Like The Kennedys itself, the fight over whether to broadcast the controversial show featured a stellar cast.
The Co-Creator – Joel Surnow: A well-known conservative, he said he wanted to focus as much on the Kennedys’ personal stories as their political ones. Critics labeled his show a right-wing hit job.
The Co-Creator – Stephen Kronish: A self-described liberal admirer of JFK and RFK, The Kennedys co-creator said he wanted to present a “warts and all” portrayal of the family, neither a “hatchet job” nor a “valentine.”
The Activist – Robert Greenwald: The documentarian said a script he obtained left him “shocked and angry.” He organized stopkennedysmears.com and had an associate contact the Times.
The Reporter – Dave Itzkoff: The Times reporter wrote a series of stories detailing the emerging controversy over The Kennedys. One claimed that Surnow and Kronish failed to “bring the miniseries in line with the historical record.”
The Proxy – Esther Newberg: Caroline Kennedy’s literary agent, and one of the famed “Boiler Room Girls,” reportedly warned that the broadcast could hurt her client’s relationship with a History Channel affiliate.
The TV Executive – Nancy Dubuc: The History Channel president was an early champion of The Kennedys, but called Surnow in January to inform him that the network had decided not to air the miniseries.
The Businessman – Stan Hubbard: A prominent Republican donor, the ReelzChannel CEO scooped up the rights to air The Kennedys. “We’re an independent network,” he said, “and we don’t have to worry about corporate boards.”
The Author – Richard Bradley: A former George executive editor, the writer secured a deal for a book about JFK Jr., only to lose the deal amid a frenzy of anonymously sourced rumors about his motives and character.