Never-Before-Heard Jacqueline Kennedy Tapes Air Tonight
09.13.11 by Chris
When she was the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy was regarded as a soft spoken, keenly self-aware woman who would rather talk about the renovations at the White House than politics.
That might change after tonight's ABC two-hour special, Jacqueline Kennedy, in Her Own Words, hosted by Diana Sawyer. In the special, for the first time, the world will hear parts of interviews Jackie gave to historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. just months after the death of JFK.
Parts of the tapes and accompanying book, Jacqueline Kennedy Historical Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, have already leaked out to the media with surprising revelations made by the former first lady. Jackie called Martin Luther King "tricky" and a "phony," shared her husband's and brother-in-law Bobby's distrust of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson ("Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president"), and in a eery moment, Jackie talks about JFK's fear of being assassinated after the Bay of Pigs disaster.
Jackie had instructed that the interviews not be released until 50 years after her death (1994) but daughter Caroline agreed to the tapes' early release. Some have speculated the release was tied to the History Channel's decision to not air The Kennedys (ABC co-owns the The History Channel). The Kennedys was picked up by ReelzChannel and recently won three Emmys at Saturday's Primetime Creative Arts Emmys. The Kennedys is also up for several awards at this Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Miniseries.
In the accompanying book's forward, Caroline defends her decision to publish the interviews early, saying it would be a disservice to allow "her mother's perspective to be absent from the public and scholarly debate."
Watch The Kennedys win its first three Emmys when we broadcast the Creative Arts Emmy Awards this Saturday, Sept. 17, at 8PM ET/PT. We'll also be re-airing the Emmy-winning series starting on Nov. 6. Sign up for Kennedys alerts to get email reminders with tune-in dates and times. The Kennedys, an eight-hour movie event, reached 7.7 million viewers during it's premiere week. ReelzChannel is on DirecTV channel 238, Dish Network channel 299, and available on your cable or satellite system.