That's Not Rain, It's God Crying for Teddy
Celebrating "the Lion's" Liberalism
"America mourns the lion of the Senate....There is, of course, no royal family in this country. The Kennedys, perhaps, the closest we've ever had....For nearly half a century in the Senate, Ted Kennedy spoke for people who had no voice - the poor and the disabled, children and the elderly."
- Katie Couric kicking off the August 26 CBS Evening News.
Brian Williams: "We thought one way to look at his life might be the way some people looked at him today, the way filmmaker Frank Capra might have looked at life: What would it have been like without a Ted Kennedy?"...
Reporter Kevin Tibbles: "Many say Ted Kennedy's passion was people, and tonight they have lost a champion."
- NBC Nightly News, August 26.
Co-host Diane Sawyer: "We are going to begin something. 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. Forty-six years of service. Three hundred bills passed...."
Reporter John Berman: "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....If you're a child, he worked to make sure you have health insurance...."
George Stephanopoulos: "Boy, not a corner of American life that Ted Kennedy didn't touch...."
- ABC's Good Morning America, August 27. [Audio/video (0:28): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Co-host Harry Smith: "He bore the unspeakable grief and overwhelming hopes of a nation....Over five decades, Ted Kennedy carried the torch passed on by his brothers, for civil rights, for the poor, and for the sick."
Clip of Ted Kennedy, 2008: "The hope rises again, and the dream lives on."
Smith: "Today, we remember."
- CBS's Early Show, August 26.
Liberal Laws Earned Kennedy "Redemption"
"He'll be remembered as a truly Shakespearean figure: tragic, flawed; who in the end achieved redemption through greatness - both in his personal life and in his professional life, and did enormous things for millions and millions of people."
- NPR's Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, August 28.
Kopechne on Kennedy: "Maybe She'd Feel It Was Worth It"
"Mary Jo wasn't a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan....We don't know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she'd have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history....[One wonders what] Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted's death, and what she'd have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded. Who knows - maybe she'd feel it was worth it."
- Discover magazine deputy web editor Melissa Lafsky, who formerly worked on the New York Times's Freakonomics blog, writing at the Huffington Post, August 28.
Matthews: "Barack Is Now the Last Brother"
"[Ted Kennedy] just wanted to bring back what Bobby and Jack had given us. He wanted to be his brother's brother. And then he turned that torch over last year to Barack Obama....Amazing history. Barack is now the last brother. It's history."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on NBC's Today, August 26. [Audio/video (0:41): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Ted Kennedy, the Perfect Family Man?
"The lion in the Senate will be remembered for his 46 years in public office, but at his core, Senator Kennedy liked to be known as a family man....[On screen: "Family Man, Remembering Ted Kennedy"] From the tragic and very public deaths of his brothers, to the normal family triumphs and celebration, to the unexpected, Ted Kennedy didn't forget that family came first."
- Ann Curry on NBC's Today, August 28.
"Many of his best years in the Senate were a mess in his private life. Divorced, he was often seen drunk and womanizing in his 50s."
- ABC's John Donvan in a report for a special Nightline that aired early in the morning of August 26, shortly after Kennedy's death was announced.
Kennedy's Liberal Convention Speech "A Huge Inspiration"
"Ted Kennedy has been a huge inspiration to me and, just listening to the coverage over the last couple of days, one of the things that struck me the most was listening again to his fabulous 1980 convention speech....Listening to that speech that night was a hugely important, serious moment, I think, in all our lives."
- Ex-New York Times and Newsweek reporter Melinda Henneberger, now Editor-in-Chief of AOL's PoliticsDaily.com site, remembering Kennedy on MSNBC's Hardball, August 27.
Never Any Anger, Bitterness or Contempt from Teddy?
"In these bitter times when anger and contempt seem to become the language of our politics, maybe it's the old-fashioned joy Ted Kennedy brought to politics that we miss the most and need now."
- ABC's Terry Moran on the August 26 early morning Nightline. [Audio/video (0:47): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution....President Reagan is still our president, but he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate, and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and on the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice."
- Kennedy's speech on the Senate floor after Reagan nominated Bork for the Supreme Court, July 1, 1987.
Forget the Consequences - Pass ObamaCare for Teddy
"Perhaps it will get a needed shot. There is already an e-mail circulating that I've received today that reads simply, 'In lieu of flowers, pass health care reform.'"
- NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Today, August 26. [Audio/video (0:21): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
"The Democrats have sorely missed Ted Kennedy's voice, his leadership, in this health care debate this summer....Ironically, the fact that he did not live long enough to see a possible overhaul of the system - will this be the very thing that might break the log jam over getting it done?"
- Williams on Nightly News, August 26.
"As history plays it, now that he's dead, there'll be a martyr syndrome for him...Even though he's gone, his energy may help push this Obama plan through, in the end."
- CBS News presidential historian Douglas Brinkley on Up to the Minute, August 26. [Audio/video (1:02): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
New President, New Rules
"It's such a sad story....You think, here's somebody who's just trying to find some meaning in her son's death. And you have to be sympathetic to her. Anybody who has given a son to this country has made an enormous sacrifice, and you have to be sympathetic. But enough already."
- ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson in an interview on WLS radio, August 18, talking about left-wing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. ABC aired no stories about Sheehan's protest during President Obama's Martha's Vineyard vacation.
"Standing her ground. She lost her son in Iraq, she opposes the war, now she's camped out at President Bush's ranch and says she won't leave until he meets with her. An exclusive interview on Good Morning America....
Cindy Sheehan is her name. She says she's not moving until the President meets with her, and I had a chance to speak with her a few moments ago."
- Gibson on the August 9, 2005 Good Morning America, when Sheehan was protesting President Bush's vacation in Crawford, Texas. That August, Gibson's Good Morning America ran 25 items on Sheehan's anti-Bush protest.
Clinton Speaks, Chris Hears "the Voice of God"
Chris Matthews:"Let's take a look at the former President Bill Clinton, who really knows what he's talking about in politics, especially on this front, where he went through that hell in '94. Here he is offering advice to the Left in saying this. Let's listen."
Former President Bill Clinton: "I'm just telling you we need to pass a bill. It needs to be the best bill we can possibly get through Congress. But doing nothing is not only the worst thing we can do for the economy, and the worst thing we can do for health care, it's the worst thing we can do for the Democrats. And don't you think the Republicans don't know it."
Matthews: "That is the Voice of God....That is the Voice of God because it's the voice of truth and experience."
- Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, August 31. [Audio/video (0:42): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Upset by "Immoral" America
"We're the only industrialized democracy that doesn't cover every citizen. That is immoral....To be a country this wealthy and be the only industrialized democracy that hasn't figured out how to cover everyone."
- Time senior political analyst Mark Halperin, ex-ABC News political director, on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, August 6.
The Rapier Wit of Jonathan Alter
"If Ted Kennedy is one of the great senators of our time, Rush Limbaugh takes the crown as the great blowhard of our time."
- Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter on MSNBC's Hardball, August 28.
Katie: All "Wee-Wee'd Up" Over Obama's Brilliance
Anchor Katie Couric: "Mr. Obama, by the way, has continued a presidential tradition, what Thomas Jefferson called 'neology,' making up a new word or giving new meaning to an old one....Talking about the fuss over health care reform, President Obama has introduced us to 'wee wee'd up.'"
President Obama: "There's something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee wee'd up."
- CBS Evening News, August 24. [Audio/video (1:10): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
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