Roone Arledge, head of the division at the time, vetoed
it by saying it was, "A sleazy piece of journalism" and "gossip-
column stuff" (Summers p. 422). Liz Smith, queen of those gossip-
columnists, pilloried ABC for censoring the "truth about 1962."
Rivera either quit or was shoved out by ABC over the controversy.
Arledge was accused by Chase of "protecting the Kennedys" (he was
a distant relative through marriage). Rivera showed his true
colors by going on to produce syndicated specials on Satanism and
Al Capone's vaults (which were empty). He is now famous for
bringing tabloidism to television. Arledge won the battle. Rivera
and Liz Smith won the war. Until 1993.
The Truth About Marilyn
In 1993, Donald Spoto wrote his bio of Monroe. After reading the
likes of Haspiel, Slatzer and Summers, picking up Spoto is like
going back into one's home after it has been fumigated. Spoto is
a very experienced biographer who is not shy about controversy.
His biographies of Alfred Hitchcock and Laurence Olivier reveal
sides of their personalities that they, and other writers, tried
to conceal. Spoto is also quite thorough in obtaining and then
pouring over primary sources. Finally, he respects himself and
his subject, which allows him to question sources before arriving
at a judgment on someone's credibility. This last quality allowed
him to arrive at what is the most satisfactory conclusion about
the death of Monroe (Spoto pp. 566-593). The Kennedys had nothing
to do with it. I have no great interest or admiration for Monroe
as an actress or a personality. But I do appreciate good
research, fine writing, and a clear dedication to truth. If any
reader is interested in the real facts of her life, this is the
book to read.
Sy Hersh's "Truth"