Friday, August 28, 2009

'One of his favorite topics of humor was Chappaquiddick'

(This article was written by Mark Hemingway and published on National Review - The Corner. I am copying it in full.)
Jules Crittenden mentioned on his blog he heard Ed Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine, recalling on air that Ted Kennedy liked to joke about Chappaquiddick. It seemed to defy belief, so I listened to the episode of The Diane Rehm Show in question and sure enough — I've transcribed what Klein told guest host Katy Kay:

I don't know if you know this or not, but one of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself. And he would ask people, "have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?" That is just the most amazing thing. It's not that he didn't feel remorse about the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, but that he still always saw the other side of everything and the ridiculous side of things, too.

EXCUSE ME? If that's true, it makes Kennedy kind of a monster. The odd thing is that if you listen to the whole show, the tone of everyone involved is nauseatingly hagiographic and reverential. Klein apparently let his guard down a bit; after he lets it slip Kennedy liked to joke about the woman he killed you can actually hear in his voice that he's trying to backpedal. The show actually cuts to a break as he's trying to explain himself, and I seriously wonder if it wasn't the producers trying to do Klein a favor. But I'm sorry, there appears to be little to that could explain this. It goes way beyond "you had to be there."

UPDATE: Blogging software was a tad buggy and didn't respond to repeated attempts to fix audio link — it should be fixed now. Also, Ed Morrissey has the audio much more convinently packaged at this YouTube link.

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