Amanpour, the host of This Week, was highlighting the 50th anniversary of JFK's inaugural address and offered the standard liberal praise for Kennedy, asserting that his "face still has a powerful grip on the American psyche." Interviewing Jean Kennedy Smith, the journalist connected, "It's an episode eerily relevant today in the wake of the assassination attempt against Gabrielle Giffords less than two weeks ago." [MP3 audio here .]
Like many other journalists, Amanpour indicated that even if gunman Jared Loughner wasn't motivated by politics, a connection could still be made: "A congresswoman was targeted. No matter what the reason, how would you describe the atmosphere, the political atmosphere today in the country?"
Kennedy Smith refused the opportunity to offer political blame: "Well, I really think that was done by one individual...I don't think we should blame a whole group of people for it." (Nowhere in the segment did the reporter point out that President Kennedy was killed by a communist.)
Amanpour, who was a guest at Barack Obama's state dinner for China on Tuesday, spun the President as an heir to JFK's legacy. She speculated, "Do think that hope and idealism has been galvanized today by President Obama?"
Regarding the complete lack of Kennedys in elected office today, Amanpour opined, "For now, President Obama may very well be the closest thing the Kennedys have to one of their own in Washington."
January 20, 2011 was also the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's first inaugural. That occasion was not highlighted by Amanpour or Nightline.
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 11:56pm EST on January 20, follows: