Carr, the afternoon talk host on WRKO , contended Kennedy "was always protected by most of the media, who shared his views on just about everything." Carr's latest example: "The [Boston] Globe reported that Kennedy was extremely concerned that the people of Massachusetts would have no representation in the Senate for five months until the special election. The fact that he had already missed 97 percent of the Senate roll-call votes in 2009 was not noted until the next day - in a different newspaper."
Carr safely predicted: "The hagiography will continue throughout the weekend. We all agree that Ted Kennedy should rest in peace. But let's not forget that there was more, much more, to his 'legacy' than is being reported on MSNBC."
Ironically, Carr's column appeared inside a tabloid newspaper adorned with a huge photo of Kennedy over its front and back covers alongside a reverential headline, "The one and only: Edward M. Kennedy, an American legend ."
An excerpt from Carr's August 27 column, "Ted Kennedy's legacy not as heroic as some might think ."
....While offering condolences to the Kennedy family at this sad moment, it is important to note that his life was not as simple, nor heroic, as is now being portrayed. On the cable channels yesterday, his fellow Senate graybeards, of both parties, were lamenting the passing of what was invariably described as Ted Kennedy's "collegial" Senate - where voices were seldom raised, and partisan bickering ended when the gavel came down to end the session. All of which would have come as a surprise to Robert Bork, the Supreme Court nominee of whom the collegial Ted said in 1986: "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters..."- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center
So much for collegiality....
Yesterday the tributes kept mentioning his commitment to the "working class." He fought for, as President Obama said on Martha's Vineyard of all places, "an America that is more equal and more just."
But more equal and more just for some people than for others. When it came to the white ethnic working class from which his father came, Kennedy just plain didn't get it. Whether it was court-ordered busing in Boston in the 1970s, or the affirmative action policies that stymied the careers of so many of his family's traditional voters, Kennedy never grasped the depth of the blue-collar frustration as he veered left. And what infuriated them even more was that so many of them had grown up in homes where on one side of the mantel was a faded photo of the martyred JFK, and on the other the pope, with a dried-up palm frond given out at Mass on Palm Sunday between them....
On issue after issue he was wrong - the nuclear freeze, the Reagan tax cuts, the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, which he assured his Senate colleagues would not lead to a "flood" of immigrants into America's cities. With a Tele-Promp-Ter, he could be articulate, but when he wasn't using his glasses to read a prepared statement, he was often an oratorical mess. In 2005, at the National Press Club, he referred to the current president as "Osama bin La-uh, Osama Obama, uh Obama."
And yet he was always protected by most of the media, who shared his views on just about everything. In 1962, at the behest of President Kennedy, the Boston Globe played the story of his expulsion from Harvard below the fold on the front page. To the very end the Globe did its best to shield him - last week the struggling Times-owned broadsheet broke the story of his deathbed attempt to change the Massachusetts law on Senate succession, without mentioning that he himself had lobbied in 2004 to enact the law he was now denouncing as undemocratic. Only then, he was for stripping the governor of his right to fill a Senate vacancy, because, you see, that governor was a Republican.
The Globe reported that Kennedy was extremely concerned that the people of Massachusetts would have no representation in the Senate for five months until the special election. The fact that he had already missed 97 percent of the Senate roll-call votes in 2009 was not noted until the next day - in a different newspaper.
The hagiography will continue throughout the weekend. We all agree that Ted Kennedy should rest in peace. But let's not forget that there was more, much more, to his "legacy" than is being reported on MSNBC.