This is the President - July 25, 1963 - Part 2


As promised , here's Part Two of The Silly Bastard phone call we promised. This is the call in which JFK actually utters the phrase "Silly Bastard." In the first phone call, he only says "Silly Fella", which doesn't have the same impact. However, I didn't want to call one phone call "The Silly Fella" and the other "The Silly Bastard" because that might quickly get confusing.

If you missed the first Silly Bastard podcast, you can listen to it here or over on iTunes. That'll give you a little bit of the backstory. Don't worry, it's painless.

As with our other podcasts so far, we'll put the podcast up on our YouTube Channel, along with some video and/or stills to keep things interesting.

Like that picture up there to the right. That was taken by Ernie, the Silly Bastard himself, of the suite they'd fixed up for Mrs. Kennedy at Otis Air Force base. The gentleman sitting in the chair with the sunglasses is Larry Newman, who JFK refers to in the phone call.

People in the UK always point out how stupid it looks when Americans wear white socks with dark shoes. I'm saying it looks STYLIN'! Check out Larry up there hanging out in that chair with his shades on and his white socks displayed proudly. The 60s were awesome.


This is the President - July 25, 1963


We're throwing our hat into the memorial celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of JFK's death with a podcast celebrating one of our favorite presidential phone calls of all time.

"The Silly Bastard" phone call is actually a two parter.

Jackie, the President's wife, was VERY pregnant in July 1963 and staying up in Hyannis, near Cape Cod, in Massachusetts.

The closest military facility to the Kennedy summer home was Otis Air Force Base, about 15 miles away.

man next to bed
man next to bed

The staff at Otis fixed up an extra room in the base hospital as a maternity suite in case Jackie went into labor.

After a press showing of the room, a story was printed in the Washington Post that over $5,000 ($38,000 in 2013 dollars) was spent on refurbishments for the room. Next to the story in the Post was the picture above of an Air Force captain standing next to the bed.

When he saw the picture in the Post and read the story, Kennedy went ballistic. He made a two phone calls, first to his Assistant Secretary of Defense, Arthur Sylvester, to find out what was going on and then to his Air Force Liaison, Gen. Godfrey McHugh, to bitch him out.

In addition to bitching at Gen. McHugh, Kennedy directs his wrath towards the Air Force captain in the picture.

Forty-nine years later, I managed to track down the Silly Bastard to get his side of the story. Click the button below to listen or download the mp3. You can also subscribe to our brand spanking new "The is the President" podcast on iTunes.

If you are podcast impaired or otherwise allergic to mp3s, here's a video of the podcast, along with some pictures.

Inglorious Silly Basterds


Since I first posted the teaser and press release for The Silly Bastard Next to the Bed, the story has taken a strange turn. While Googling the term "Silly Bastard", I happened across this web page (click for larger image).

web page still
web page still

It seems that the news director from KSFR in Sante Fe station was claiming to be the Silly Bastard of the JFK phone call.

Which was odd, since I'd just interviewed the REAL Silly Bastard, and verified with him (and my own eyes) that it was him in the photo in the Washington Post.

Interestingly enough, KSFR added that image to the article only a couple of weeks after I called them out on Twitter. If you click on the article thumbnail on their web page, you'll see that it's just blurry enough so that you can't read any of the details, or even figure out where the paper it was clipped from was published.

That's ok. We figured it out.

Click on the image to the left there to read the whole article from The Lowell Sun of July 25, 1963.

It's kind of interesting how the actual "Silly Bastard" didn't know about the controversy or phone call, while the "Second Silly Bastard" was trying to promote himself - even though he knew it was wrong.

I've confirmed with the original "Silly Bastard" that the "Second Silly Bastard" was, in fact, his assistant at Otis Air Force Base. The picture at the top of the article is the "Second Silly Bastard" photographed by the original "Silly Bastard."

Right place. Wrong Silly Bastard.

Some more film to help explain this. Enjoy.