NBC's Ann Curry, on Thursday's Today show, asked Senator John McCain if "the death of Senator Kennedy" would "be the catalyst" to pass health care reform, but when the Arizona senator responded that it may change the partisan way in which the Democrats have had "no real negotiations" with the GOP to get it passed, Curry demanded that McCain and the Republicans should be the ones to relent as she pushed McCain to "cross the aisle." McCain said he was "willing," but reiterated to Curry, "There's been no opportunity to do so," as seen in the following exchange: ANN CURRY:... continue reading
In the early hours of Wednesday, reporter John Donvan narrated a tough, comprehensive look at the life of Ted Kennedy, one that went so far as to assert that the Senator was sometimes " a let down, an embarrassment to his family, to his party, to himself." However, this eight and a half minute segment, which looked into Chappaquiddick, Kennedy's cheating at Harvard and other scandals, aired at 2:30 in the morning, during a special, late night EDT edition of Nightline (produced live for the West coast 11:35 PM PDT feed). A much shorter, sanitized version of the piece was... continue reading
At the top of the 8AM ET hour of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell wondered if Ted Kennedy's death could "spur Congress to pass a health care reform bill?" Correspondent Nancy Cordes answered that question: "Kennedy's death, in a way, gives new life to health care legislation , which has really taken a beating the past few weeks at town halls across the country." Cordes went on to declare: "Supporters of health care reform say they're going to fight even harder to achieve Kennedy's dying wish, universal healthcare. With Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia even suggesting that... continue reading
On Thursday's Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer and other ABC journalists spun liberal legislation by Ted Kennedy as gifts to the whole country. While bills related to the senator appeared on-screen, Sawyer gushed, "Can you see this going by? It's a scroll. And it's going to continue. We will not finish it before we take a break, because it's Senator Kennedy's legacy." Correspondent John Berman uncritically enthused, "If you're in a wheelchair, that ramp is thanks to Ted Kennedy. If you earn the minimum wage, you make more because of Ted Kennedy." Certainly he championed the legislation, but is Kennedy... continue reading
Proffering how "national sorrow has created political momentum before," Wednesday's NBC Nightly News devoted a story to the hope of Democrats that Senator Ted Kennedy's passing will propel ObamaCare to victory. Noting how Kennedy was "passionate" about more government in health care, from Hyannis anchor Brian Williams proposed "ironically, the fact that he did not live long enough to see a possible overhaul of the system" raises the question: "Will this be the very thing that might break the log jam over getting it done? Or not?" [Earlier: Brian Williams: In Lieu of Flowers for Ted, Pass Health Care Reform... continue reading
NBC's Brian Williams, during NBC News' live coverage of the President's remarks about the passing of Ted Kennedy on Wednesday, cited what sounded like a spam e-mail rallying support for health care reform, as a way to remember the Democratic Senator. Quoting from his in-box Williams suggested: "In lieu of flowers, pass health care reform." Responding to a question from Today co-host Ann Curry on the effect Kennedy's death will have on the chances of a health care bill passing through Congress, Williams offered the following "theories": BRIAN WILLIAMS: Number one, that it could lose momentum with the death of... continue reading
MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared three times on Wednesday's Today show to lionize Sen. Ted Kennedy, and twice he promoted Barack Obama as the "last brother" of the Kennedy political dynasty. He tried to clarify a little in his appearance in the 10am hour: " I don't mean that in an ethnic sense or a black sense. I mean a brother of the Kennedy tradition. And I think he's the new brother, not that last brother ." Rush Limbaugh joked on Wednesday that he wouldn't be allowed by the media to use the word "brother" to describe Obama. During the... continue reading
ABC's Terry Moran on Wednesday spun Ted Kennedy's political career as one of a "happy warrior" who should be looked to for direction in "these bitter times." However, it's hard to square this description of Kennedy with the vitriolic speech the Senator made in 1987 condemning Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court. Reporting on Kennedy's death soon after it was announced, Moran noted that Kennedy was a liberal and rhapsodized, "He was in many of those battles a divisive figure because of his beliefs, but never because of his heart. He was a happy warrior." The Nightline anchor closed... continue reading
During the 2:00AM ET hour of CBS's Up to the Minute on Wednesday, shortly after news broke of Senator Ted Kenney's death, historian Douglas Brinkley exclaimed the Massachusetts Democrat was: "...going to be a - a martyr because of all that he's done and he very well might help, in death, Obama get his health care plan." Fill-in anchor Michelle Gielan discussed Kennedy's legacy with Brinkley, soon turning to the current debate over health care reform: "And one of those causes that he was championing was health care reform, and yet, he had to sit out these last few months... continue reading
Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy, who passed away late Tuesday night, had the news media as an ally and champion of his liberal causes. Below are a few examples, culled from the MRC's archive, of how journalists admired his policy efforts and treated him as their hero. Eighteen years ago a New York Times reporter declared "his achievements as a Senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne" and a Time magazine correspondent maintained "if his private life is shaped by his love for children and stepchildren, his public... continue reading