't understand why apparently intelligent people watch television.

Posted by: Larry Sheldon | Apr 12, 2008 10:52:44 AM

The few times I have watched the History channel (never for more than 10 minutes), I was annoyed by the frequent inaccuracies. Today, we have better access to information than any time in history, but the major media cannot do simple fact-checking before airing a story.

Posted by: Dr. T | Apr 12, 2008 4:05:28 PM

I just got my wireless network to allow me to surf in front of my TV. Now, I can read your blog and absorb useless information at the same time. Just discovered your blog and find it close to 98 percent correct on everything. Maybe I missed something when I was channel surfing through 10 percent content of the History Channel. You can't be THAT good. So far - only I have reached that level of insight in the surveys I've done.

Posted by: Victor Campbell | Apr 12, 2008 4:12:10 PM

I would actually lean toward intentional lying. I saw some documentary on the Soviet Union and how they nearly went to war with us because their leaders got paranoid about a yearly NATO radio test. The story was heavily sympathetic to the Soviets and said basically we needed to be more understanding.

Posted by: Ian Random | Apr 12, 2008 9:16:50 PM

I'm only 27 and I distinctly remember learning in high school that JFK ordered to proceed with the invasion. So, sometime in the last ten years they decided to pass it off to someone else? Interesting.

Posted by: la petite chou chou | Apr 12, 2008 9:54:14 PM

I caught a few minutes of the recent broadcast on the hippie culture of the sixties and seventies...I noticed the glowing, wistfull commmentary over something I view as social disintegration on a monumental scale. The drug culture of the hippies is still something we are trying to overcome. How many millions of youths have had their lives ruined or even lost following the hippie drug culture...Obviously, some old hippies are employed by the History channel...Not a good sign.

Posted by: Scott Wiggins | Apr 13, 2008 11:26:11 AM

The problem with liberals is not just that they rewrite history, it is that they are ahistorical. That is why they can attack the Iraq War as some sort of fiasco. Ask a liberal why the Iraq War is bad they will respond that there have been massive casualties and deaths of American soldiers. The fact is, the casaulties, each one tragic, are minimal.

The insurgents in Iraq could never win except by fooling a bunch of Democratic losers that everything is terrible.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 13, 2008 8:28:16 PM

Yeah, Mark. The only problem anybody has with the Iraq war is the casualty count. There is absolutely no other reasonable criticism that anybody could or has made about it. You are absolutely right about that. Absolutely. Move along now....nothing to see here.

Posted by: kebko | Apr 14, 2008 7:24:38 AM

I wonder if Coyote's Law only applies in non-Communist countries? Maybe you should add that as the exception to the rule (or maybe it's already their and I just missed it.)

The Soviet Union (and I assume other communist countries) was/are infamous for their conspiratorial rewriting of history whenever some leader fell out of favor. Removing statues, taking them out of photos, deleting them in history books. That took a lot of people. People alive while revisioning occurs know it's going on -- its the new generation that are clueless, unless the older generation tells them (at their own peril).

Posted by: Sedulous | Apr 14, 2008 10:03:10 AM

And the "problems" with the Iraq War are?

I agree that there have been mistakes made, but mistakes are inherent in all wars. The same criticisms made about the Iraq War could have been made for WWII and the Civil War too. The real truth is that the American public is fickle and cannot understand that some things take time. And, we have seen how with this time things that seemed to be "lost" now suddenly are going the other way.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 14, 2008 6:55:39 PM

And the "problems" with the Iraq War are?

I agree that there have been mistakes made, but mistakes are inherent in all wars. The same criticisms made about the Iraq War could have been made for WWII and the Civil War too. The real truth is that the American public is fickle and cannot understand that some things take time. And, we have seen how with this time things that seemed to be "lost" now suddenly are going the other way.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 14, 2008 6:56:01 PM

JFK, had he lived longer, would have been remembered as among the most incompetent presidents we've had, in company with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. However, now he's sainted/martyred, and glorified by liberal academics and syncophants, some of whom write history and make movies.

Posted by: Martel Firing | Apr 16, 2008 11:05:24 AM

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