In last interview, Kennedy answered critics

July 20, 1999

This is an edited excerpt of the last extensive interview conducted with John F. Kennedy Jr. It was published in the March issue of Brill's Content magazine.

BRILL: In the current issue [of George magazine] you've got [former] President Reagan on the cover. Is that something where you said, "Let's do that?"

KENNEDY: What really happens is, we have meetings with the senior staff and in a kind of Socratic method, we vet the ideas. And the ones that stand up under that scrutiny, and the ones [for] which we have a writer that can deliver it, get done in the magazine. There was always, from the beginning of this magazine, a certain skepticism of me. Was I [the] front man for this?

BRILL: That's why I'm asking.

KENNEDY: Frankly, I'm not sure I want to dignify it with an answer.

BRILL: That's why I didn't ask it directly.

KENNEDY: [Laughs] This enterprise has consumed almost six years of my life. It came at considerable, personal kind of risk. There [were] a lot of people who would have loved to see this be a farce, and it hasn't been.

BRILL: Do you read everything that's in the magazine?

KENNEDY: Do I read every word? No. I'll skim stories, and I'll get very involved in some stories that I think are important.

BRILL: If you were the editor of Salon, would you have reported on the sex life of [Illinois Republican Congressman] Henry Hyde?

KENNEDY: Was I dismayed that it happened? No. Any time there is an element of hypocrisy lingering, it's interesting to read about it.

BRILL: So you would have done it?

KENNEDY: For us to do it, it would have looked weird . . . There are obviously my own family issues in which it looks hypocritical. It looks too partisan. So would I have done it in our magazine? No.

Pub Date: 7/20/99

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