By Tom Quiner

The word Chappaquiddick has no meaning to Generation Xers and Millennials.

But to Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation, it evokes loathing. The incident exposed the Democrat’s “Lion of the Senate, ” Ted Kennedy as a philanderer, liar, and coward.

For younger readers of this blog, the word reminds us Baby Boomers of a single vehicle accident that took place in 1969 on Chappaquiddick Island with the married Ted Kennedy at the wheel accompanied by a single young woman. The Senator’s car went off a bridge into the water. Kennedy escaped, leaving the young woman behind.

She drowned.

Kennedy didn’t report the incident to authorities for ten hours.

I mention all of this ancient history in light of a new film coming out titled, “Chappaquiddick.” What is interesting is that the film apparently isn’t a typical whitewash of the tawdry life of the Kennedys. Variety Magazine put it this way:

 “Chappaquiddick” is exactly what you want it to be: a tense, scrupulous, absorbingly precise and authentic piece of history — a tabloid scandal attached to a smoke-filled-room travesty. It recounts and anatomizes, with riveting detail, the tragic car accident and its aftermath that cast its shadow over the political career of Edward Kennedy and, in many ways, came to symbolize his existence. The movie is avidly told and often suspenseful, but it’s really a fascinating study of how corruption in America works. It sears you with its relevance and, for that reason, has every chance to find an audience.

Notice the use of the word corruption in the review. And yet despite the obvious corruption of Mr. Kennedy and his family in this incident, the Democratic Party never let this taint besmirch their “Lion.”

The entire Variety review is worth reading. This may be a movie worth checking out as well.

As you watch the promo interview above featuring cast members, it’s interesting to note that Kate Mara had never even heard of the incident. That’s why this may be a film worth checking out. It appears that a better characterization of Mr. Kennedy would be the “cowardly lion” or the “lyin’ Senator” rather than the Lion of the Senate.


  1. Art Chartier on September 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I remember it well. Mary Jo Kopechne – that was her name. She was 29 yrs old; the same age I was at the time. God rest her soul.

  2. d. knapp on September 23, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Apparently, a certain group of voters had no problem w/ loathing and distrust. They sent that vile man to Washington again and again. I guess to them that poor girl was just collateral damage in advancing their own agenda.

    • quinersdiner on September 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      So it seems.