What is it with the F***ing Kennedys?

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This is a rant which maybe someone can explain. JFK jr., wife, and some others appear to have been killed in a plane crash. OK, that's too bad. Then I look at the sidebar. There are ten, count-em 10 Kennedy related articles?!?!?! What the fuck?

We start WARS and they don't get this much news coverage. We bomb the shit out of civilains in third world countries and they don't give this much coverage!

I am afraid to turn on the TV as I am sure there will be nonstop coverage of the events from sycophantish news anchors on everything from the Country Music Channel to the Playboy channel! All talking about what a tragedy this is for the American people, and how will we ever recover, blah blah blah.

What gives?

-Jeremy, disgusted with America.

-- Jeremy Beker (jbeker@3gi.com), July 17, 1999


JFK, Jr.-- America's answer to Princess Diana.

We were always a sucker for royalty. It's tragic, and he's rich, cute, and famous. What more could you want from a popular news topic? Frankly, I don't see what the fuss is about...I wonder if there's a difference in opinion on this for pre-assassination and post-assassination ppl. I wasn't born 'til after, so it's not a "milestone" of my life like, say, the Challenger explosion was.

-- Karen O. (lisl_1@yahoo.com), July 25, 1999.

I'm just waiting for the conspiracy theorists to get started.

-- Jeff Fiscus (koros@usit.net), July 26, 1999.

It's very simple. A member of the Imperial Family died, and that's more important than covering the immolation of civilians we're supposed to protect.

Also disgusted,


-- Richard A. Randall (rrandall@NOSPAMiname.com), July 26, 1999.

Oh, I already had a conspiricy all ready to go, Jeffy, if they didn't find the bodies-- I was gonna say Kennedy had faked his own death, like Elvis {grin} to get away from his family and the media. Ah, well, maybe the corpse was a fake...like those new plastic lab rats.

-- Karen O. (lisl_1@yahoo.com), July 26, 1999.

As my adviser said, "They found the body, but that knife in the back is going to be hard to explain."

-- Jeff Fiscus (koros@usit.net), July 27, 1999.

I have a theory... not a conspiracy theory, but more an explanation of why the Kennedy thing has been so important.

Anyone who knows me, knows that my political and historical knowledge is not very well-rounded out. I can tell you what century (and to some extent what years) certain wars broke out, and I usually know the major governmental figures (president, vice president, my own state senators, that sort of thing) and I can put most of the states on a map. I know the basic differences between the democratic and republican parties. And I follow the news enough to know when we're at war, and the sort of basic stuff that happens and makes it to the headlines.

However, I couldn't tell you who the Secretary of State is, or many of the Kosovo crises details. I'm not even sure I know where Kosovo is. And I consider myself to be an educated person. But I find myself unable to be interested in things that don't directly interfere with my day-to-day life. (I know, I've just invited myself to a bunch of scathing e-mails telling me why bill #ab576 in the senate does directly concern me. Don't bother. I won't read it.)

I know there are a great many people who *are* interested in all these sorts of things, but then, there are MORE people who are completely uninterested in much of anything. There are more people every year who get college degrees, but not necessarily get them for an education, but more because it makes finding a job that much easier. For the average person, what goes on in their day-to-day lives is a lot more important than what congress decides, or our trade relations with China. When you wonder if your phone's going to be disconnected, or if you can afford to make the car payment this month, Kosovo just doesn't really seem that important. You can get all up on your high horse about it, but it's the truth, and all your disgust and disapproval aren't going to change a thing.

But there are a few things that get said enough to sink into even the most here-and-now concerns. The Kennedys have had their names mentioned so many times for so long, nearly everyone in the country knows who JFK Jr. was. It's not a matter of him being "us royalty". I mean, seriously, when Stephan King got hit by a van, there were at least 15 articles about it on Yahoo! news. We care about people that we "know". Even if we only "know" them because they're in the papers so much. JFK Jr. has been in the papers and magazines for the last several decades. Kosovo only went on for a few months.

There's my opinion, anyway...

-- KT Hicks (kthx2@sybercom.net), July 27, 1999.

You know, had this been almost _anyone_ else, the recovery effort wouldn't have been as thorough. They might have recovered the bodies, but the FAA and NTSB would have concluded "human error" the day the bodies were found. But a KENNEDY died, and that makes the expense all worth it, right?

(It likely was human error -- specifically the pilot. He probably did about the same level of pre-flight that I do to my car before driving to Liz's house, and some maintainance item got overlooked.)


-- R. A. Randall (rrandall@iname.com), August 03, 1999.

Actually, the latest theory that was going around (this is from Sunday's Daily Mess) is that in the foggy weather, he lost his orientation of what was "up" (don't planes have little instruments in the dash for that sort of thing, though? Little black&white sphere with a line across it that indicates what level is?), and screwed up. Splash.

What's really got me cracking up (cynically, naturally) is all the people in the editorial pages who are acting just shocked that wealthier people are accorded a different level of treatment in this country. Gee, what was your first clue?

-- Matt (mbrooks@3gi.com), August 03, 1999.

Yes, Matt, I just heard that theory myself, and yes airplanes DO have such instruments.

Of sourse, you have to know how to read them, and then do so.

It also helps if you have slightly more time behind the stick than my 14 year old little sister does behind the wheel. *g* Kennedy didn't have the experience to be able to do a proper instrument sweep, while continuing to fly the airplane (RULE #1-- Don't drop the airplane to fly the radio mike.) If he did scan, he did so without integrating the readings into his thoughts. (In short -- he wasn't IFR -- Instrument Flight Rules -- qualified.) He also flew into weather that he had no business going near, with his level of experience, in an aircraft that was too much for a novice such as he.

The man was wholly unqualified to take that airplane up with passengers, wholly unqualified to fly that profile with any airplane, and he ended up killing his defenseless passengers through sheer arrogance. (Yeah, they didn't *have* to let him fly; but, 1- were they qualified to make that determination if he insisted he was -- I don't know; and 2- once he took off, unless they intended to fight him for control -- which would probably have resulted in an abrupt "in-flight ground interface" -- they were along for the ride.)


-- R. A. Randall (rrandall@iname.com), August 04, 1999.

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