Insight. Antics.

Archive for August 26th, 2009|Daily archive page

Reverse Martyrdom.

In Media, Politics on August 26, 2009 at 10:07 pm

The Kennedy Brothers - Bettmann / Corbis

As the nation mourns the loss of Ted Kennedy today, news coverage surrounding him is deservedly ubiquitous.  MSNBC has literally only covered one story, except for checking on Mark Sanford’s resignation rebuff press conference five hours ago.  CNN has been the same, and Fox News is close behind.

When a larger-than-life public official or public figure passes, be it Ted Kennedy, Michael Jackson, or Socks the Cat (okay, leaps and bounds below the others, but I felt like the mood begged for a dash of levity), this has become the norm and I suppose it is warranted.  It makes us realize or re-realize the simple volume of their work, the impact of their pursuits that has affected our lives but is now taken for granted, and how much of history they have been a part of.

Usually with a death of this magnitude, which is about on par with a presidential loss (Gerald Ford’s death certainly got less coverage, if not his life), all media entities and public servants that decide to come on camera or do a phoner (that’s technical slang for a phone interview) are deferential, admiring, and inclined to pay tribute to the departed.  They sometimes use the moment to call for action on an issue or honor the person’s life with a charitable cause he/she championed.  I recall in 1997 in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s unfortunate passing, George Clooney held a press conference, and it was well-attended at that, to propose legislation and decry tabloids for their obsessive tendencies, in particular lambasting the paparazzi for their relentless reconnaissance to the point of celebrity endangerment.

Only there’s been a sly undercurrent to the coverage from lawmakers appearing to give interviewed eulogies about Teddy. Read the rest of this entry »