"Patriots are not revolutionaries trying to overthrow the government of the United States.
Patriots are Counter-Revolutionaries trying to prevent the government from overthrowing the Constitution."
The Coach’s Team (TCT) offers the best in conservative essays along with articles taken from various internet sites. The victory of Donald Trump has provided a God-sent opportunity to reverse the years of willful damage done our nation by Barack Hussein Obama.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Ed. Chappaquiddick opens this week. From all I've read, the movie actually tells the truth about the Kennedy family murder of Mary Jo Kopechne. It seems very much worth your time.
The following article appeared in
Powerline on April 4th
I think back to Lionel Chetwynd’s
1987 docudrama The Hanoi Hilton. Even though the film told a story that
had receded into history, the left rose up to smite it. Stanley Kauffman’s
review in The New Republic all but called it a crime against humanity. George
Szamuely’s January 1988 Commentary essay “Hollywood
goes to Vietnam” quoted the opening of Kaufmann’s review: “The Hanoi Hilton
is filth. It exploits the sufferings . . . of American POWs . . . in order to
promote a distortion of history: that the peace movement in the United States .
. . prolonged the imprisonment of those men by impeding American victory.”
Szamuely observed: “Yet all that
Lionel Chetwynd appears to suggest is that the ‘peace movement in the United
States’ played an important role in the political and psychological war that
Hanoi was waging. Obviously, among the groups opposed to the war there were
greater and lesser degrees of genuine concern for the casualties, of
gullibility about the aims of the Communists, of downright connivance in the
propaganda offensive of North Vietnam. But the plain truth is that sympathy for
the plight of the servicemen held in captivity was hardly high on the list of
priorities.” And he adds: “That Kauffmann’s view was echoed by virtually every
other critic suggests that Chetwynd’s arrow hit home.”
The film Chappaquiddick opens
this week. It is a good film, a far better film than The Hanoi Hiltan.
And its subject — Teddy Kennedy’s evasion of responsibility for the death of
Mary Jo Kopechne — derives from something like the Precambrian era. Yet the
film is an act of audacity. It refuses to fall into line. I wonder if it can be
Mary Jo Kopechne
I hope so. It is, as I say, a good
film. Moreover, the early signs have been positive. When it was screened at the
Toronto International Film Festival this past September, Owen Gleiberman wrote
laudatory review of the film for Variety. To borrow Szamuely’s formulation,
Gleiberman found that the film’s arrow hit home.
And we live in a different era, when
alternative voices have large audiences of their own. Take, for example, Ben
Shapiro, who previews the film briefly in “The
grisly history of Chappaquiddick,” or Christian Toto, who is doing his best
at Hollywood In Toto to assure
the film a fair hearing. This week Christian interviewed
Jason Clarke, the Australian star of the film. (I was afforded a
pre-release screening of the film this week through Christian’s courtesies.)
Among other things, the film
memorably depicts the Kennedy brain trust convened at Hyannis Port in the
immediate aftermath of the accident to mull over Kennedy’s means of escape.
Kennedy required a means of escape to avoid criminal responsibility, to be
sure, but also to preserve his (and the Kennedy retainers’) political
viability. The Kennedy retainers treated the accident as a crisis of state.
In his 1976
book on Chappaquiddick, Robert Sherrill called the roll of Kennedy
luminaries at Hyannis Port: former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, JFK’s
speechwriter and biographer Theodore Sorensen, former Assistant Attorney
General Burke Marshall, political utility outfielder Kenneth O’Donnell, Reps.
John Tunney and John Culver, brother-in-law and family manager Steven Smith,
speechwriter Richard Goodwin, administrative assistant David Burke, Kennedy
administrative assistant David Burke, historian and Kennedy hanger-on Professor
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Washington attorney Milton Gwirtzman.
The Kennedy Olds
Sherrill drily commented: “It was the
Cuban missile crisis all over again.”
Sherrill’s 1974 New York Times article
on Chappaquiddick is still useful as a reminder of the basics in the case.
As I recall (and here I am writing from memory), David Halberstam’s 1970
Harper’s essay “Ask
not what Ted Sorensen can do for you” (behind the Harper’s paywall) looked
at this particular episode of the saga with extraordinary bite. The film
renders this scene in the same spirit, adding a generous dollop of humor that
Halberstam lacked, and it is the film’s beating heart.
The docudrama genre is inherently
problematic. I felt the problems of the genre acutely when the film Truth,
which also debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, was taken with
utter credulity by Variety reviewer Justin Chang. I tried to show just how
haywire a film working in the genre can go in “Lies
of Truth.” Within the limitations of a problematic genre, however, Chappaquiddick
does a good job telling a true story of continuing relevance.
The release of the film this week is
already responsible for one accomplishment; it has prompted the republication
of Leo Damore’s classic 1988 study Chappaquiddick:
Power, Privilege, and the Ted Kennedy Cover-Up. But there is more to it
than that. I mostly concur with the judgment rendered by Variety’s Gleiberman .
According to Gleiberman, the film “simply delivers the truth of what happened:
the logistical truth of the accident, and also the squirmy truth of what went
on in Ted Kennedy’s soul. The result may play like avid prose rather than
investigative cinema poetry, but it still adds up to a movie that achieves what
too few American political dramas do: a reckoning.”
Quotable quote (Joe Gargan responding
to Kennedy’s plea that we all have flaws, even great men such as Moses and
Peter): “Moses had a temper, but he never left a girl at the bottom of the Red