The more things change, the more they stay the same. Former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is dead and gone but the Associated Press is still carrying water for the Kennedy clan 50 years later by whitewashing the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.
Thursday marked a half-century since the night that the married Sen. Kennedy drove home drunk from a party shortly after midnight in Cape Cod with the 28-year-old Kopechne in his passenger seat. While driving over a bridge, the drunken 37-year-old crashed his car into the stream below. He was able to make it to shore from the shallow water. It is unclear if Ted Kennedy made any attempt whatsoever to dive back in and free Kopechne who was still trapped in the car, but it is clear that he did not call the police nor did he stop for help. Instead, he went back to his hotel room and slept. He waited for more than eight hours before reporting the incident to local police, but not before thoroughly crafting a coverup plan with his family, attorneys, and allies in the Massachusetts justice system in order to avoid jail time and maintain his place in the United States senate.
That coverup is still going on to this day. The evidence and testimony from family, friends, and experts say that Kopechne would still be alive today if Fat Ted had simply manned up and called 911 rather than worry about his political career.
But, rather than mention any of that, the Associated Press sent a dumbed-down version of the events as part of July 18, 2019 "Today in History" print column as well as on their AP Images Twitter account.
Here is how the AP described the incident:
50 years ago today, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy left a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard with Mary Jo Kopechne, 28; some time later, Kennedy's car went off a bridge into the water. Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.
Considering that the AP's "mission is to inform the world," it looks like the planet is in big trouble if that short anecdote is how they report the history of Chappaquiddick.
Folks on Twitter were quick to condemn the news outlets and rightfully so:
Dear God, this tweet is journalistic malpractice. https://t.co/uIeT3JcpXp— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) July 19, 2019
Actually, she suffocated. Ted Kennedy left her in agonizing torture in an air bubble in the car in shallow water for about an hour. He went and slept and pretended like nothing happened. The next morning he and the Kennedy machine went into overdrive to cover up the scandal. https://t.co/LlXkTHtxL2— Timothy Meads (@Timothy__Meads) July 19, 2019
I think often of what those last 3 hours of her life must have been like—searching for air in the darkness as the pocket slowly filled. Wondering if help was coming. Listening for the sound of a diver. Thinking surely Kennedy hadn't just left her to die.— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) July 19, 2019
But he had. https://t.co/EDyKeEvV5A
For those would like to learn more about the death, Chappaqquddick is now on Netflix.