Monday, May 08, 2006

Media Mostly Giving Free Pass to Patrick Kennedy

But There's Always An Exception, As The Boston Herald and Howie Carr (left) Will Be Quick To Remind You
Most of the MSM has let their audience do their eye-rolling for them in the latest embarrassment from Patrick Kennedy, Rhode Island's favorite drug-addicted, alcoholic, manic-depressive Congressman.
Kennedy last week blamed his passel of prescriptions for crashing his car in the wee hours in Washington and checked himself in -- again -- at the Mayo Clinic to cure him of his pill-popping, booze-swilling ways.
The Providence Journal, the most influential media outlet in Kennedy's home state, has closely covered the latest episode. Maybe too closely.
The editorial and op-ed pages have been free of any harsh assessments of Kennedy. Which may explain why he let them accompany him from a Friday news conference -- where he took no questions -- to the airport on his way to the Mayo Clinic, complete with a stop at his father's house, where he got a hug and "Love you" in full view of a reporter.
Of course, the ProJo will tell you there's no quid pro quo. But surely Kennedy knows how his hometown paper treats him. And surely it knows that he knows. It's good for scoop-garnering purposes, but not necessarily good journalism.
I suppose they will actually wait for him to be indicted on something before actually swinging for the fences, as they do with jailed ex-Mayor Buddy Cianci, who's angling to make a big comeback in public life.
But then there's the Boston Herald, which is firing on what cylinders it has left to skewer Kennedy, just like they've done to his dad all these years.
Political columnist Dave Wedge got to have it both ways -- covering the Kennedy contretemps as a reporter during the week, while unsheathing his machete for his Sunday column:

One aide to a high-level Washington official who encountered Kennedy a few months ago said the official was stunned by bizarre behavior on the congressman’s part.
Another source said Kennedy had been acting “zany” and “goofy” of late.
And then there was the barely legible accident report he filed after getting in a fender-bender in the parking lot of a Rhode Island pharmacy recently.
It’s pretty clear now why he was in such a rush.

Business columnist Brett Arends with a bare-knuckled, hilarious rendering of how Kennedy's pill-popping could explain the actions of other politicians, GOP and Democrat, though this being the Herald, mostly Democrat.

Doctors say Ambien addicts can talk, walk, and even drive while fast asleep. But that’s nothing. Kerry managed to sleepwalk through an entire presidential campaign. He spent months dazed, confused and disoriented on national TV.

But the man loving this the most is Herald columnist and radio host Howie Carr, who long ago dubbed Ted Kennedy "Fat Boy" and branded Patrick as "Patches." Suffice to say, it's been a good week to be Howie Carr and the hits just keep on coming 3-7 p.m. weekdays at
In listening to Carr's Friday podcast, there is one bit of good news for Patches. After the latest accident Carr says "I’m less inclined to believe he’s a member of a sexual minority than he once was."

Seems the bachelor 38-year-old Congressman was with a lady friend, he told the ProJo, when he suddenly got out of bed and said he had to go to Capitol Hill for a vote. The only problem: It was 2:45 a.m.

You can either scratch your head or let Carr do it instead for four hours at a time, fulminating about the kids-glove treatment he says Kennedy got from police, in contrast to how Cynthia McKinney was treated by Capitol cops when she tried to blast through a security checkpoint.

Raise a toast to the Kennedys, Howie. Just make it a Shirley Temple.

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