The "Today" show started its weeklong JFK retrospective Monday with an interview of Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent assigned to Jackie Kennedy and who was seen scrambling on the trunk of the presidential limo after the third shot fatally wounded President John F. Kennedy.
Hill, 81, has been a constant TV presence these past few weeks -- on special after special, relaying his story over and over again. He has another book out on the assassination, "Five Days in November" (last year's was "Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir"), so there are reasons for the omnipresence.
Nevertheless, there remains something deeply sad and spectral about Hill -- a man haunted by a long-ago day who seems driven to expiate his misplaced guilt, partly by telling the story over and over and over again. Of course, it all reminds me -- possibly you -- of that "ancient mariner" ...
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
Anyway, enough with the poetry! To the clips! Let's start with the classic one, with Mike Wallace, then this morning's interview with Savannah Guthrie.
And Newsday app readers, you know the drill: Go to Newsday.com/tvzone to view...