Eric Zorn wrote a reflection on Chappaquiddick that analyses the monster in the room - current media practices that produce the intense feeding frenzy that follow any such event.
I've had the opportunity of meeting many US citizens. None shared the mean-spirited and willfully ignorant attitudes on display in the comment section after Zorn's piece. I can only hope that a minority of extremely rabid and stupid are motivated to comment in the delusion that their repeated and constant shrieeeking will drown out sensible and rational voices. In that, they show they can dutifully follow FOXNews and its imitators.
If we'd had insatiable 24/7 cable news networks in July 1969, the accident on Chappaquiddick Island in which a passenger in a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy drowned would likely have dominated the national consciousness for months.
Special programs every night devoted to nothing but pundits bickering over the depths of the 37-year-old Kennedy's responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, 28. Town-hall-style chat shows every afternoon in which ordinary Americans issued their verdicts and sentences before the evidence was in.
Probing interviews every morning with experts offering their views on whether Kopechne would have survived had Kennedy quickly gone for help. Live remotes all day and night from the bridge, the Kennedy compound, the Kopechne home and the streets of Edgartown, Mass., near the accident where random pedestrians would be asked for their views of Kennedy's failure to report the accident to police until the next morning.