The death of Edward Kennedy was undeniably a big political story, but the five days of intense media coverage also exposed how journalists see the Senator’s ardent liberal agenda as an unquestionable good for America, not as controversial policies that fueled high-tax big government at the expense of the free market.
Reporters painted Kennedy as Mother Teresa. “Over five decades, Ted Kennedy carried the torch passed on by his brothers, for civil rights, for the poor, and for the sick,” CBS’s Harry Smith opened The Early Show on August 26, just hours after Kennedy’s passing. “For nearly half a century in the Senate, Ted Kennedy spoke for the people who had no voice — the poor and the disabled, children and the elderly,” anchor Katie Couric echoed on that night’s CBS Evening News.
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On ABC’s Good Morning America the next day, viewers saw a scrolling list of laws Kennedy worked on. Reporter John Berman touted the Senator’s role: “If you’re in a wheelchair, that ramp is thanks to Ted Kennedy. If you earn the minimum wage, you make more because of Ted Kennedy.”
Read More: By Rich Noyes, Media Research Center