You know, I thought it best to stay out of the ugly details of Senator Kennedy’s involvement cause of Ms. Mary Jo Kopechne’s death during his recent passing. Blame it on my small town Southern upbringing, but you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead — not even if its a drunk uncle. Having said that, it is really hard to keep a straight face during some of the news coverage and liberal fawning over Mr. Kennedy’s esteemed career and glorious life. Not to mention, the shameless politicizing during his funeral by offering a prayer for ObamaCare. Your immediate reaction is to say, “have they no shame?” And the answer to that is, no. Secondly, “would Mr. Kennedy approve of politics and such tasteless pandering at his funeral?” The answer to that is, yes. So, you could say I had my fill and was more than disgusted.
After considering everything I witnessed and heard this past week, I thought it would be disrespectful to the dead if I didn’t at least mention Mary Jo Kopechne’s life and tragic end to what otherwise was a life of seeming fullness.
Mark Steyn | Airbrushing out Mary Jo Kopechne
In this case, the unmentionable corpse is Mary Jo Kopechne, 1940–1969. If you have to bring up the, ah, circumstances of that year of decease, keep it general, keep it vague. As Kennedy flack Ted Sorensen put it in Time magazine: “Both a plane crash in Massachusetts in 1964 and the ugly automobile accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 almost cost him his life.”
That’s the way to do it! An “accident,” “ugly” in some unspecified way, just happened to happen — and only to him, nobody else. Ted’s the star, and there’s no room to namecheck the bit players. What befell him was . . . a thing, a place. As Joan Vennochi wrote in the Boston Globe: “Like all figures in history — and like those in the Bible, for that matter — Kennedy came with flaws. Moses had a temper. Peter betrayed Jesus. Kennedy had Chappaquiddick, a moment of tremendous moral collapse.”
Actually, Peter denied Jesus, rather than “betrayed” him, but close enough for Catholic-lite Massachusetts. And if Moses having a temper never led him to leave some gal at the bottom of the Red Sea, well, let’s face it, he doesn’t have Ted’s tremendous legislative legacy, does he? Perhaps it’s kinder simply to airbrush out of the record the name of the unfortunate complicating factor on the receiving end of that moment of “tremendous moral collapse.” When Kennedy cheerleaders do get around to mentioning her, it’s usually to add insult to fatal injury. As Teddy’s biographer Adam Clymer wrote, Edward Kennedy’s “achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne.”
Read R.S. McCain’s unique take on the American Spectator and his personal blog, The Other McCain (warning not for the faint of heart). Also contributing to the Mary Jo coverage is, Smitty, McCain’s partner.
- The Kopechne Effect | “Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.”
- If it was OK for Ted Kennedy to joke about killing Mary Jo Kopechne . . . | Newsweek’s Ed Klein (told interviewer) Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones. Shouldn’t everyone emulate the Lion of the Senate?
- Zorn: The Nadir of American Journalism | Multiple witnesses confirmed that Ted Kennedy had been drinking heavily all day that Saturday. Supplies for the regatta party — attended by six married men and six single women, incidentally — included three half-gallons of vodka, four fifths of scotch, two bottles of rum and two cases of beer. And then there is the rather telling circumstantial evidence that Ted drove off the freaking bridge.
- Finally, Mary Jo’s Recompense Arrives
And lastly, here is a thought from the Chicago Tribune, “How wall-to-wall Chappaquiddick would have changed history — for the worse”
If we’d had insatiable 24/7 cable news networks in July 1969, the accident on Chappaquiddick Island in which a passenger in a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy drowned would likely have dominated the national consciousness for months.
Special programs every night devoted to nothing but pundits bickering over the depths of the 37-year-old Kennedy’s responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, 28.
Town-hall-style chat shows every afternoon in which ordinary Americans issued their verdicts and sentences before the evidence was in.
Probing interviews every morning with experts offering their views on whether Kopechne would have survived had Kennedy quickly gone for help.
Live remotes all day and night from the bridge, the Kennedy compound, the Kopechne home and the streets of Edgartown, Mass., near the accident where random pedestrians would be asked for their views of Kennedy’s failure to report the accident to police until the next morning.