Chappaquiddick And Us

(I posted this over at The American Catholic and I thought the film mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.)



Ah, you can always predict The New York Times;  from covering up the crimes of Stalin, courtesy of their Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Walter Duranty, their goal is to ever protect the left.  Thus, it is unsurprising that they published a hit piece on the movie Chappaquiddick (2018) by Kennedy biographer Neil Gabler:

The film, by the same name, opened Friday and retells the story of an accident in July 1969, on the titular Massachusetts island near Martha’s Vineyard, in which Mr. Kennedy drove off a bridge, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker for his late brother Robert. It has been heavily promoted by conservative media outlets, and reviewers across the political spectrum have praised what they deem its damning but factual approach. Damning it is; factual it is not.

Let’s set aside the fact that, despite the film’s advertisements claiming to tell the “untold true story” of a “cover-up,” the story has been told plenty, and no one but the most lunatic conspiracy theorists see this as anything but a tragic accident in which nothing much was covered up. Let’s also put aside the skein of conjecture and outright fabrication that the film unspools — in one scene Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, murmurs “alibi” to his son, like a Mafia don, when in fact he was so debilitated by a stroke that he could only babble incoherently. Setting all this aside, the movie nevertheless raises a serious issue.

Go here to read the rest.  I was heartened that even in The New York Times this was too much for some of their readers:




What a moving, convincing piece. We should turn aside from the “fake history” of holding the powerful accountable for those they kill in their youth. Some of them might eventually turn out to do good things! Don’t worry about a cover up, there’s no way to prove it happened. The fact that Ted Kennedy never faced legal consequences for his actions doesn’t mean anything.


This attempt to apologize for what is unquestionably the most disgusting and disgraceful transgression in the sordid pantheon of Kennedy clan transgressions is embarrassing and the NYTimes should have declined to run it.


I saw the movie. I though it was a little slow. Whatever liberties the movie takes, it is a fact Ted Kennedy walked away from the crime scene, did not call for help, no doubt seeking counsel or a type of cover-up. Perhaps, his hope was that the truth would go away in the confusion. Not until it became self-evident that it would not go away, did Ted report it. If Ted had called for real help right after the accident that night, perhaps she would have been saved. It’s possible she struggled for life for hours before drowning.



I mean, really.

Bill Gates arguably has contributed far more to our society as well as to global prosperity than Ted Kennedy ever did — and he didn’t even need to help his father steal the 1960 election for his brother from Richard Nixon.

But if Bill Gates had negligently driven a young woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair off a bridge while drunk into a tidal channel, then fled the scene to save himself while she drowned, emerging only hours later once he’d realized he couldn’t avoid public blame … then Gates might still be in prison, and certainly would have an asterisk next to his name for all of history to compare to all the stupendous and positive things he’d accomplished.

Teddy’s actions were reprehensible, and the movie is no “distraction”.


Can a person be both good and bad? Can a person ever atone for an outrageous act? Yes, and yes.

Disappearing for 10 hours after a fatal accident: a jury would have concluded he was sobering up to void a DUI which would be automatic manslaughter charges. He was not unconscious; he was gong back and forth meeting with everyone except the police/ambulance. That he was and remained an alcoholic supports this. That there were 6 unmarried young men with 6 married men (but one) supports more cover-up. Viewing his confession in which he avoids eye contact with the camera as he describes it all supports this.

Atonement? Yes he had a marvelous career and sobered up at the end of his life but if he never told the truth there can be no atonement of forgiveness. He killed a person and got away with it.

Democrats are just as able as Republicans to “see” what they want to see, and to spin this story politically is one more hallmark of a shallow and divided nation.




The significance of Chappaquiddick goes way beyond the fact that Ted Kennedy committed crimes 49 years ago, that would have landed virtually anyone else in prison, and got away with them.  The importance of it really is that he was not shunned afterwards.  True, he never became President, but that was largely due to the fact that he was a lousy, and not infrequently incoherent, candidate on the national stage, who couldn’t even beat in the primaries Carter in 1980, who by that time was as popular as advanced leprosy.  If he had defeated Carter, Reagan would have eviscerated him in the general election.  In Massachusetts, however, he was treated like a hero and re-elected to the Senate seven times.  In the Senate he was very popular among almost all his fellow Senators, including Republicans.  When he died, the “Lion of the Senate”  received a virtual canonization Mass.  Cardinal O’Malley, who gives pusillanimous weaklings a bad name, sat by and did bupkis during the Mass, and only uttered a few words of mild criticism after outraged commentary forced him to do so.

No, the true and damning feature of the Chappaquiddick crimes is the unflattering mirror they hold up to a society which clearly values celebrity and politics far above justice and common decency.




Published in: on April 8, 2018 at 3:30 am  Comments Off on Chappaquiddick And Us  
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