August 27, 2009
TED KENNEDY was one of the few politicians in Washington who truly put his personal beliefs and views above politics. His compassion and never-ending campaign for equal rights for all Americans, big or small, no matter the color of their skin, rich or poor, will be sorely missed. Kennedy was our last best chance for real health-care reform, reform that would work for everyone, as he had respect from both sides of the aisle that no other senator has ever had or ever will have again.
November 1, 1986 |
Ted Kennedy Jr. wasn't too excited about the idea of yet another TV movie about the Kennedys - specifically himself. But a film about a 12-year-old boy who, with the help of family, friends and religious faith, overcomes the loss of a leg to cancer - that he could get into. Not only did Kennedy work with the writers of "The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story," an NBC film scheduled for broadcast Nov. 24, but he also wrote and delivered the epilog. He may also be the first Kennedy ever to participate in the promotion of a film biography.
August 12, 1993 |
Yuck, another one of those flaps about some self-identified journalist who has Gone Too Far. This time it's Joe McGinniss, whose novel masquerades as a "biography" of Edward Kennedy. And this time, the "biographer" is so far Over The Line (stop me before I capitalize again) that the only question left is whether we have some obligation to admire his chutzpah in describing this pastiche as non-fiction. I am obliged to explain that I got one of those advance galleys of the first three chapters of the McGinniss book that were circulated by his publisher, but I refuse on principle to buy the whole book.
February 3, 2003 |
SINCE it began last year, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) has stopped 330 known foreign criminals and three known terrorists attempting to come into the country at official ports of entry. And the targeted registration of certain foreign nationals already here has resulted in the apprehension of 15 illegal alien felons. Naturally, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Afghanistan, wants to stop the Bush administration from using NSEERS to catch any more criminal and illegal aliens who pose threats to America.
November 2, 1990 |
In the South, candidates are running hard against the senator. When they say his name, their voices drip with disgust. Big liberal spender, they sneer. King of racial quotas. Never mind that Ted Kennedy, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, isn't up for election. Listen to Gov. Bob Martinez in Florida. In his razor-close race for re- election, Martinez declares that Lawton Chiles is a liberal like Ted Kennedy. This has a familiar ring to it. Listen to Jesse Helms in North Carolina.
July 22, 1999 |
He was born into the family business, politics, but for many years now, the family narrative has been terrible, gut-wrenching tragedy. And Ted Kennedy has taken on roles he could never have aspired to or imagined for himself. Graceful mourner. Surrogate father. Composer of eulogies. Chaperone of bodies. Yesterday, Kennedy walked stiff-legged but briskly onto a Coast Guard vessel to be taken out to sea for the grimmest of tasks, to stand by as the bodies of John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of his slain brother; John's wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy; and her sister Lauren Bessette were pulled from the deep.
August 7, 1993 |
When Jonathan Yardley, the Washington Post's book critic, calls Joe McGinniss' new biography of Ted Kennedy the worst thing he's read in "nearly three decades," he's saying something. Yardley, like all reviewers, has read books so bad, so trashy, so without literary or journalistic merit, that to single out one as the worst means that it has a quality that sets it apart. In the case of the McGinness book, it's dishonesty. The Last Brother is really in a league of its own. It not only purports to know what Ted Kennedy was thinking at this or that moment, but it also has the speechless Joseph P. Kennedy, a stroke victim, impart his earnest desire to attend the Washington funeral of his son, the slain president: "He'd seen enough of Jack's casket on television, enough of Bobby's and Jacqueline's somber but resolute expressions.
September 8, 1993 |
Let me begin by making a confession that will set me apart from many of those who have commented on Joe McGinniss' latest work: I have actually read the book. I have read it and found it to be a finely written and insightful investigation, not only of Ted Kennedy, but of the way America creates and discards its heroes, of the way American politics works and of the role the media plays in those workings. Let me make a second confession: I am a friend of McGinniss'. As has been the case with a long list of other writers, I have benefited from his kindness and generosity in the form of jacket quotes, reading time, advice and recommendations.
August 27, 2004
I WAS AMUSED to see the ariticle in the Kerry . . . oops, I mean Daily News about Ted Kennedy being stopped at airports as a possible terrorist. In all fairness, he has killed someone, and his boy, John F. Simoes Ferierra Heinz Kennedy Kerry, has been endorsed by both North Korea AND al Qaeda, so it doesn't seem so out of line after all. Michael P. Kilhoffer Philadelphia
January 21, 2014 |
MELVIN ELLIS was good at keeping secrets. A 35-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, Melvin worked for many years as both a bodyguard and personal investigator for former Mayor W. Wilson Goode. What did he actually do for Goode? That was between him and the mayor. He didn't even tell his wife. He also worked with Sen. Edward Kennedy and Frank Sinatra. What did he do for them? He'd never tell. "That was why he was in such demand," said his wife, the former Suzanne Malseed.