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July 30, 2014
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KSFR news director was JFK's "silly bastard" (Listen)
(2012-09-24)
(KSFR) -
A personal note from KSFR News Director Bill Dupuy:

As a news reporter, I'm most often following other people in the news. It's jarring to find that I am in the news myself for an event that happened 49 years ago. The news now is that I was part of the focus of the rage of Pres. John F. Kennedy on a day in July 1963. In a recording from Pres. Kennedy's Oval Office that is now being released by the Kennedy Library, JFK fires angry words at the Air Force about a young lieutenant in a photo (that young officer was yours truly) . JFK called him a "silly bastard."

The President was yelling at an air force general about preparations being made at my base just in case a pregnant Jackie Kennedy went into labor on one of their frequent weekend visits to their Cape Cod summer home. The place was a base on Cape Cod where yours truly was serving as an Air Force second lieutenant in charge of media relations. Air Force One regularly landed at my base during the summer so the Kennedys could spend a weekend at Hyannis Port. My job was to handle local media and the White House press corps on these visits.

The air force had secretly cleaned up a wing in a World War II era hospital for Jackie Kennedy just in case. Word got out. The press showed up and air force headquarters in Washington told me to escort photographers and reporters to the hospital wing. I did. I showed them the spartan room, the bed and the rocking chair placed by the bed for JFK's personal use. The reporters insisted I get into the picture to provide a human touch. I did. It was that photo that JFK saw the next day in the Washington post.

As it turned out, Jackie Kennedy gave birth to Patrick Beauvier Kennedy at my base in the wing cleaned up just for her. To my knowledge, the president never complained again. We brushed shoulders as he visited but he didn't recognize me from that photo.

Of course, I was not the culprit who spent $5,000 on the hospital suite. I was merely the messenger. And even though my name was in the caption in the newspaper photo, neither JFK nor the air force used it to punish me for what Washington had ordered me to do. After JFK's assassination, I was reassigned .but to a plum of an assignment in San Francisco.




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