On April 6, a bombshell will hit America’s theaters.
That bombshell comes in the form of an understated, well-made, well-acted film called “Chappaquiddick.” (Full disclosure: They advertise with my podcast.) The film tells the story of Ted Kennedy’s 1969 killing of political aide Mary Jo Kopechne; the Massachusetts Democratic senator drove his car off a bridge and into the Poucha Pond, somehow escaped the overturned vehicle and left Kopechne to drown. She didn’t drown, though. Instead, she reportedly suffocated while waiting for help inside an air bubble while Kennedy waited 10 hours to call for help. The Kennedy family and its associated political allies then worked to cover up the incident. In the end, Teddy was sentenced to a two-month suspended jail sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. The incident prevented Kennedy from running for president in 1972 and 1976, though he attempted a run in 1980 against then-President Jimmy Carter, failing.
So, why is the film important?
It’s important because it doesn’t traffic in rumors and innuendo — there is no attempt to claim that Kopechne was having an affair with Kennedy, or that she was pregnant with his child. It’s important because it doesn’t paint Kennedy as a monster but as a deeply flawed and somewhat pathetic scion of a dark and manipulative family. But most of all, it’s important for two reasons: It’s the first movie to actually tackle a serious Democratic scandal in the history of modern film, and it reminds us that Americans have long been willing to overlook scandal for the sake of political convenience.
First, there’s the historic nature of the film. Here is an incomplete list of the films made about George W. Bush’s administration since his election in 2000, nearly all of them accusatory in tone: “W,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Recount,” “Fair Game” and “Truth.” There has still not been a movie made about former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment (though one is apparently in the works). There’s been no movie about former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese, former President Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic mishandling of the Vietnam War (though we have had two hagiographies of LBJ, one directed by Rob Reiner, the other starring Bryan Cranston) or former President Woodrow Wilson’s racism and near fascism.
A couple of years ago, the mini-series “The Kennedy’s” covered the tragedies and scandals of the Kennedy clan. Amazingly, Teddy was not even mentioned! I guess his scumbaggery was too touchy, even then.
For the left to ever criticize morality is ridiculous. For them to ever claim the moral high ground on any issue is hypocritically absurd. As with so many other fronts, they have surrendered their right to criticize by their own actions.
Mary Jo Kopechine did not get justice Ted Kennedy got away with 1st degree murder it was only granted at last when Chappaquiddick Ted met his maker and faced holy justice just like Manson,and Castro did last year