Jewish World Review Feb. 13, 2003/ 11 Adar I 5763

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MSNBC's Opportunity


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Perhaps it's because he works for the Boston Herald that Howie Carr is one of the most underappreciated columnists in the country. That's a shame, since Carr never fails to deliver the goods on the crumbling Kennedy political dynasty. His Feb. 7 Herald piece was an uncommon example of sound thought. Carr wrote:

"At grave national moments like this, why does it always have to be such an embarrassment to be from Massachusetts? How can Ted Kennedy be wrong about so much? At least Sen. John 'Liveshot' Kerry had the good sense to flip-flop back to being pro-war, sort of, more or less, as long as the pro-Powell polling numbers hold up.

"But Ted? Let's go straight to the videotape: 'Well I think it's the uh the American people that uh I'm-a most uh uh ca-care about and concerned about.' Ted Kennedy stands four-square-with Robert Byrd. The Hero of Chappaquiddick and the Grand Kleagle, linking arms with Al Sharpton and Nancy Pelosi. They shall overcome."

You could argue that it's dirty pool when Carr quotes Kennedy's inarticulate comments verbatim, but that's nothing compared to the ridicule of President Bush's similar inability to speak in perfect prose when not delivering a Michael Gerson-penned speech. Do you think Slate's Jacob Weisberg, whose catalog of "Bushisms" has earned him some extra spending money, would ever consider collecting "Kennedyisms?" Of course not, even though those paperbacks would yield a slew of best-sellers.

Carr continues: "More and more, Ted sounds like his old man, circa 1939, when he was sending cables to FDR from London counseling appeasement of Adolf Hitler, complimenting Neville Chamberlain on the bang-up job he was doing selling out the Czechs."

Now that MSNBC has hired blowhard Jesse Ventura, bumping the ratings-deprived Chris Matthews to the 7 p.m. time slot, a wise move by the cable station-desperate in its too-little, too-late attempt to compete with Fox News-would be to pit Carr against, say Donna Brazile at 8 o'clock each weeknight. In the meantime, you can contact the Kennedy nemesis at howiecarr.org.

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JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and CEO of New York Press (www.nypress.com). Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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