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Sweet on Caroline

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

One sign the liberal news media live in a plastic Manhattan bubble is their undying ardor for the Kennedy Myth, best known by that public-relations construct "Camelot." Instead of a president and First Lady, they believe, we had the King and Queen of Glamour. Never mind if their marriage was a joke and his list of presidential accomplishments was short. Never mind if the Republican half of the country feels sickened by the obsession. The media preferred the myth -- and they still do to this day. It is why they are promoting the anointment of unaccomplished Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in New York.

The very same media which spent months dismissing former mayor and Gov. Sarah Palin as too inexperienced for national office is now championing a woman whose primary qualification -- her only qualification -- is her last name. The very same media which still mock Palin's folksy "you betcha" or her interview with Katie Couric don't seem to notice when John Fund reports that in one 30-minute interview on the cable news channel New York One, Caroline Kennedy used the slang "you know" a total of 168 times.

How will Caroline Kennedy be expected to cast votes in the Senate when she's cared so little about voting as a citizen? Faced with reports that she had missed voting in several New York elections, including the 1994 re-election effort of Sen. Daniel Moynihan (the Senate seat she now expects to be handed like royalty), Kennedy told the Associated Press, "I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record. I'm glad it's been brought to my attention."


There's a long line of New York politicians who are more qualified and more deserving of a Senate seat than this dippy heiress -- even liberal ones. Yet they have to watch this wannabe sound like one of her limo drivers just handed her the dismaying news of her own voting history? You know?

But the Kennedy-worshiping media elite just can't stop scratching their Camelot itch, showing those ridiculously over-broadcasted home movies of the Kennedy kids and marveling over Caroline Kennedy's life story. From "Nightline," here's ABC high-fructose syrup specialist John Donvan: "She would be the fourth Kennedy to be called senator. Surely a new dynastic record. And her return to Washington would close a circle after nearly half a century. For this is where, when her dad was the president, we first came to know the little girl, riding his shoulders, saddled up on ponies."

Riding ponies in your playground years somehow qualifies you for federal office, at least if your last name is Kennedy.

Donvan set the bar of qualifications incredibly low, for Caroline Kennedy had no drug arrests or overdoses, and no rape trials, unlike her cousins: "Other Kennedys of her generation ran afoul of the law, but Caroline Kennedy raised her kids and did work for charity and did the family name proud." Never mind that she admitted doing drugs in the 1970s "like a typical member of that generation."

Caroline is also allegedly qualified because she had no Chappaquiddick: "Consider this, Ted Kennedy, same name, but it took him years to figure out how to become the Lion of the Senate, with multiple missteps along the way, not always doing the name proud. ... At least she has kept it the way it was remembered, as part of a story that so many wanted to believe in."

Back in August, this same network treated John McCain's choice of Palin with nothing less than contempt. They "looked a little like father and daughter out for an ice cream," said ABC's David Wright. This is the same David Wright who swooned when Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama last January. Obama became the "adopted son of Camelot ... blessed not just by the Lion of the Senate, but by JFK's daughter."

McCain aide Mike DuHaime attempted to tout Palin's "incredible life story" when she was first picked, but ABC anchor Bill Weir told him that in the "brutality of a national campaign," Palin was neglecting her duties as a mother: "She has an infant with special needs. Will that affect her campaigning?" This is the same Bill Weir who found the first whispers of Caroline Kennedy for Senate "exciting to talk about."

Reporters are incredibly transparent in their biases these days. Experience is a huge issue -- unless a Kennedy is running. Motherhood isn't a qualification for office -- unless a Kennedy is running. Smarts are important -- unless a Kennedy is running.

In short, the media have a slight possibility of being fair -- unless a Kennedy is running. You know?

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