\"Niall

Niall O'Dowd: 'Let John F. Kennedy and his extraordinary life be.'

TMZ admits its 'expertly researched' JFK porno photo is a fake

\"Niall

Niall O'Dowd: 'Let John F. Kennedy and his extraordinary life be.'

Earlier this morning, I wrote that gossip site TMZ had crossed a line by publishing a photograph from the 1950s purportedly showing naked women on a pleasure cruise with the late John F. Kennedy.

At the time, the gossip site rounded up numerous “experts” to say that the figure seen reclining while naked women jump off the side of the ship was undoubtedly John F. Kennedy.

TMZ billed their discovery as earth-shaking world history. Their picture "could have altered world events" had it surfaced prior to JFK's  Presidential campaign. "It could have torpedoed his run, and changed world history," the site breathlessly added.

My response: Yeah, and if my aunt had testicles, she'd be my uncle.

Well, it looks like I have a new uncle. TMZ has now retracted its article and admitted that the "expertly researched" photo is fake.

TMZ said it had received an email from "someone" — obviously not one of the expert historians they consulted — who said the photo was actually from a 1967 Playboy magazine spread.

Not exactly the National Archives, eh, TMZ?

The photo ran as part of story titled "Playboy's Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able-Bodies Complement of Ship's Belles."

Most real "experts" suspected that the photo TMZ fell for was a Photoshop sleight-of-hand. In this day and age, it is incredibly easy to put anyone anywhere in any compromising situation. Photoshop and other technologies allow the most blatant form of fake photography imaginable.

But it didn't take anything high-tech for TMZ to defame an American President who is not around to defend himself. They were just plain stupid.

Even if the photo had been genuine, what TMZ did shows a desperation and a brazenness that is new even for tabloid journalism. Dubious photos of a dead President from over 50 years ago would prove exactly what?

As I said, we should let John F. Kennedy and his extraordinary life be.

Up next: I look forward to TMZ's "exclusive" of Abraham Lincoln cavorting with a black female slave. Obviously, nothing is beneath them.

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