Amanpour Fails to Understand History, Says Political Climate Just Like the 1960s

January 24, 2011 | Filed Under ABC, Anti-Americanism, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Government, History, John Kennedy, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, News, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

The inch deep analysis that we get from the illiterati in the left-media shows that they have agendas, sure, but no grasp of history, logic, or facts. No better example of the facile nature of the Old Media can be had than Christiane Amanpour and on ABC News she strutted her imbecilic excuse for historical analysis once again.

In a January 20 interview with the sister of John F. Kennedy, Amanpour attempted to equate the “political atmosphere” of today with that of 1963 when President Kennedy was murdered as well as 1968 when his brother Bobby was shot. But her empty attempt to analyze either era does not rise to the level of common sense much less a serious political discussion.

Over some video clips of JFK and Bobby Kennedy and the funerals for both, Amanpour sonorously tried to say that today is somehow “just like” the “political atmosphere” of those days decades ago. Simply put, nothing could be further from the truth.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated less than three years after his inauguration in November 1963. His brother Bobby in 1968. Two acts of political violence so traumatic that the country has never fully recovered.

It’s an episode eerily relevant today in the wake of the assassination attempt against Gabrielle Giffords less than two weeks ago.

Immediately thereafter, in a question put to Jean Kennedy Smith, Amanpour said:

A congresswoman was targeted. No matter what the reason, how would you describe the atmosphere, the political atmosphere today in the country?

Fortunately, Smith did not take Amanpour’s bait and said that the criminal action of the man that killed her brother was just that of “an individual,” and not a result of some great sickness of society as Amanpour was attempting to lead her to say. Smith sensibly told Amanpour, “I don’t think we should blame a whole group of people for it.”

Amanpour must have been sorely disappointed in this reply. Caught up in the Old Media’s attempt to blame the political right, she was obviously hoping to make the Giffords shooting “just like” that of JFK and RFK. Of course, the attempt by Amanpour to make today just like 1963 is foolish and completely empty of any real in depth analysis. Today’s political climate is nothing like that of 1963 or better yet 1968 when RFK was killed.

Let us recall what was going on, especially during 1968. We were involved in a war going badly in Vietnam, one that saw massive riots in protest. The Watts Race Riot had occurred in 1965 and by 1968 nearly a dozen others had occurred. JFK was killed, then RFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. They don’t call them “the turbulent 60s” for nothing.

By comparison, today we have relative calm in our political climate. Sure people are active, many even upset. But the Tea Party has been orderly, determined yet interestingly calm compared to the chaos that reigned in the 60s. For that matter, as violent as their rhetoric had been, even the late not-so-lamented anti-war rallies of the early 2000s were orderly compared to the turbulent era they pretended at emulating.

Further, unlike the JFK and RFK assassinations, the attempt on Giffords’ life had nothing at all to do with politics as far as anyone can tell. Giffords’ shooter does not seem to have had any traditional political ideology. Granted, with his trutherism, his vague paper money allusions, and his anti-Bush influences, he took his ideas mostly from the extreme American left, but he did not seem to espouse their actual political goals at all. He just had some mushy notion that only he knew what was really going on even as he didn’t seem to articulate it cogently anywhere. He simply is not part of any greater movement.

Unlike Lee Harvey Oswald, who was a commie, or Sirhan Sirhan, who was a radical Islamist, Jared Loughner is just a whack job with no ties to any real political movement that intends social upheaval. Loughner more resembles Charles J. Guiteau, the assassin of President James Garfield, than he does Oswald. Guiteau was a psycho that was mad that about not getting a job at the Post Office and thought God had told him to kill Garfield. He was a lone actor not connected to either reality or any greater movement. Oswald, on the other hand, was a communist that wanted to topple the USA , wanted to turn it communist, and he was connected to a greater ideological movement. Loughner definitely is more like a Guiteau than an Oswald.

In any case, today’s “political atmosphere” is nothing at all like that of the 1960s. But even if it were it wouldn’t make political assassins something unusual in the United States. We’ve had repeated attempts — many successful — to murder politicians in this country at least since the presidency of Andrew Jackson, himself a victim of an attempt on his life.

A large number of the presidents in the 20th century had attempts made on their lives, mayors, senators, congressmen, governors, politicians of every stripe, all have been attacked in this country and many killed in those attacks. Sometimes attacks were made during times of social unrest, other times not. But they have been relatively steady occurrences for nearly two hundred years.

The fact is, Amanpour’s weak attempt to shore up the victim status for her own political ideology (leftism and the Democrat Party) is a pretty thin veneer of partisan hackery. It is even worse “journalism.” But in her groundless claims lies her bias and that of her contemporaries who earnestly nod their heads at her nonsense and imagine she has hit on a central fact of today’s political climate.

One thing here, though, does happen to be “just like” the JFK assassination. Before the blood in the street was dry in Dallas in 1963, the chattering classes in the Old Media were blaming the assassination on Republicans, conservatives, and the political right. The first “theory” that the leftists in the media floated for the assassination of Kennedy was that the violent rhetoric of the radical right in Texas is what caused the shooting. Turned out that the assassin was a commie and had precisely nothing to do with the American right. Similarly before anyone even knew if Giffords would live through her attack and before anyone even knew her assassin’s name the same Old Media was again blaming the political right for the violence. So, maybe in this small way, today’s political climate is just like that of the 1960s. We still have a far left-wing media spreading its agenda despite the actual facts on the ground.

It’s no wonder that Amanpour figured prominently in my top ten most left-biased journalists.

(Originally posted at
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.



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