A New York Times contributor insisted in a Friday opinion piece that “Chappaquiddick” unfairly assassinates the character of former Senator Ted Kennedy.
The movie, which hits theaters on Friday, depicts the event surrounding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, who drowned after Kennedy drove his car into a pond. Kennedy failed to report the incident to police for ten hours.
Neil Gabler, who is writing a biography on Ted Kennedy, chose not to address the circumstances surrounding Kopechne’s death or Kennedy’s involvement in The New York Times. Instead, Gabler flatly claimed that the movie is “outright character assassination.”
In ‘Chappaquiddick,’ many scenes cross from dramatic interpretation to outright character assassination https://t.co/93iscgESES
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) April 6, 2018
“No one but the most lunatic conspiracy theorists see this as anything but a tragic accident in which nothing much was covered up,” Gabler writes. “Just how many liberties can an artist or entertainer take when he or she deploys a biographical subject? Many scenes cross from dramatic interpretation to outright character assassination.”
“Fake history is no better than fake news; it’s maybe worse,” he continues. “It is very possible that over time, through the osmosis of social media, the despicable Kennedy of this movie will eradicate the honorable if flawed real one.”
Twitter users were not thrilled with how Gable’s review left out the worst of Kennedy’s actions in the aftermath of the car crash.
Ted Kennedy was the victim in all this. https://t.co/vFdGTgsP8A
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 6, 2018
This New York Times apologia for Ted Kennedy is hilarious in its own right. But even funnier is that they felt the need to run it at all. https://t.co/NpDOyTvruU
— Daniel Foster (@DanFosterType) April 6, 2018
Pretty crazy how Ted Kennedy was the character who was assassinated and yet Mary Joe Kopechne was the character who ended up drowned at the bottom of a lake. https://t.co/7Z3o8Wox0x
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) April 6, 2018
Now do Sarah Palin, Gabby Giffords, and the NYT. https://t.co/zEGgYVO4UV
— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) April 6, 2018
Character assassination ahahahaha
— Rob Solo (@robsolo) April 6, 2018
#MaryJoKopechne could not be reached for comment.
— No_Really (@Sola4Grace) April 6, 2018
Are you really going to characterize a particular narrative as an ‘assassination’ when someone really died during the events depicted? How is it even remotely equivalent? So many other choices… unfair, biased, dishonest, lies, but ‘character assasination’?
— Quiet Observer (@SomeBogusName) April 6, 2018
In this case Ted Kennedy committed character suicide. he had no one to blame but himself and got away with it
— Jeff Larson (@backpewguy) April 6, 2018