The buried lead in WRITESIDE BLONDE Rachel's latest George Magazine reveal


Rachel takes us back twenty three years to the March 1999 issue of John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s George Magazine, in which the tale of Boston's Irish mobster Bulger brothers is told. To save her YouTube account from getting censored, Rachel counts on her viewers to pursue the buried lead; which is, that John Durham, our special prosecutor for all things deepstate today, cut his teeth on the FBI-Whitey Bulger corruption that has prepared him so well to go MUCH deeper and wider today.

Question: how did JFK Jr know to hint at all that so long ago? Coincidence? Quantum intelligence? What in the world? 

#EnjoyTheShow #NCSWIC

EP 16: "Enjoy the Show" and a look into the Bulger brothers (George Magazine, March 1999)

Premiered May 13 2022
15:18 viewing length (see transcript below video)


Rachel WriteSide Blonde 0:20
Hi everyone and welcome back to the Georgia Collection. I am Rachel with WriteSide Blonde. Today, it's all about lights, camera, action, and enjoying the show. What better way to celebrate my shop's opening than to wear one of my new shirts that pertains to this magazine that we're going to go through today. The design I'm wearing is a TV that says Enjoy the Show and it's signed by John Kennedy. And it comes directly from this magazine's editor's letter, which I'm going to read to you today. So, like Matthew McConaughey on the cover, grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

The editor's letter is called After the Curtain Call. What movie does the impeachment Fantasia reminds you of? Someone wrote that this political battle is like a cinematic square off, Saving Private Ryan versus Shakespeare in Love war hero Bob Dole against lovesick Bill Clinton. Personally my vote goes to Sunset Boulevard the film about an aging screen goddess who cracks when no one cares about her anymore. The Clinton Lewinsky drama ceaseless though it may seem will end sometime. What will all those freshly bursting stars of MSNBC do when the longest running show on television comes to a reluctant close? Never before have so many politicians held our attention for so long. Every day, members of Congress hurl themselves at the camera banks parrying questions and showing concern. By now we know all the characters as if they were neighbors, the outraged house managers, the thoughtful senators, and even some presidential hopefuls like John Kerry of Massachusetts, squeezing in a little FaceTime before the big dance. But when the lights go out, and the satellite trucks drive away, will the small screen dramatists be able to endure the relative humdrum of their real lives? I can see it now. Henry Hyde as Norma Desmond sashaying around an empty television studio and crying out, Mr. Koppel, I'm ready for my close up. Amid all the pre Oscar brouhaha, our minds are on the movies. After a year during which some of the most intriguing political mysteries involved guessing which media stars from Tom Hanks to Hulk Hogan might yet run for office, we look at one performer who actually did. Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Kermit Patterson digs into Ventura's tenure as a small town mayor to see if the ex-wrestler has the gravitas to translate his novelty act into substantive power. Also contributing editor Tom Dunkel visits the Titanic director Jim Cameron, who's busy warning us about the dangers of technology even as Washington worries about the dangers of casual sex in supporting roles. Michelle Caudill writing her first piece for George profiles Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, who after admonishing President Clinton for his moral failings, seems poised to ascend to the national stage. And contributing editor Brad Wetzlerm, who spent weeks traveling with Minnesota liberal Paul Wellstone, wonders if Robert Kennedy were running for president in 2000, would his name be Paul Wellstone? We opened with Matthew McConaughey and Elizabeth Hurley, the stars of the new film and TV reinventing their favorite political stars and movies. And for the final credits, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert review the hardest job in the world in this month, If I were President. Surprise,! They give it a thumbs...well, I don't want to give away the ending. Enjoy the show, John Kennedy.

The phrase "enjoy the show" has become synonymous with the movement we're currently in. And so I thought it fitting that I would wear the shirt and have my popcorn ready and go through this magazine on the same day. Another thing I wanted to show you was the popcorn page and Juan O Savin's Kid by the Side of the Road book. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy from Juan late last year when I met him in Vegas. What I found sort of ironic was, I was wearing some popcorn earrings. And so I had to show them off. And as a result, Juan chose to sign my popcorn page in my Kid by the Side of the Road book. And on this page Juan writes, The show is about to begin. Get to your seats. Juan O Savin. If you haven't yet read Kid by the Side of the Road, I highly recommend it. It's full of incredible information. It's going to be a collector's piece someday. And I mean, look who's on the back of it. Can't beat that. Speaking of Juan, in our last interview, he brought up the fact that the Senate race will be more important than the Presidential race. And that got me thinking about all of the other events that require you to, you know, pick somebody and put it in a certain box. Can't say the word.

That got me thinking about all of the other ones that trickle down from the top one, and how important those are, too. I thought this article fit in perfectly with what Juan was talking about. It's called the Battle of the Soldiers. It's about Billy Bolger. So let's begin. Billy Bolger was the most powerful politician in Massachusetts for nearly two decades. His brother Whitey was a ruthless mobster who ruled Boston's underworld with an iron fist. They were bound by blue, but torn by competing loyalties. Now with Whitey on the lam from a worldwide manhunt, new details are emerging about his twisted relationship with the FBI. During all those years, Billy was running the state senate, was widely working for the Feds, or the Feds working for him. The article begins: In Boston, no family is the subject of more gossip, innuendo and rumor, presents a more mystifying image or is more misunderstood than the brothers Bolger. 69-year-old Jimmy aka Whitey and his younger brother, Billy. To find a pair even vaguely comparable, you have to turn to the movies all the way back to the priest and the hoodlum, Pat O'Brien and James Cagney, in 1938 Angels with Dirty Faces. And they were only childhood pals. On a crisp Boston morning not long ago, no one is more acutely conscious of the attention paid to this relationship than Billy Bolger. From his office windows on the 26th floor of the skyscraper at one Beacon Street in downtown Boston, he can gaze upon the geography of a life loaded with both extraordinary success and profound anguish. Right below Bolger is the glistening golden dome of the Massachusetts State House where as President of the Senate, he ruled for 17 years, a record run. During that time he became the state's most powerful political figure; a Celtic Machiavelli who aren't fully mixed wit, guile, and when necessary, vintage ruthlessness. He was courted by a succession of governors, both Democratic and Republican, and nobody can remember a bill being passed during his tenure without his consent. No Democratic presidential aspirant even dreamed of entering the state without first paying his respects to Billy Bolger. Through the same windows, Billy can also looked upon the 12th floor of the old federal courthouse on Post Office Square, where a US District Judge is presiding over hearings centering on Whitey Bolger. Whytey has achieved a different kind of celebrity by supposedly becoming the most powerful and feared gangster in Boston.

The question before Judge Mark Wolf is unprecedented. Did Whitey, during all those years in which Billy was running the Massachusetts State Senate, work for the FBI as an informant? Or was the FBI really working for Whitey? Depending upon the judge's answer, more than a score of major federal racketeering convictions are in danger of being reversed, to say nothing of the distinct possibility that the FBI might wind up looking like a bunch of not only imbecilic, but penny-ante, corrupt Keystone Cops. A ruling is expected later this month. To Billy's right, the beginning of the beginnings for both brothers is clearly visible, a place he still calls home South Boston.

The article goes on to talk about his childhood. Billy's father, James Joseph Bolger, became eligible for residency in the project when a horrific accident he suffered as a railroad worker left him without a left arm. The railroad paid him up to the moment he fell, mangled by the tracks, then promptly forgot about him. James's main source of income was filling in as a night watchman at the Navy Yard whenever the weather was freezing or on holidays when those with benefits wanted to stay home. As a boy, Billy heard that his father, whom he worshiped, had floored a neighborhood bully with a single punch despite his handicap. Billy asked his father about the incident and was told that he best stay out of fights. After a moment though, his father added, but if you can avoid one, don't stand on ceremony. As assorted political challengers, feral types Billy calls them, will discover the willingness to fight became his basic political weapon. And now at 65, impeccably tired with a middle weight trim build, Billy has forsaken the political arena to become President of the University of Massachusetts, a five campus, 58,000 student institution, whose chief national recognition in the years before his arrival was a championship basketball team now marred by previous player payoff scandals. Billy has stabilized both the systems management and its finances, boosted faculty morale and spearheaded a successful drive to attract more top high school students. Billy Bolger has never been moaned the hardships of his childhood. He seems genetically incapable of speaking publicly about his private life. If anything, he has emphasized the richness of growing up in South Boston.

In his memoir, While the Music Lasts, Billy wrote briefly about his brother. Only once before a full decade ago, did he provide some terse answers about Whitey in an interview with the Boston Globe, and even then only after a president's commission on organized crime had identified James J. Bolger as a crime boss and a reputed killer. Asked if his brother's reputation was an issue when he first ran for office, Billy replied, We never discussed it much. It was an unspoken concern. My father, I think, didn't want me to be hurt. I think he was relieved and gratified by the fact that the neighbors were supporting me. Billy could see all of this, could see all the way across some six decades when he slept in the same room with Jimmy, slightly in awe of him, laughing at him and with him, loving him, then loving him still. But what he could not see at that moment and quite possibly will never see again is his brother's face, because when Billy was elected president of UMass in 1995, he wasn't the only Bolger to make headlines. That same year, Whitey became a fugitive from justice, having been indicted on racketeering and extortion charges for shaking down bookmakers rather piddling for a man who had been accused of being top gun in the Boston underworld, mercilessly murdering left and right for the last two decades, dealing big time in drugs, tagged as a kingpin loan shark, and credited with just about every felony short of masterminding the attention Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He's become like El Nino, Billy dryly observes. They're blaming him for everything that ever happened around here. If the city was agog then over Whitey's dramatic flights, it was even more stunned when evidence surfaced that during the time Whitey seemed to be miraculously immune to prosecution. He was really playing Junior G-Man for the FBI, helping the bureau in its triumphant war against the entrenched Boston component of Cosa Nostra, the American mafia. It is Judge Wolf's thankless job to try to peel away layers of secrecy and find out who is lying more, the extensible good guys, the FBI who deny that they let Whitey off the hook, or the recognizably bad guys, Whitey and his former associates.

Since his disappearance, Whitey has been featured on America's Most Wanted as well as other national TV shows, to no avail. Criticized for not exactly knocking itself out and pursuing him, the FBI eventually issued a Wanted poster offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to Whitey's capture. So far, no claimants have stepped forward and there's growing suspicion that the FBI would just assume not having custody. But on this morning, prompted by the revelations that have emerged from Judge Wolf's courtroom, Billy Bolger talks about his brother as much as he ever will or can. Billy has taken a lot of heat about Whitey over the years, but Whitey has taken just as much heat, from the media anyway, because of his high-profile brother. It's a measure of Billy's character that he now asks a visitor whether his prominence in politics has played any part in the press's portrayal of his brother as the biggest actor on the local crime scene. Yes, he is told. Visibly sad and he turns away. Later, Billy was appalled when he learned that his brother was one of a handful of convicts, who in return for minor reductions in their sentences, volunteered to enter a dangerous monthslong CIA experiment to study the effects of LSD. Who knows what that could do to a man's mind. Billy says to this day, he believes that the experiment played a key role in the evolution of Whitey's dark side. Being fed mind-altering drugs by CIA practitioners of the Black Arts is hardly a stepping stone to mental health.

But Whitey's chosen career path can't be attributed entirely to LSD. According to his prison jacket, a copy of which was obtained by George, he was classified from the start as an escape risk and labeled a candidate for close custody. A psychological workup on him states subject apparently had a very stormy childhood. Probation reports indicate that the parents were unable to control him during his early years and he was quite a problem in school. He attended both parochial and public schools in South Boston, Massachusetts, with a very poor scholastic record. The article continues. When Billy is asked if he thought Whitey had killed anyone, he says, I suspect many, but he never told me about them. I've got plausible deniability. The article finishes up as Billy Bolger ponders the past in his 26th floor office, it is suggested that if Whitey ever turns up, he might provide some answers to what made him who he is. Billy, who never moralizes or is judgmental about his brother, slowly shakes his head, not in this life he won't.

Thought this was an interesting article, because it talks about the CIA using LSD. I've done some episodes on that before, but it just happened to be the Massachusetts President of the Senate's brother, who was embarking on that. And then it raises the question, how much did each of them know of the other? And how much control did the people who had control over Whitey have over Billy, if any? Just something to think about. As we move into the next cycle of choosing who we want to be in charge, I think it's important for us all to dig a little deeper than to just look at surface value qualities, because you just never know what's going on behind the scenes. That does it for the March 1999 George Collection video for today. I hope you all enjoyed it. Have a great week, and I'll see you next time.

Larry King 14:22
...because in George, which is a hoot of a magazine, I thought you were a lawyer.

John F. Kennedy, Jr. 14:26
I was.

Larry King 14:28
What happened?

John F. Kennedy, Jr. 14:28
Well, we decided that, I mean, actually taking a cue from folks like yourself and you around the 1992 election that there was an opportunity here to change the definition of a political magazine. Certainly, the way Americans were accessing information about politics and politicians was changing. Candidates were appearing on late-night talk shows, on talk radio, on sitcoms, and there was a kind of a leveling process. And while the rest of media clearly had caught up with that, we felt that political magazines, per se, hadn't.

Larry King 15:06
Your mother was a hell of an editor at Doubleday.

John F. Kennedy, Jr. 15:09
That's what I hear.

Larry King 15:10
Would she have liked George?

John F. Kennedy, Jr. 15:10
I think she would have.

Transcribed by


Rachel of Writesideblonde talks for about 15 minutes about how she started her George Magazine collection and the fascinating qlues she has found in it. Really fun stuff! We also have the transcript!


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People in conversation:
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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gypsy Spirit · 5 days ago
    Wow nice job for Rachael .. I will have to watch. She really came up with good editing on this.. I would have cut it shorter and shown all the other clues in that issue. but then that takes so much time.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Franz · 4 days ago
      Yes, she keeps focused and keeps them YouTube-able. LOL.
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