Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kennedy and The KGB

OK, we said good things about the recently departed and those of us who did not say good things mostly kept their comments to themselves. But life goes on and the flags will fly high and we cannot ignore an ugly facet of history.

What is that ugly facet? It is the well-documented fact that Senator Ted Kennedy secretly consulted with the KGB during the height of the Cold War. As despicable as this crime happens to be, the larger scandal is that the news media soft-pedaled, whitewashed, killed, spiked, covered-up and ignored one of the biggest stories of the 20th Century.

The story of the cover-up has massive ripples. Sometimes one news story provides us the perfect scale model. America writ small. The media writ small. Politics writ small. Things have not changed that much since 1983 in the mainstream media. Then, the media considered Reagan a greater enemy than the Soviet Union. Two decades later, they would portray Bush as a greater enemy than Islamic terrorism. They still villify Dick Cheney in a way they would never villify America's enemies. And whoever the GOP props up in the near future will be treated accordingly.

The KGB collaboration might prove to be the most enduring and the most historically significant scandal involving the Lion of The Senate. For the press, it might be the greatest story barely told. For the rest of us, the scandal is a sobering reminder of how things really work.

While I hope Ted rests in peace, I hope this story will be dug out of its crypt and will be viewed in the light of the sun.

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