In headier days, Ed Kennedy personified the hard-drinking, hard-charging war correspondent of another era. The first time his future wife saw him, he was sidled up to a hotel bar in Paris with none other than Ernest Hemingway, both of them so “dead drunk” they could hardly stand.
***Kennedy got word that news of the surrender was already out on German radio, so he went ahead and broke the story, and was subsequently fired.
On May 6, 1945, U.S. military officials ushered Kennedy and 16 other correspondents onto a plane in Paris. The plane was airborne before they learned the purpose of the trip: They were flying to Reims, France, to witness the signing of surrender documents ending the largest conflict in world history.
Kennedy chafed at being controlled. The reporters on the plane were “seventeen trained seals,” he observed acidly in a memoir, “Ed Kennedy’s War: V-E Day, Censorship, & the Associated Press,” that was published this spring, nearly a half-century after his death.
Their military handlers insisted that news of the signing be kept secret for several hours. But after they returned to Paris, the embargo was extended. Not for security reasons, which might have been an acceptable rationale, but for political reasons, Kennedy learned. It turned out that Russia’s leader, Joseph Stalin, wanted to stage a signing ceremony of his own to claim partial credit for the surrender, and U.S. officials were interested in helping him have his moment of glory.
My take: first, wonderful to have a glimpse at the type of man the US used to produce, the type of guy you feel like you've met before, in any number of black and white films. This type of story that gives me a happy break in the day for a nostalgic daydream for the country we had. It truly was great. Second, it's purely ironic that current trained seal media are championing Kennedy, which I chalk up to their admiration of his defiance of the US military. But, with a few notable exceptions like Catherine Herridge, what were today's media doing as the Benghazi incident/whitewash happened, other than perching on a slippery rock, slapping their flippers together and yelping "Mitt! Mitt!" The story of Benghazi has heroic SEALS, to be sure, but there was nothing heroic in the behavior of the Obama campaign propaganda army.
New terminology is called for to differentiate the new type of permanent campaign presidency we've now got, and which is probably here to stay. In the old days, first you had a campaign and politicians promised what they will do if elected or bragged about what they'd done already and promise more of it, and then after the campaign the president governed, then the cycle repeated. Now we have a presidency totally melded with a permanent propaganda effort both to retain power and to push its aims. How about the Obama "campinistration", or maybe the Obama "propigandancy"?
And how great is Catherine Herridge -- and Michelle Malkin, and Megyn Kelly, and a handful of others -- by the way? Those are the type of headstrong dames who would fit right in at the bar with Kennedy and Hemminway, holding their own and trading snappy dialogue, or using their charm and press credentials to get past a roadblock in postwar Vienna to hand a manila envelope to a geezer in a trench coat. Ah, when things were black and white.