Bad Television

I walked in on my wife watching Oprah interview Tania Harding.  Eeeeeeyuk.   I thought -- could there be any TV show I would want to watch less?

Well, actually, it turns out there was:  A three day royal funeral and ongoing slobbery kiss for Ted Kennedy, a man who literally got away with murder and dedicated his life to trying to hide his poor impulse control better than the rest of his family hides theirs.  I watched about 5 minutes of the spectacle and all I could see was a man being revered for, uh, being related to people folks really liked a lot.  What's next, a public funeral for John Lennon's brother?  It is just so weird to me that people revere this family not in spite of, but actually because, they are so relentless in trying to exercise power over us all.

Postscript: I am confused on the military service qualifications to be buried in Arlington, as was Ted Kennedy.  My sense is that Arlington is pretty full, and that being buried there is reserved as a special honor for those with unique or heroic service (like that of Ted's brother).  I am having a  hard time in this Wikipedia description of Ted Kennedy's military service finding what put him over the top for burial at Arlington:

Kennedy enlisted in the United States Army in June 1951.   Following basic training at Fort Dix, he requested assignment to Fort Holabird for Army Intelligence training, but was dropped after a few weeks without explanation. He went to Camp Gordon for training in the Military Police Corps.  In June 1952, he was assigned to the honor guard at SHAPE headquarters in Paris.His father's political connections ensured he was not deployed to the ongoing Korean War.  While stationed in Europe he travelled extensively on weekends and climbed the Matterhorn.  He was discharged in March 1953 as a private first class.

I suppose that managing not to get oneself killed pursuing a rich-kid hobby like mountain climbing is an accomplishment within the Kennedy family, but I am not sure it merits an Arlington burial.


  1. Dan:

    I'm more of a Ted Kennedy fan than a George W. fan myself, but I have to say, based on military service records, neither deserves an Arlington burial.

  2. L Nettles:

    The bar is low for elected officials


    Any former member of the Armed Forces who served on active duty (other than for training) and who held any of the following positions:

    1. An elective office of the U.S. Government
    2. Office of the Chief Justice of the United States or of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    3. An office listed, at the time the person held the position, in 5 USC 5312 or 5313 (Levels I and II of the Executive Schedule).
    4. The chief of a mission who was at any time during his/her tenure classified in Class I under the provisions of Section 411, Act of 13 August 1946, 60 Stat. 1002, as amended (22 USC 866) or as listed in State Department memorandum dated March 21, 1988.

  3. Cilla Mitchell:

    Oprah and the mindless garbage on TV is why I no longer watch it. Putting Ted Kennedy in Arlington is a slap in the face to our dead.

  4. Blogdog:

    Tonya Harding hasn't been worth watching since her wedding night video. And even that wasn't terribly entertaining.

  5. LoneSnark:

    Well, that is clever. The armed forces is clearly attempting to provide incentives for its former employees to seek public office. As I know that former military personnel tend to favor fellow military personnel, if this behavior succeeds it should strongly favor the military brass getting whatever they want from those elected officials.

  6. Evil Red Scandi:

    I was kind of hoping the proximity to the Eternal Flame would cause Teddy's alcohol-infused corpse to explode. Ah, life just doesn't always provide the ironic justice so richly deserved.

  7. Esox Lucius:

    I remember when John-John (what a pedantic name) crashed his airplane on a trip to Martha's Vineyard. I actually saw a Navy Destroyer out looking for him. I can't remember being madder than seeing the royal treatment that that family gets in situations like these.

  8. Michael:

    I was living in NYC when JFK jr. went down. The media went nuts, but for the people I came across, it rose to a "isn't rather stupid to fly a plane with a broken leg, in a storm, without instruments kind of event."

  9. rob sama:

    Just be glad this all didn't happen while you were vacationing on the cape.

  10. Tim:

    "I remember when John-John (what a pedantic name) crashed his airplane on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. I actually saw a Navy Destroyer out looking for him."

    Then, after they found him.... they gave him a burial at sea -- off the same destroyer.

  11. Captain Midnight:

    L Nettles explained that Teddy qualified for an Arlington burial because he both served in the armed forces and was a Senator. Just being a Senator isn't sufficient. That being said, my dad has a better claim to an Arlington burial because of his Silver Star and Purple Heart. He both fought and bled for his country. Teddy did neither.

  12. Knucklehead:

    Captain Midnight,

    Your dad is eligible to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery if he wishes.

    Any former member of the Armed Forces who has been awarded one of the following decorations:

    1. Medal of Honor
    2. Distinguished Service Cross (Navy Cross or Air Force Cross)
    3. Distinguished Service Medal
    4. Silver Star
    5. Purple Heart

    Presidents or former presidents are also eligible, Dan, so you may be disappointed should GWB choose that.

    Worst of all, Unfit For Command himself, John Kerry (who, BTW, served in Vietnam) can be buried there. What a crying shame.

  13. John Moore:

    Only slightly over 1 year and TK got discharged - after rising rapidly (snark) to the rank of PFC>


  14. marco29:

    If you look at the preceeding paragraph in Wikipedia, you'll see that Ted joined the Army because he was kicked out of Harvard for cheating on a Spanish exam. His family connections kept him out of harm's way when any ordinary grunt would have been shipped off to Korea. So if he had gotten away with the cheating at Harvard, he would have never had military service, and wouldn't be eligible for Arlington.

  15. tomw:

    Know why he picked Arlington? To avoid the micturation waterfall that his grave otherwise would have sustained. Arlington has 24 hour guards, remember.
    Any bets on where Jimmy Goober will end up?