In a live interview with John F. Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over her sharing unflattering details about the late president: "What about Caroline [Kennedy], who is still alive?...Did you think about, as you talk about unburdening yourself, the idea that you've burdened other people now with this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alford stood by her decision to go public with the affair: "Well, I don't intentionally burden someone else. I'm telling my story. And that is what – that is what I needed to do." Curry followed up: "Any push-back from the Kennedy family? Yes or no?" Alford replied: "No, nothing."
On Wednesday night's Rock Center, correspondent Meredith Vieira was similarly sympathetic to the Kennedys, specifically wondering why Alford chose to include in her new book a graphic account of the president encouraging her to perform oral sex on then-White House advisor Dave Powers:
This is going to be explosive. This is going to shock people and you also had to know that in writing it, it was going to hurt some people, maybe members of the Kennedy family, members of the Powers family. Because it's powerful and it can't be corroborated. So what did you want people to understand by including it in the book?
In edition to worrying about the fallout from the revelations, both Curry and Vieira questioned Alford's credibility. Curry asked: "So what do you say to people who say, 'Look, you're profiting off a story. You're making money off of this.' What do you say to that?"
Vieira put almost an identical question to Alford: "There are going to be people, Mimi, I promise you, who are going to watch this and they're going to say, 'You know what? This woman is capitalizing on the Kennedys. There's no reason she has to write this book, certainly doesn't have to tell some of these stories that are shocking in detail.'"
Midway through the Rock Center interview, host Brian Williams remarked to Vieira: "I've written down a couple of words as I've been watching. One of them is 'verification.' How do we know she's telling the truth?"
On Wednesday's Nightly News, Williams talked to Vieira about the upcoming interview and skeptically wondered: "...we've already received a lot of response, a lot of e-mails, people with the upbringing – sounds like a lot of us – with the picture of John F. Kennedy in the house when we were kids, wondering, why do this now? Why tell her story now?"
Following Alford's Rock Center appearance, Williams was quick to transition to a group of liberal Kennedy apologists defending the late president.