Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ted's Book Deal

Cable news is abuzz with Senator Ted Kennedy's new memoirs deal, said to run into the millions, right up there with Bill Clinton's and Tony Blair's.

It didn't take twenty minutes for CNN to dig up Chappaquiddick.

Is anyone else concerned about the timing of this book deal? I'm worried that the Democrats yet again have handed the GOP another weapon to use in the upcoming election propaganda cycle.

Here's why. When I searched just now on "Chappaquiddick," this came up--straight from AOL's search engine summary. Note the headline and the blurb content:

Washingtonpost.com Special Report: Clinton Accused
Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts drove his Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning his passenger, a young campaign worker named ...
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/fre... - Similar pages
I don't use AOL's search on purpose. It's just what I get when I open my Google homepage to do searches. I don't like it. This is how my new post-burglary computer arrived. Sigh. I'll have to figure out how to uncouple AOL from my searches because I know AOL's founder is no fan of progressives, liberals, and Democrats, and that makes me no fan of AOL. But I digress.

How did the WaPo's special report, "Clinton Accused," come to lead with a précis of the Chappaquiddick incident? I don't want to go all paranoid or anything, but surely "Kennedy" is not spelled "C.L.I.N.T.O.N."

Just under that entry is the FBI's FIOA (Freedom of Information Act) page on the incident. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I searched the same FBI FOIA page to see what turns up on "Iran Contra." The site yielded a press release about one Kevin Fryslie, which included this sentence: "Mr. Fryslie reported to the Washington Field Office in March 1985. While there, he investigated foreign counterintelligence and public corruption matters, including the Jonathan Jay Pollard espionage investigation and the Iran-Contra investigation." So much for Iran Contra.

I don't know who writes these pages or makes these decisions, but it comes as no big surprise to me that the Bush administration has used its powers and privileges of office for partisan gain, and that's a story for another day. Right now I'm more narrowly focused on concern that the Senator's book deal will become a launching pad for endless insinuations, ads and stories creating an association in the voters' minds between the Clintons and the Ted Kennedy of Chappaquiddick.

After Swiftboat, games like that are to be expected from Republicans, I suppose. I just don't see why we have to help them.