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PRINT April 1992

THE CAVE

Oliver Stone's JFK

LATE IN JANUARY, Pat Dowell resigned as film critic for the Washingtonian magazine when its editor, Jack Limpert, pulled one of her reviews from the February issue. As Limpert saw it, the piece praised an “extremely dumb movie,” and left its “bizarre picture of Washington” unchallenged. He had a professional responsibility, he felt, “to protect the magazine’s reputation”—a reputation that presumably would have been jeopardized, at least in establishment circles, by Dowell’s description of the film as a “brilliantly crafted indictment of history as an official story.”

Much of the rest of the mainstream press has also been protecting itself, and the country, from the movie in question— Oliver Stone’s JFK. For over two months as of this writing, Stone has served as the whipping boy for a flood of publications and TV programs, from the Washington Post to CBS’ 48 hours. (The controversy, of

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