Two years before the president’s assassination, Dallas Morning News publisher Ted Dealey initiated a public showdown with Kennedy during what was supposed to be a friendly luncheon with Texas newspaper publishers. The story is documented in the new book Dallas 1963:
“Dealey can’t stand it. Leaning forward, half out of his seat, he suddenly interrupts Kennedy and speaks forcefully across the elegant dining table:
“‘Isn’t one of the purposes of this meeting to get an expression of grassroots thinking in Texas?’
“Kennedy smiles, perhaps unsure where things are headed, and slowly nods in agreement.
“Dealey abruptly growls: ‘Well … That being the case, I will present the grassroots thinking in Texas as they have been presented to me and as I understand them.’
“The clinking and scraping of silverware against the china comes to a halt. The room is silent, except for the sound of Texas publishers shifting uneasily in their seats.”