King of the Senate May Be Gone, But Jester Media Still Holding Court

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Posted: Aug 29, 2009 9:00 PM
On this the day of the late Senator Ted Kennedy's burial, the media's reporting of his life and legacy continues to climb to new levels of ludicrous.  Here's a couple of gems I came across this afternoon:

Newsweek: Why Women Continue to Support Ted Kennedy
The news mag's feature suggests that women have largely been able to "overlook" Senator Kennedy's private failings because "the political outweighs the personal: if a politician's private life doesn't interfere with his public life, why should it be a problem?"

Ah, yes--forget that little incident where his neglectful actions actually killed someone; think instead of how many people have been able to receive public welfare support because of Kennedy!  I'm not sure why, but Newsweek's Eleanor Clift apparently believes there's a significant disconnect between a person's moral character at work and at home--and that this disconnect is something quite acceptable as long as you show up for work every day.

Clift also tries to frame liberal and conservative ideology around whether or not people "remember" Chappaquiddick and Mary Jo Kepechne:
For those who remember, there's no forgiving the incident that took the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign aide left to drown in the waters of Chappaquiddick Island.  The moment embodied an era that was mercifully ending. For a long time a rich and powerful man in the public eye could reasonably expect that women would simply be playthings, and that private sins would remain just that: private. That was changing in 1969. Feminism was moving toward the mainstream, and the image of a Kennedy leaving a woman to drown seemed to epitomize the inequality of the sexes. But always Kennedy (sic) managed to muddle through and even grow in stature, to become known as a Great American. Some Americans—men and women—are infuriated by this.

If you're not sympathetic to Kennedy's politics, you'll note that he had a staggeringly privileged life, and got away with something he shouldn't have.
Translation: conservatives are just jealous of Kennedy's "privileged life" and stuck in an out-dated mindset that accepts the subjugation of women.  BUT if you're a liberal...
[I]f you are sympathetic to Kennedy and his politics, as I am, you're mindful that the accident at Chappaquiddick happened in 1969, the year after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. (Ted, just 36 and the last of the brothers, shouldered the burden of 11 more fatherless nieces and nephews.) You're also willing to measure the benefits that Kennedy brought to countless people through his politics, and give them proper weight on the scales of the man's record. Finally, if you measure his capacity to reform himself, you tip the scales further.
(I'll attempt to translate this as well, even though the author doesn't bother to offer any specific examples of Kennedy and his "capacity to reform himself.")

Translation: Lots of bad stuff happened to Teddy Kennedy and, because of this, he can't possibly be held responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kepechne.  Besides, he was able to get lots of bills passed and help lots of people!  That's gotta count for something, right?

Yes, Kennedy's work does count for something: he was a "lion" in the US Senate for a number of decades in his life, but unfortunately his life also included unflattering (and sometimes immoral) drunken, debaucherous behavior.  Some of us, however, hold our leaders to higher standards, and since it doesn't take superhuman powers to abstain from either of these extra-curricular activities, Kennedy's king of the (Senate) jungle legacy will be limited to the Left. 

Kennedy's Death "Just like 9/11"

Former Time reporter and current contributor for lefty blog site Talking Points Memo Matthew Cooper tweeted the following on Thursday:
It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha's Vineyard.  End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy.
Mr. Cooper's comment is achingly absurd.  The death of an ethically-challenged 77-year-old politician feels just like a terrorist attack that killed thousands and plunged the country into an ongoing war with jihadists...

I don't quite feel the connection... Do you?

Kennedy's Youngest Grandchildren Pray for Universal Health Care
Ok, this one isn't really the media's fault, but it's still ridiculous.  These children's grandfather has just passed away and they've been asked to recite a petition that pushes a political debate at the poor man's funeral?  How many 10-year-olds do you know who would rather talk about health care as a "right and not a privilege" than talk about stories their grandfather told them?  Or time they had spent with him?  Or hope that every kid in the world would be as lucky to have a loving grandfather?  I may be a huge cynic, but I thought this was pretty unsettling: