Some time ago–several decades, actually–a group of us at my law firm formed a Chappaquiddick Book Club. We read three or four books on the fatal car accident that should have ended Ted Kennedy’s public career. The facts are much worse than most people realize: Kennedy presumably was drunk, but that is the least of it. After his car plunged into Poucha Pond, Kennedy saved himself but left Mary Jo Kopechne to die. In all likelihood, she could have been saved if Kennedy had simply knocked on the door of the nearest house with a light on, only yards away, and called the Edgartown rescue squad. That is what the head of the rescue squad said after he discovered Kopechne’s body inside the car, where she had wedged herself into an air pocket and probably survived for several hours, expecting help that never came.
Kennedy made no effort to save his companion. Instead, he made the long walk back to the house where he and others had been partying. He summoned his cousin Joe Gargan and tried to persuade Gargan to say that he had been driving the car. Gargan sensibly refused, but insisted that they go back to the pond and try to rescue Kopechne. Kennedy sat on the bank and watched while Gargan tried to dive down to the submerged car, unsuccessfully. Kennedy never did call the authorities, but instead returned to his hotel and attempted to set up an alibi with the night clerk.
It is a sordid story, and it soon will become a Hollywood movie. I couldn’t believe it when I learned that Rathergate was to be made into a film called Truth—Lies would have been a better title–and it seems equally far-fetched that anyone would want to make or invest in a film about Chappaquiddick. But apparently it is going to happen. Hollywood Reporter has the story: … More.
Reality check: Yes, Chappaquiddick may very well flop, like Mapes’ Truth lie-opic.
But so what? To the extent that big media companies have money to burn (via the products that people do buy), they can afford these indulgences in rewriting history for the increasing numbers who don’t believe facts matter, to ingratiate those who need a “narrative” that flatters them and advances their interests.
“Narrative”: Progressives do not actually believe in facts or evidence, independent of someone’s “narrative” (spin). Our brains, they say are shaped for fitness (at staying alive), not for truth. That is true of their own lives and beliefs, for certain, and they assume it is true of everyone’s.
Science, by the way, will not survive a long onslaught of progressivism. Already, there is a war on falsifiability, for example. The more false but convenient major science pronouncements are made, the greater the pressure will be.
As before, if facts matter, one must be one’s own news director now.
See also: But does it matter what the American public thinks?
If peer review is working, why all the retractions?