Coming attractions: New movie Chappaquiddick may threaten Kennedy mythology

By the standards of the #MeToo movement, the late Senator Ted Kennedy was a monster, far worse than anything alleged about Harvey Weinstein.  And he has never been held to account, by the media and historians, for his brutal crimes against women.  He not only accidentally killed one of his prey, Mary Jo Kopechne, but engaged in a vicious sexual assault in public, in the so-called "waitress sandwich" attack.  Readers unfamiliar with that incident are urged to read the undisputed account of the violent attack that was witnessed by fellow diners at Washington's expensive La Brasserie restaurant.

Yet his party and supporters – who almost universally attack a purported Republican "war on women" – called him the "lion of the Senate" and never held him to account.  In the current historical moment, as those who allegedly knew about Harvey Weinstein's alleged crimes yet remained silent are facing blowback against their reputations, conservatives may well find themselves joined by feminists in taking on the reputation of "Teddy" – a nickname suggesting a lovable stuffed animal more than a callous user of women.

It is the perfect moment for a major motion picture that rewrites the story of Edward M. Kennedy, and if the producers have been faithful to the facts, we may have one hitting the local megaplexes this April.  Here is the promising trailer for Chappaquiddick:

This may be the once-a-year occasion for me to actually buy a movie ticket, if it lives up to its promise.  That is no sure thing, considering the historic clout the Kennedy family exercised in Hollywood.  And wide distribution is not assured at this moment.

But Howie Carr, the premier Kennedy-watcher of my generation (and author of Kennedy Babylon, currently out of print and fetching almost $100 for a used paperback copy), is encouraged by the trailer.  Some gems from his must-read column:

[J]udging by the trailer at least, this looks like a film worth seeing. Check it out, the last scene in the 2:27 preview is devastating. Teddy Kennedy is comparing himself to Biblical figures, including Moses, whom Teddy says had a temper. Teddy's aide replies, "Moses had a temper, but he never left a girl at the bottom of the Red Sea." ...

Here are some facts most people don't know about Chappaquiddick:

When he filled out the initial Edgartown police report, Teddy began, "There was one passenger with me, one Mary Jo — "

After that he left a blank space, because he didn't know her last name.

At the time of her drowning death, Mary Jo was not wearing underwear.

At one time, Mary Jo's landlord in D.C. was Bobby Baker, a bagman for LBJ who also procured hookers for President Kennedy in the White House, including a suspected East German spy who was deported shortly before Nov. 22, 1963.

Mary Jo's body was hustled off the island before the medical examiner had a chance to examine it, and months later a judge in Pennsylvania refused to allow its exhumation for a proper autopsy.

Now that the "Russia collusion" fantasy is backfiring against Democrats with Uranium One and the FISA warrant based on the Fusion GPS "dossier," Dems are reverting to the infamous Access Hollywood tape and demanding Trump's ouster for alleged crimes against women.  If Chappaquiddick pans out as reasonably fair and accurate, Trump's locker room talk about groupies will seem pretty small beer.

By the standards of the #MeToo movement, the late Senator Ted Kennedy was a monster, far worse than anything alleged about Harvey Weinstein.  And he has never been held to account, by the media and historians, for his brutal crimes against women.  He not only accidentally killed one of his prey, Mary Jo Kopechne, but engaged in a vicious sexual assault in public, in the so-called "waitress sandwich" attack.  Readers unfamiliar with that incident are urged to read the undisputed account of the violent attack that was witnessed by fellow diners at Washington's expensive La Brasserie restaurant.

Yet his party and supporters – who almost universally attack a purported Republican "war on women" – called him the "lion of the Senate" and never held him to account.  In the current historical moment, as those who allegedly knew about Harvey Weinstein's alleged crimes yet remained silent are facing blowback against their reputations, conservatives may well find themselves joined by feminists in taking on the reputation of "Teddy" – a nickname suggesting a lovable stuffed animal more than a callous user of women.

It is the perfect moment for a major motion picture that rewrites the story of Edward M. Kennedy, and if the producers have been faithful to the facts, we may have one hitting the local megaplexes this April.  Here is the promising trailer for Chappaquiddick:

This may be the once-a-year occasion for me to actually buy a movie ticket, if it lives up to its promise.  That is no sure thing, considering the historic clout the Kennedy family exercised in Hollywood.  And wide distribution is not assured at this moment.

But Howie Carr, the premier Kennedy-watcher of my generation (and author of Kennedy Babylon, currently out of print and fetching almost $100 for a used paperback copy), is encouraged by the trailer.  Some gems from his must-read column:

[J]udging by the trailer at least, this looks like a film worth seeing. Check it out, the last scene in the 2:27 preview is devastating. Teddy Kennedy is comparing himself to Biblical figures, including Moses, whom Teddy says had a temper. Teddy's aide replies, "Moses had a temper, but he never left a girl at the bottom of the Red Sea." ...

Here are some facts most people don't know about Chappaquiddick:

When he filled out the initial Edgartown police report, Teddy began, "There was one passenger with me, one Mary Jo — "

After that he left a blank space, because he didn't know her last name.

At the time of her drowning death, Mary Jo was not wearing underwear.

At one time, Mary Jo's landlord in D.C. was Bobby Baker, a bagman for LBJ who also procured hookers for President Kennedy in the White House, including a suspected East German spy who was deported shortly before Nov. 22, 1963.

Mary Jo's body was hustled off the island before the medical examiner had a chance to examine it, and months later a judge in Pennsylvania refused to allow its exhumation for a proper autopsy.

Now that the "Russia collusion" fantasy is backfiring against Democrats with Uranium One and the FISA warrant based on the Fusion GPS "dossier," Dems are reverting to the infamous Access Hollywood tape and demanding Trump's ouster for alleged crimes against women.  If Chappaquiddick pans out as reasonably fair and accurate, Trump's locker room talk about groupies will seem pretty small beer.