In an attention-addled age of pop-up ads, when a natural disaster, unstable economy or even authentic Hollywood talent are lucky to get thirty seconds of media and even less from the public, the focus anticipating the September 13 release of "The Jackie Tapes" -- taped interviews with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy -- is shocking.
It went viral on August 8 with a news story put out not in her native country but by the British paper, The Daily Mail, making no pretense of adhering to that archaic, time-consuming process of first obtaining three corroborative sources for each claim.
Eclipsed by its conspiratorial and lurid reports of what Jackie discloses on the tapes is the more authentically stunning fact that despite a half century of societal evolution, the media continues to market myths about her as wildly imaginative as those manufactured in her lifetime, and the more stupendously ridiculous the claim, the greater the consumer base.
When such stories appeared during her tenure as First Lady (1961-1963), the White House press office would speedily correct misrepresentations and deny untruths. Following President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination until her own death decades later, however, only the most outrageous stories might provoke a denial or clarification from her lifetime confidante and aide Nancy Tuckerman. Whether it was a story carried by CBS or Photoplay that she was moving to Hawaii (1967), marrying former British diplomat Lord Harlech (1968), applied judo on a reporter after exiting a movie theater screening of x-rated I Am Curious Yellow (1969), divorcing her second husband Aristotle Onassis (1973), running for the U.S. Senate (1976), or getting a face-lift (1989), Jackie never denied the claim.