Skip to comments.The Grisly History of Chappaquiddick
Posted on 04/04/2018 5:37:35 AM PDT by Kaslin
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.
And it only took nearly 50 years to make a film about a Democratic icon leaving a woman to die in a river. It's amazing it was made in the first place.
Most importantly, though, "Chappaquiddick" reminds us that confirmation bias and wishful thinking aren't unique to one side of the aisle. In the era of President Trump, media members have had fun telling Republicans that they have abandoned all of their moral principles in order to back a man whose agenda they support. But Democrats beat Republicans there by decades: They not only overlooked a man who likely committed manslaughter but also made him into a hero, the "Lion of the Senate." We can't understand how morals and politics have been split in two without reckoning with this history.
"Chappaquiddick" is a must-see. It's just a shame it took half a century for it to see the light.
The critical critique of the movie is that it never would have been made during his lifetime.
Will the film even be allowed to be shown in MA?
Leo Demore who wrote the book the movie was based on had his career and personal life destroyed by Ted Kennedy and the Democrat Party machine.
He ended up committing suicide.
It was and remains a glaring example of our two tiered “justice” system. Ted Kennedy was allowed to escape justice and that’s a fact.
Think of this: game if the real story had come out we would not have chain migration. Ted was dispicable leftist who rammed through some of the worst legislation ever.
Sorry for the misspellimg. Spell check changed to demote. I only changed the r, missed the other.
If not him, somebody else would have taken the lead. It's not as if the supply of despicable leftists is limited.
What EMK called “the dream” was really a totalitarian nightmare, but people in MA still want EMK’s “dream.”
Good point, Cboldt; leftists are legion and like lemmings all think alike: how to best advance totalitarianism by calling it something else.
Perhaps, this man's end of life should be made into a movie.
Obviously this movie is made for those too young to know about it or those sworn to the Democratic Party. Most right thinking people don’t need to pay Hollywood their $$$ to see what they already know. Once again Hollywood is selling what is already free if you care to look.
This is a true story I may have told here once before. My sisters friend married a fringe Kennedy I wont name, but his father was a major player in the Chappaquiddick event. Years ago, the friend and her Kennedy husband were coming to dinner at my sisters house and she decides to warn my father, who could be a bit of a loose cannon on political issues, to behave himself. She tells him not to bring up politics at all and he agrees completely. She leaves my dad and the Kennedy sitting out by the pool while she goes in to get drinks. When she comes back outside, she hears my father ask the guy what the weather is like at Chappaquiddick at that time of year. My dad was a funny guy.
I ‘d be traumatized by the historic smoking!
How about the countless movies and doc on Nixon.
No, I’m looking forward to this movie. I don’t think, however, that it will answer a lot of questions. For one thing, I don’t think Kennedy was in the car at all. He got out, and left Mary Jo to drive (perhaps to the beach?) because he didn’t want to get stopped by Officer Look who spotted their car.
Kennedy was drunk. He had finished off 4 to 5 rum and cokes, beers etc in the few hours at the party. He probably blacked out completely and remembers nothing. This is a scary thing that happens to genetically based alcoholics. They realize in a panic that they can’t remember what they did the night before. Then when they find out, they’re speechless about it.
The last thing Kennedy remembered was probably leaving the party with her in his car.
So, how did he get back to his hotel? How did Markham and Gangen (? can’t remember his name), get back to the hotel from the party as well.
My thinking is that Kennedy either swam it, (although he was found dry as a bone by the hotel manager at 2:30am), or he/they took one of the many dingys that line the shoreline.
Interesting “defense” of Kennedy, resolves him of most of the fault.
Sorry I don’t buy it.
That’s it? What’s the rest of the story?
I remember the events as they took place. I’ve always wondered why she couldn’t get out. Most vehicles back then had manual windows. Just wondering..........
I just did a DuckDuckGo search if the movie theaters in Boston will show it and the result was yes.
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