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Mary Kennedy, Wife of RFK Jr., An Apparent Suicide

17 May

Mary Richardson-Kennedy at the couple’s Westchester home in 2009.

The “lost and alone” estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hanged herself  Wednesday in a barn behind her Westchester home — the latest tragedy to claim a member of the famed Camelot clan.

Mary Richardson Kennedy, 52, was the mother of four children, the oldest 17 and the youngest 11. She was discovered by a family housekeeper, sources told the New York Daily News.

The Kennedys, who married in 1994, split almost exactly two years ago in what friends say was a devastating blow to Mary.

RELATED: HER CAMELOT DREAM SLOWLY SOURED AND FELL APART

The May 2010 divorce filing, coupled with the media frenzy following her arrest for drunken driving three days later, started Mary Kennedy on a tragic downward spiral that ended with her suicide on her Bedford property, friends said.

She had struggled with alcohol for years and went into rehab in February, a family friend told the Daily News.

RELATED: DON’T BLAME KENNEDY CURSE BECAUSE CURSES DON’T KILL

“She always seems lost these days, whenever she came into the village,” said a neighbor. “Lost and alone and sort of out of it.”

Her husband, a prominent environmentalist and high-profile member of the Kennedy dynasty, has been living primarily in California, palling around with movie stars and dating TV actress Cheryl Hines.

Mary Kennedy had not found a new romance.

News of her suicide stunned her family and friends.

“She’s my best friend,” said her sister-in-law, Kerry Kennedy, who introduced Mary Kennedy to her brother.

“Our whole family is devastated by the loss and we appreciate everyone’s prayers.”

Bedford police responded to the house at 1:36 p.m. to investigate a “possible unattended death,” according to a press release. It was not immediately clear when she died.

The children were away from home — the two oldest at boarding school and the two youngest with their father, family sources said.

Kennedy Grounds

Photo: Richard Harbus for New York Daily News

Emergency crews rushed to the Kennedy estate, but there was little they could do.

One family source said Mary Kennedy was due to fight her husband for custody, but that could not be confirmed.

An autopsy will be performed Thursday, said Westchester County spokesman Kieran O’Leary.

A somber RFK Jr. arrived at the house late Wednesday amid a stream of mourners. He said nothing to gathered reporters.

Kennedy Barn

Mary Kennedy had hanged herself in one of the outer buildings of her Westchester County property.

“We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her,” Mary Kennedy’s family said in a statement.

“Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation.”

She had overseen the renovation of the couple’s home into an environmental showpiece.

Family and friends descended on the red brick mansion Wednesday night, bringing food, flowers and comfort.

“Why? This is terrible. We don’t need this,” said one teary-eye woman holding a bouquet.

Mary Kennedy was working as an architectural designer in Manhattan when she became the Kennedy heir’s second wife just three weeks after he divorced his first bride.

She had been friends with the family for years, since meeting Kennedy’s sister, Kerry, when they were teenagers. They were so close they chose to room together at Brown University, and Mary was Kerry’s maid of honor in 1990.

Mary and Robert Kennedy tied the knot on a boat on the Hudson River.

A Catholic Mass was followed by a civil ceremony, with Kennedy’s two children from his first marriage on deck with the bride and groom.

They had four kids together — Connor, Kyra, William and Aiden — before he filed for divorce on May 12, 2010.

Kennedy Family Daughter

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

Mary Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and their daughter Kyra LeMoyne Kennedy attend the RFK Center Ripple of Hope Awards dinner at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in Nov. 2009.

Three days later, she was arrested for driving under the influence after police saw her drive over a curb outside a school carnival.

She failed a number of sobriety tests and her blood-alcohol level registered 0.11. The criminal charge was dismissed and she was given a one-year conditional release.

On Aug. 21, 2010, she was pulled over in Dutchess County and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.

She had mixed prescription medications. The charge was later dismissed.

“Bobby tried really, really hard to shield the kids from her condition,” a source said.

The divorce that so upset her has not yet been finalized.

Neighbors in Bedford called Mary Kennedy a lovely woman who was active in community and school affairs, but had recently seemed a “bit off” — either medicated or intoxicated. But a friend of Mary’s told The News that Mary feared her husband was trying to “gaslight” her — make her think she was going crazy.

Although the split hit her hard, her problems began long before Robert filed for divorce.

As early as 2007, Robert Kennedy tried to drive her to a hospital for treatment, but she left the car and ran into the road.

“I remember she was acting kind of out of it, kind of crazy,” witness Rae Kesten told the Journal News at the time. “She was running into the street and flailing her arms around. He was trying to restrain her. I didn’t know if they were fighting or not, but I was concerned.”

Robert Kennedy is the third of 11 children of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, five years after his older brother President John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas.

Michael Kennedy, one of his younger brothers, died in 1997 when he slammed into a tree while tossing a football on a ski slope. Another brother, David, died of a drug overdose in 1984.

– With Kenneth Lovett and Edgar Sandoval

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Remembering JFK

22 Nov

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“We must use time as a tool, not a crutch.” — JFK

NOVEMBER 22

Today marks 48 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

It is a time when all Americans (even those who were not yet born in 1963) stop to reflect on what our country lost that day for we lost so much more than more than just a man — and we ponder what role that tragic event played in shaping the world we now find ourselves living in.

While it is important that we pause to remember the past, and to ask these questions about America’s future (he would want us to), let’s not allow ourselves to forget the man Jack Kennedy was. Because it seems that far too often, we focus our attention on his death and the many questions that still remain unanswered. Shouldn’t we instead remember his life?

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder took film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Since this somber anniversary happens to fall around Thanksgiving, it just doesn’t seem appropriate somehow to be mournful. Rather, let us give thanks for all of the good things he brought to this world as a catalyst for change. Let us recall the way he inspired people around the globe; the hope and optimism he brought to the presidency. Let’s celebrate his vision, his strength, his courage, his razor-sharp mind, his gracecharm, and of course, that delightful, sometimes wicked wit.

This would be a perfect time to reach for one of your favorite books on the shelf and immerse yourself in some of his words. Listen to some of his best speeches. Because these things are the legacy he left us. His words will live in history forever and cannot be erased.

A single red rose on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

Naturally, we all have our own favorite books and speeches of JFK’s; I’ve certainly got a long list of works I find deeply moving and inspiring, but I’ll refrain from making any recommendations here because I feel that how each of us remembers him today should be a strictly personal choice.

But there is one little tidbit I want to share:

On November 19, 1963, just three days before his death, President Kennedy wrote this message for the re-dedication ceremonies of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

“The goals of liberty and freedom, the obligations of keeping ours a government of and for the people are never-ending.”

Just one sentence, but this says it all. Written nearly a half century ago, his words serve to remind us all that there is still so much work to do. Lest we forget.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

 PHOTO GALLERY

Text and images copyright 2008-2011, New Frontier. All rights reserved.

 

Happy Birthday, Bob

19 Nov

Robert Kennedy with daughter Kathleen

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOB

Had he lived, Robert F. Kennedy would be 86 years old on November 20th. We thought it might be interesting to honor him this year not with a few selected quotations by him, but rather quotations about him.

How was Bobby Kennedy described by the people who knew him best?

Their opinions were not always kind, to say the least. Lyndon Johnson called Bobby “that little shitass” and “a grandstanding little runt.” (Kennedy, who cherished his very own LBJ voodoo doll, called Johnson “mean, bitter, and vicious–an animal in many ways.”)

Joe McCarthy’s chief aide (and longtime RFK nemesis) Roy Cohn referred to Robert Kennedy as a “rich bitch,” saying: “he always had that little smirk on his face, designed to get under my skin, and it did.”

Apparently the feeling was mutual, as the two men once nearly came to blows in the Senate hearing room during the Army-McCarthy hearings.

Jimmy Hoffa, who thought Kennedy “a damn spoiled jerk,” described his first meeting with him in 1957: “I can tell by how he shakes hands what kind of fellow I got. I said to myself, `Here’s a fella thinks he’s doing me a favor by talking to me.'” Hoffa later bragged that during the Rackets Committee hearings, “I used to love to bug the little bastard.”

As Bobby himself once said, we are not here “to curse the past or to praise it,” so we thought it appropriate to include the bad with the good when selecting quotes from others on what they thought of Robert Kennedy. Opinions varied, at times so wildly, you’d almost never believe that all of these people are talking about the same man.

The full truth about RFK, as ever, lies somewhere in the middle of these extremes.

I think that’s why he still fascinates us. Even after all these years, the real RFK is (to borrow from Churchill) “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” He’s a puzzle, difficult to solve, and yet we never seem to want to stop trying.

AS THEY REMEMBER BOBBY

“The major difference between Bobby and his brothers is that Bobby always had to fight for everything.”

— Bobby’s wife, Ethel Skakel Kennedy

“He was the smallest and thinnest, and we feared he might grow up puny and girlish. We soon realized there was no chance of that.”

— Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (mother)

“Jack is too soft and forgiving. You can trample all over him and the next day he’ll be waiting for you with open arms. But when Bobby hates you, you stay hated.”

— Joseph P. Kennedy (father)

“Bobby was the most generous little boy.”

Jack Kennedy’s lifelong best friend, Lem Billings. (To which Joseph Kennedy Sr. gruffly replied: “I don’t know where he got that!”)

“All this business about Jack and Bobby being blood brothers has been exaggerated.”

Bobby’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

“Kennedy was not arrogant, but he had a sarcasm that could be biting.”

Frank Hurley, Bobby’s classmate at Portsmouth Priory

“How would you like looking forward to that high whining voice blasting into your ear for the next six months?”

Jack Kennedy, on hiring his younger brother Bobby to manage the 1960 campaign.

“Jack thought Bobby was too serious, a severe figure, and tried to lighten him up. At the same time, he thought Bobby was…the sacred one. He felt protective about him.”

 — Chuck Spalding, longtime friend to both JFK and RFK.

“I don’t know what Bobby does, but it always seems to turn out right.”

–President-elect John F. Kennedy, shortly after winning the 1960 presidential election

“Up until the Bay of Pigs, Jack had more or less dismissed the reasons his father had given for wanting Bobby in the cabinet as more of that tribal Irish thing. But now he realized how right the old man had been. When the crunch came, family members were the only ones you could count on. Bobby was the only person he could rely on to be absolutely dedicated. Jack would never have admitted it, but from that moment on, the Kennedy presidency became a sort of collaboration between them.”

— Lem Billings, lifelong friend to the Kennedy brothers

“Everybody bitches about Bobby, and I’m getting sick and Goddamn tired of it. He’s the only one who doesn’t stick knives in my back, the only one I can count on when it comes down to it.”

— President John F. Kennedy

“You knew that, if you were in trouble, he’d always be there.”

— Former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis on RFK

“He had a better sense of what was important, and what was not, than anyone I ever met. Once he realized something was significant, he became the most deliberate, most thoughtful, most intense man.”

— John Nolan, Kennedy’s administrative assistant at the Justice Department.

“His most tenaciously maintained secret was a tenderness so rawly exposed, so vulnerable to painful abrasion, that it could only be shielded by angry compassion to human misery, manifest itself in love and loyalty toward those close to him, or through a revelatory humor.”

 — Richard Goodwin, speechwriter, longtime friend and advisor to JFK, RFK, and LBJ

Bobby and Jack

 “I always say—don’t try to psychoanalyze Bob. Look at what he said and look at what he did. He meant what he said, and what he did was incredible.”

 — Ed Guthman, Robert Kennedy’s special assistant for public information in the Department of Justice and his first senatorial press secretary.

Robert F. Kennedy

I remember once John F. Kennedy talking about his younger brother. He was talking about the time when they were both a lot younger, and Bobby was small and jumping off the family sailboat. JFK said, and I quote, “It showed either a lot of guts or no sense at all, depending on how you look at it.” I think you can say that about Bobby’s entry into the 1968 presidential race. It either showed no sense at all, or a lot of guts. I think there were some of both of those factors present.”

— Ted Sorensen, policy advisor, legal counsel and speechwriter for President Kennedy.

“In every presidential election since 1968, we continue to listen for echoes of Robert Kennedy’s speeches which urged us to turn away from war, embrace peace, share the wealth and the resources of the land with the less fortunate, embrace the ideal of social justice for all, and put aside the divisions of race, age, wealth, militarism and the narrow partisanship that have come to divide us– and divide us still.I believe we will look at what he was about, what his politics and policies were about, what his motivations and commitments were about, thereby enhancing the record of his life and times for those who will come to this place to continue the quest. Today, we remember the man, who for many of us changed our lives, the man who changed the country and, had he lived, would have changed it again and again.” 

— Bobby’s trusted friend and advisor John Seigenthaler

“The reason we should revive Robert Kennedy as a hero for our times, for the 21st century, is because he presents us with a flawed, complicated hero of great compassion, and leadership. His was not a leadership that sought to merely bear witness to the truth but rather one that sought results and shaped them in the anvil of action.I think that there’s nothing our politics needs today more than the image, the model, the example, and the inspiration of Robert Kennedy’s life.Throughout the Cuban Missile Crisis Robert Kennedy did what he had done as a young man. He asked moral questions: is it right or is it wrong? When I first met him, I didn’t like his answers. He was more of a Cold Warrior with a Joe McCarthy view of the world, than I was. What changed in Robert Kennedy, in my opinion, was that his view of the world became broader and deeper. The child that was compassionate, the child that was religious, the child that asked moral questions, was the man who in the Cuban Missile Crisis had the courage to ask the moral question, “Could we have a first strike and live with our conscience if we did?” In the face of the geo-politicians in that room, he asked those questions. That was not easy to do, and he did it….And then lastly, in this election right now, the clear, important message from a country divided down the middle is that we want the next President of the United States to find common ground in the way that Robert Kennedy did. He attempted to reach out to left and to right, and beyond all ideological barriers to find a common ground, to get things done.I would recommend to the next President of the United States that he immerse himself in the story of Robert Kennedy. I would say begin with Maxwell Kennedy’s beautiful book and then go on to Ed Guthman’s collection of speeches. Can we revive in our time some of what we had? …”a transcendent yearning for the possibility of redemptive change?” We all, I think, have that yearning. I think the American people have it. And the story of Robert Kennedy can drive us to try to realize that possibility.”— Harris Wofford, special assistant to President Kennedy, chair of the sub-cabinet group on civil rights.

Happy Birthday, Bobby Kennedy. This world misses you.

Op-Ed: Planned History Channel Miniseries “The Kennedys” Inaccurate; Distorted

26 Feb

 

The Kennedy Brothers

ISN’T ASSASSINATION ENOUGH?

LET THE KENNEDYS REST IN PEACE

Dear Friends —
 
I am taking time today to write and express my extreme displeasure with The History Channel’s planned miniseries The Kennedys. After reviewing portions of the draft script, I was floored by the sheer number of inaccuracies, distortions and omissions of essential facts in this docu-drama.
 
This is not what future generations should be learning about the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
 
As we reach the 50th anniversary of JFK’s inauguration this year, presenting an epic miniseries which is not only grossly inaccurate but clearly designed to assassinate the character of a president who gave his life for this country, is wholly unacceptable to me. 
 
My daily concern as a historian, author and museum curator is the quality of education we are giving our children in the field of history. As a radio/print journalist, Kennedy scholar, and founder of several websites devoted to the Kennedy family legacy, I have devoted 25 years of my life to providing accurate information to anyone who is interested in learning about our nation’s 35th president and his family.
 
So when I see a script like The Kennedys, proposed to air on (of all places) The History Channel, I shudder to think of the potential and far-reaching consequences.
 
When fiction is presented as fact, that is entertainment. It is not history and has no place on The History Channel.
 
I am also highly offended that the same History Channel which brought us such outstanding documentaries as JFK: A Presidency Revealed and Turner’s The Men Who Killed Kennedy would ever stoop this low, becoming little more than a mouthpiece for right-wing rumormongering and propaganda the likes of which we would expect from Fox News.
 
Many of my fellow historians and researchers have joined together to let the History Channel know how we feel. We must try and stop this miniseries from being produced as currently written.
 
Please ask The History Channel to allow JFK’s living decendants, friends and key advisors – as well as credible historians and researchers – to consult on production of The Kennedys miniseries. Then, and only then, can we rest assured that this presentation on the Kennedy family is truly “fair and balanced.” 
 
Please take a few minutes to learn more about The Kennedys miniseries here:

History channel draws flak for planned JFK miniseries

Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Dave Itzkoff – ‎Feb 19, 2010‎

 Also please visit the website http://StopKennedySmears.com to view a short film directed by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films which features interviews with Ted Sorensen, David Talbot, Nigel Hamilton, Rick Perlstein, David Nasaw and other Kennedy historians expressing their shock and outrage at this deeply-flawed production. You can view some excerpts of the script and decide for yourself is this is what you want your grandchildren to know about President Kennedy and his family. 

If Jack Kennedy were alive today, he’d surely sue them for defamation of character and win. But since he’s sadly not here to defend himself, looks like it’s going to be up to those of us who still care to speak up before it’s too late. 

If you agree, I hope you will add your name to the petition at StopKennedySmears.com and tell the History Channel to present real history. 

Thank You,
 
 
New Frontier
Founding Editor
 

Eunice Kennedy Shriver: A Very Special Lady

20 Aug

 

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER:

 A VERY SPECIAL LADY

 

* I posted this personal rememberance of Mrs. Shriver on my dear friend Jack Kennedy’s MySpace blog (and you thought they didn’t have computers in heaven!).  Wanted to share it with all of you who loved this amazing woman! 

 
– New Frontier
Founding Editor

 

 

Dearest Jack –

I always had such a great admiration for your sister Eunice.

During your time in the Oval Office, America had yet to experience the women’s rights revolution and few women worked outside the home, much less achieved positions of global leadership. Eunice, in her characteristic “I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks, I’m going to do it anyway” style, smashed that barrier and showed us all just what a woman could do.

In the 1960s, when America was more concerned with civil rights and equal treatment of blacks and racial minorities, no one gave much thought to the mentally disabled. Quite frankly, the Kennedys might not have given the matter much gravity either had it not struck their own family in such a heartbreaking way. Eunice, in her characteristic “I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks, I’m going to do it anyway” style, smashed that barrier too and showed us all what supposedly “retarded” people could do.

It is important to remember that the first such games were not held in a large arena before thousands of people with television cameras rolling as it was in 1968. What would later become known as the Special Olympics started out in 1962 as a small athletic competition in Eunice’s backyard. Little publicity was given at the time (even though the organizer of these Olympic trials was the president’s sister…newsworthy in itself), which tellingly illustrates just how little America cared about our “special needs” citizens back then. 

For centuries Americans looked down upon the mentally disabled persons in their communities, and even felt ashamed of their own family members who were “different.” The Kennedys themselves avoided acknowledging Rosemary’s struggle – oftentimes even her very existence – for political reasons, knowing that people might not be inclined to vote for a man who had a “retarded” sister. Of course this made no sense whatsoever, but it was the cultural climate of the time. And so poor Rosemary, confined for life to an institution, had all but been forgotten.

But not by Eunice!

No one ever asked Eunice to lift a finger to help the mentally disabled. No one ever asked her to start a foundation for their betterment and to fight against the discrimination they suffered in our society. In fact, it would have been much better politically had she left well enough alone and not made an issue of it. But Eunice, in her characteristic “I don’t give a damn what anybody else thinks, I’m going to do it anyway” style, brought this important civil rights issue to the forefront, against the seemingly wise counsel of her own family’s political advisers.

Turns out the “experts” were wrong. Eunice was right. The Special Olympics has now expanded to nearly every country across the globe. Thanks to Eunice’s tireless efforts over almost half a century, the human race now takes a far more enlightened view of the mentally disabled.

Helping advance the cause of fairness and equal treatment of our world’s ignored, misunderstood, and oft-mistreated brothers and sisters was something Eunice Kennedy Shriver just had to do –  and I for one am so glad she did it.

Only a woman like Eunice could have done it. She was one very, very special lady; what people of your generation used to call “a real go-getter!”

And you, my dear Jack, were so fortunate to have this brilliant, glowing soul as your little sister. (Of course I don’t have to tell *you* that!) She was all that you admired; a fighting Irish spitfire and a true profile in courage!

I hope the two of you are enjoying your long-awaited family reunion in heaven.

May the circle be unbroken.

Rumors of Caroline Kennedy Affair are FALSE

29 Jan

Caroline with her husband of 22 years, Ed Schlossberg 

Caroline with her husband of 22 years, Ed Schlossberg

 DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE

The New York Post is reporting today that NY Times publisher Pinch Sulzburger has a new girlfriend…and it’s not Caroline Kennedy.

Yet more proof that Governor Paterson and his PR flack, former Bush White House deputy press secretary Judy Smith (you know, the one who spread these damaging rumors to the media after Caroline dropped her bid for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat – what was that all about, anyway?) just can’t stop lying.

Here’s the full story, from Page Six:

January 29, 2009 —

CAROLINE Kennedy is innocent – she did not have an affair with New York Times publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. The rumor that their friendship was the “marriage problem” referred to by aides to Gov. Paterson couldn’t be true – because the divorced Sulzberger already has a girlfriend.

Sulzberger has been seeing Helen Ward, a vivacious woman he met on a trek to Peru about a year ago.

“No comment,” Ward told Page Six yesterday, then added, “There is only one woman in Pinch Sulzberger’s life, and that is the Gray Lady.”

A Times spokeswoman said: “Mr. Sulzberger is not and never has been romantically involved with Ms. Kennedy.” What about Ward? “I’m not going to comment.”

Caroline Kennedy has been married to interactive designer Edwin Schlossberg since 1986. They have three children. Sulzberger – who became the Times’ publisher when his father, Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger Sr., stepped down in 1992 – has been separated from his wife of 33 years, Gail Gregg, since last March.

Helen is also separated from her husband, Kevin P. Ward, executive director of the Aspen Science Center. A friend said Ward is unhappy with the breakup: “Kevin is crazy bitter about the whole thing.”

The Pinch-Helen romance seems to disprove the speculation that flourished after Paterson’s camp leaked that Caroline had “a tax problem, a nanny problem and a marriage problem.” Bloggers erroneously named Sulzberger, who is friends with Caroline, as the cause of the “marriage problem.”

As it happens, Helen has her own Kennedy connection. The Wards were said to be close friends with Caroline’s late brother, John, going back to the days when John was dating Daryl Hannah, and they all went on a trip out West to go helicopter skiing.

Glad we got that nasty rumor cleared up! And now that the supposed “nanny problems” and “tax problems” stories have also been proven false, can we please leave Caroline Kennedy the hell alone?

Here’s a better idea.

Instead, why don’t We the Media instead focus our coverage on why Governor Paterson engaged in a pay-for-play scheme to sell Hillary Clinton’s senate seat off to Kirsten Gillibrand (with a little help from her friends, including her heavyweight “sugar daddy” Al D’Amato?) instead of simply giving it to Kennedy for free?

If you thought Blago was bad, get a load of this. Now here’s a scandal the media can really sink their teeth into! 

Curiously, they don’t seem to be very hungry for pay-to-play scandals anymore after feasting on Blogojevich for the past two months. And besides, Blago’s got much better hair. 

Or is the mainstream media ignoring this story because it hits just a little too close to home, happening as it is right in their own backyard of New York state? Or could it be because their mega-media-corp owners’ names might be found on the list of Paterson’s campaign contributors?

Hmmmm.

Opinion: Caroline Kennedy Was Kneecapped!

25 Jan

nevermnd__opt1.jpg

MUDSLINGIN’

Tongues have been wagging since Wednesday about Caroline Kennedy’s “mysterious” midnight departure from the race to fill Hillary Clinton’s senate seat. Speculation and rumor are rampant as to what was behind the move, and Kennedy’s “personal reasons” for ending her aggressive senate bid.

Some factions of Camp Kennedy and the New York Times initially tried to float the notion that Caroline dropped out due to her concern for Senator Edward Kennedy’s health. That, however, was swiftly refuted by sources close to Ted Kennedy, who himself was reportedly furious at any such reason being given.

Loosely translated, that’s the old lion roaring: “look, I might be sick, but I ain’t dead yet! Now cut out this nonsense and let me get some rest. I just had another seizure, for the love of Christ! Or hadn’t you heard?” (Well, actually, the whole world heard…being that it happened at President Obama’s inaugural luncheon, that one would be pretty hard to miss.)

Not surprisingly, a spokesman for Caroline Kennedy quickly got out there and told reporters that Caroline’s reason for ending her senate bid had absolutely, positively, nothing to do with Ted Kennedy’s cancer battle.

Allrightey, then! Glad we got that one straightened out. But if Ted’s illness isn’t the reason, what is?

Caroline refused to give an answer, but did say that she was getting sick and tired of all the “mudslinging” going on. (Hey, if you’ve ever tried to get mud stains out of a pricey designer dress, you understand why she’s steamed.)

But wait a minute…mudslingin‘? Who’s slinging mud on Caroline, and what for? And what the heck was being said?

They said WHAT about my daughter?

"They said WHAT about my daughter?"

KNEECAPPED!

Less than 24 hours after Kennedy’s sudden about-face, the New York press (particularly the Post, who broke this series of controversial stories) started throwing some curious little tidbits out there. No actual proof being offered, of course. (Like, zero. Got a document you’d care to share, Mr. Dicker? Or are you simply content to cast aspersions without a shred of evidence to back your borderline libelous claims?) Stories began to leak about the so-called “real” reasons for Caroline’s hasty retreat: did she “forget” to pay her taxes? Did she “overlook” the legal status of her nanny? Was she…(gasp!)…having an extramarital affair?

As it turns out, these leaks were flowing from the loose lips of some unnamed, anonymous source “close to Gov. Paterson.”

Mmm-hmm.

Political operatives who have worked with him over the years say that the “source close to the governor” is often Paterson. An aide to the governor says he “seriously doubts” that Paterson was the source of the Post’s story. Regardless, Kennedy’s camp was livid. “We know there’s no vetting issue,” one of her allies told New York Magazine. “I know what’s in the disclosure form, and up through Wednesday at three o’clock, there had been no discussion of a vetting issue, no complaints from the governor’s counsel. And for him to include the idea of a marital issue is beneath contempt. There’s no marital issue!”

Fred Dicker, the reporter who supposedly “has the inside dirt” on Kennedy, made the rounds of every TV news program on planet earth this week. Perhaps his most memorable appearance was on Fox News, where he got knocked around a bit by, of all people, Bill O’Reilly (whose hero, believe it or not, is former NY senator Robert F. Kennedy):

And from the left side of the political spectrum, Chris Matthews also questioned the source of this reporting, which reeks of outright character assassination (would that make the NY media accessories after the fact?):

NOT-SO-SWEET CAROLINE?

SO SEZ `DA GUV

On Thursday, things got even uglier: Gov. Paterson himself took a swing at Caroline Kennedy at a private event the night before he tapped Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate. (Well, hey, at least this time he had the cajones to say so himself, instead of sending one of his anonymous snarky minions to kneecap her). At the event, Paterson told guests Kennedy had been “nasty” to him and shown “disrespect” with how she bowed out, attendees told The New York Post.

The governor’s attack came just hours after his office issued a statement wishing her well and disavowing quotes from a that mysterious unnamed, anonymous “source close to him” who had told The Post Kennedy had never been in true contention for the seat and was “mired” in personal issues. (The taxes, the nanny, the rumors of infidelity, etc.)

Whew, those New York pols sure can play some dirty pool, can’t they? Blackmail, rumor-mongering and outright slander are the name of this game, folks. If you don’t kneel and kiss the Governor’s ring, you just might wake up to find a decapitated horse’s head in your bed the next morning. You may also find that people you thought were your friends are now acting like another part of the horse’s anatomy.

Although the Post’s reporting often leaves much to be desired, and the Caroline Kennedy drama is no exception, there was one editorial they ran this week which hit the nail right on the head. (And interestingly enough, we noticed it is penned by an anonymous writer, giving no byline.) The real issue here was not Caroline’s tax, nanny, or other rumored problems; it was Gov. Paterson, who clearly seems to have a leadership problem:

“If Gov. Paterson is so inept that he can’t arrange so simple a transaction as appointing someone to fill a vacant senate seat, what hope does New York state have of emerging intact from the fiscal crises now besetting it?

Make no mistake: Paterson’s endless procrastination on the matter of a Clinton succession – compounded by weeks of confusing, often contradictory signals regarding his intentions – created the circus that roiled Albany yesterday.

The governor is said to have told Kennedy last week that she was his choice – but that he was going to “keep the suspense up” by creating “a little misdirection” until he was ready to announce it.

That’s not leadership.

That’s incitement to anarchy. “

(Shazam! Whoever you are, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous-Editorial-Writer, ya got that right!)

The Post Op-Ed continues:

“This page endorsed the Kennedy candidacy – but we’ll be the first to admit that she is far from blameless in this affair.

She certainly should have given the governor’s staff a heads-up on potential personal problems early on, which she apparently failed to do.

And the way she handled her withdrawal – seesawing back and forth and then staying out of contact for hours – was almost as bizarre as Paterson’s behavior throughout the affair.

Still, that’s where the governor should have exercised leadership and brought the matter to a close.

But he didn’t.

Instead, firing from ambush hours after the candidacy expired, Paterson staffers made matters worse.

They alleged that the “personal” issues that forced her withdrawal were tax liabilities and a nanny problem – as well as growing questions from reporters about the state of her marriage.

No doubt getting that out there felt good. But what purpose did it serve?

The candidacy was dead, while Paterson comes off as petty as well as inept – and who knows how many people the governor is going to need to pass his budget were needlessly offended?

A lot, probably.

Meanwhile, Paterson says he’ll announce Clinton’s successor in Albany this afternoon – fully 55 days after learning of the vacancy. “

TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION IS TYRANNY

Herein lies the real problem. Paterson’s vanity and publicity-seeking left the people of New York State (the people? Remember them, Guv? You know, the ones who will be deciding whether or not you get to keep your job?) without proper representation for 55 frickin’ days during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Not to point out the obvious or anything, but New York City is the economic heart of America, Governor. And it’s having a major coronary. The crooks on Wall Street got away with murder (most of our bailout money, too) and left the people holding the bag (or the mortgage that isn’t even worth the paper it’s written on, as the case may be).

Heck of a time to leave the people of New York State out in the cold without full representation in the U.S. Senate. While you were out getting all the face time on tee-vee, rubbing elbows with celebrities, trying to stage-manage and prolong this soap opera for as long as possible to build up your own political name, Governor, we think you might have forgotten somebody…

The PEOPLE!!!!!!!

Whatever his faults and/or crimes may be, at least the beseiged Blagojevich had the good sense to remember who put him in the governor’s seat in the first place — and that the people of Illinois deserved full representation. He did his legal duty by appointing Roland Burris to Obama’s vacant senate seat before Congress went back in session. When Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders tried to block Burris from taking his seat, they got smacked down and how!

In that case, the people sent a clear message to Congress: take your political catfight out to the parking lot where it belongs. Sit down and shut up, already. We The People have a constitutional right to representation. Furthermore, we demand it!

In New York, where the tax rate is one of the highest, most confiscatory in the land, and the local economy is sinking faster than a US Airways jet engine on the Hudson River, the people have every reason to be pissed off. They’re paying damn good money for the representation they deserve, and instead got pissed on. A steady golden shower for 55 days is what they got for their money, Governor, and they’ll no doubt put your ego in it’s proper place come 2010 when Caroline (or some other Kennedy, perhaps. Hello, RFK Jr.?) runs against you…and wins!

In the meantime, Governor, you might want to steer clear of high-priced hookers and be really, really good to your wife. You know what they say about people in glass houses and stones, don’t you?

David Paterson married Michelle Paige in November 1992. <strong>Click for more photos of Michelle Paterson.</strong>

* DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. or the Kennedy family.