Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Media — Rick Moran @ 3:33 am

Like most of you, I found the news about audio tapes from Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatrist revealing some pretty sordid stuff about Robert Kennedy and Joan Crawford to be titillating, if not earth shattering news. After all, Monroe, by all accounts, was a Hollywood hedonist of the first order so any alleged sexual affairs with other celebrities would not be shocking in and of itself. Perhaps it says more about our celebrity driven culture that 40 years after her death, her life should still captivate a world that views Marilyn’s overt sexuality as tame and even innocent compared to the vixens and harlots who strut and prance across the media landscape today, flaunting their sexual escapades in tell-all books and TV interviews.

If you’re like me and thought that this “new” information was based on tape recordings made by Marilyn in the days before her suicide, you’ll probably be as surprised as I was to find out that there are, in fact, no tapes at all. And reading further into this story, I’ll bet you’d be further surprised that a book containing “excerpts” from these non-existent tapes is scheduled to hit the book stores soon.

All in a days work for the celebrity obsessed media.

The story would be compelling - if it could be verified.

John W. Miner, who investigated Monroe’s death as a Los Angeles County prosecutor, claims Monroe’s psychologist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, played him secret audio tapes made by the star during one of her therapy sessions shortly before her death. A key revelation of the alleged tapes, according to Miner, is that Monroe was not depressed and was actively planning for to become a serious, Shakespearean actress.

Miner says he took careful, hand-written notes of the tapes and later produced a near-exact transcript.There is no proof Miner’s claims are true, since Dr. Greenson is now dead and no one else claims to have heard the tape.

“You are the only person who will ever know the most private, the most secret thoughts of Marilyn Monroe,” she allegedly told her doctor.

What in the wide, wide, world of sports is this story doing on the websites of respectable news organizations or on the pages of supposedly mainstream media outlets?

There are no tapes to verify these “quotes” from Monroe. No one has even hinted at their existence before. All we have is the word of someone who was paid a fee by an author of a forthcoming book to use “quotes” from non-verbatim transcripts gleaned from tapes that no one else has heard and that no one has even independently verified being in existence.

Matthew Smith paid an undisclosed fee to Miner to use the Monroe transcript in his book, “Marilyn’s Last Words: Her Secret Tapes and Mysterious Death.”

“The important thing about it was that she wasn’t suicidal,” Smith said.

Smith found Marilyn’s talk of the future very compelling, calling her “level-headed.”

“She wasn’t up and down,” he said. “She was on a plane that marked her out as a smart lady. She knew where she was going. It was definite.”

And where was Marilyn going with her career? Why, she was going to play Shakespeare’s Juliet!

“I’ve read all of Shakespeare and practiced a lot of lines. … I am going to do Juliet first,” Marilyn Monroe allegedly said on the tape. “Don’t laugh. What, with what makeup, costume and camera can do, my acting will create a Juliet who is 14, an innocent virgin.”

Monroe’s comic genius (when she was sober) was a joy. Anyone who’s ever seen Some Like it Hot knows that Monroe was could carry off light comedy better than almost any other actress at the time in Hollywood. But she was 36 years old, on the downside of a career in shambles because of her drinking and pill popping. It was pure fantasy to believe that she could play Juliet, or Ophelia, or any other Shakespearean tragedienne.

The realization that her acting options were going to be limited due to her age could have been a catalyst for suicide so any speculation to the contrary is specious. That didn’t stop Mr. Miner from throwing his two cents in regarding the bogus “Who killed Marilyn” fantasies:

Some people believe the Kennedys had to with it; I don’t at all,” he said. “I believe it was the disenchanted survivors of the Bay of Pigs, the CIA agents.”

Smith believes the CIA was angry at President John Kennedy about the botched Bay of Pigs operation a year before. The CIA, according to Smith, was hoping Robert Kennedy would be blamed for Monroe’s murder, and that the investigation would reveal her affair with both the president and his brother. This would force them to resign.

“This was a ploy,” Smith said. “By killing Marilyn, they expected Robert Kennedy, who was in the house twice the day before she died, would be interrogated.”

Now that’s what I call convoluted reasoning. Using Marilyn Monroe to bring down the Kennedy’s? If our CIA had been half as imaginative in fighting the commies, the Russkies would have been brought down decades before the final collapse in 1990.

How this claptrap made it into mainstream publications is a case study in how the confluence of media, celebrities, culture, and politics has changed the way we get our information and what kind news is fed to us. Are the MSM simply making themselves more irrelevant by carrying “news” stories like this one?

Judging by how many Google hits there are of this story, probably not irrelevant enough.

1 Comment

  1. The reason…ratings. Sad.

    Comment by THIRDWAVEDAVE — 8/9/2005 @ 8:55 am

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