March 11th, 2010
04:36 AM ET
10 years ago

Kennedy: National press corps 'despicable'

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island, blasted national reporters Wednesday for focusing on trivialities instead of the war in Afghanistan.

While delivering a speech, Kennedy spotted only a handful of reporters sitting in the press gallery overlooking the House floor. But because House floor debates are televised, reporters often monitor the proceedings from their desks outside the chamber where they can more easily take notes and work on computers.

Filed under: Patrick Kennedy
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Independent Observer

    This is the first time I agree with Patrick Kennedy

    March 11, 2010 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  2. Bruce Wexler

    While the first question has to be would he be saying this if he were running for re-election, I am glad he said what he did. The majority of the press has focused on trivialities for years. Tim Russet's death has left a void the combined press corp can not fill.
    Where a re the Walter Cronkites of this century? The fourth estate has certaini privilages so that they can fulfill the needs of a democracy. If they spend their time on the sexual preferences of a host of political excesses, where is the democracy to go for balance? Had this been the case in the 70's, would the excesses of Nixon ever been uncovered?
    I applaud you Mr. Kennedy!

    March 11, 2010 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  3. MikeJ

    The "despicable media" helped get the current president and his party in control of this country. This is like biting the hand that feeds you.

    March 11, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  4. quincy nashville tn

    If there is any doubt about this issue? Just read the headlines in the political news this morning. Carl Rove's book is the forerunner in every outlet.

    March 11, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  5. U know what?

    He actually has a point. It's one thing to report on a scandal and it's another thing to turn into Entertainment Tonight.

    March 11, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. Ann

    Exactly right on. America is so dumbed down that they confuse entertainment with news. If it doesn't entertain or has too many pesky facts...forget it.

    March 11, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Term Limits

    Theres a lot more than laws in the works the media is not talking about. If its not in the DNC's or Obama's agenda its not getting attention. The BBC exposed the scientist who collected the bogus man made global warming data. The BBC had him admit the lie on the news – American media ignored it. This lie is and will if unchecked cost all of us thousands in increased energy expenses and regulations.

    The media also spent more time wondering if the ACORN fim makers were illegal rather than pursuing what additional illegal, immoral, and "unauthorized" actions ACORN workers were taking. Shouldn't questions come about that even if ACORN is "innocent" why so many guilty people around the country work for them. Thanks media.

    March 11, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  8. Conservative American

    For once I agree with this knucklehead. Not for the reasons that he states, but we do agree that the press is despicable!

    March 11, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. Slater

    I agree with Patrick Kennedy.Wheres all the anti war protesters now.
    I guess they are now yuppies,driving the high dollar cars,no draft to
    concern them etc.When all the blood is spilled and we leave the wars
    nothing will have changed.
    A nation that learns nothing(Vietnam)deserves the representation it
    deserves.Need a job? the military has plenty.

    March 11, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. Hef Daddy

    Nice to see that some passion from someone in Congress. Not a fan of Kennedy but it is a shame that Congressmen can only show vigor when they have determined that they are not running again. Where was the passion in the first 7 terms? This is one of the reasons that term limits need to be put in place and campaign financing needs altered. The elected offficials are too worried about getting re-elected.

    March 11, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  11. The Voice of Reason

    Right on! This is what we need–more people telling it like it is! There are hundreds of proposals in the works, and more moving into proposed legislation every day to help the American people that no one ever hears about because the media, for some reason, is turning more pro-repub every day. Why is that? Could lobbyists be the reason? Could big business and the money they use to get what they want be the reason? In any case, it is not going to help the American people, especially those who are struggling. We need to back our President, and keep putting the word out - the good word - that we are anxious to see reform in Washington. The kind of reform that speaks the truth, not just what the big corporations, especially the insurance industires and big oil companies, want to hear!!

    March 11, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  12. mike

    He is right, you know, and the sad, little defensive second paragraph isn't even needed. You all Do care more about whether or not Tom Delay had fun on DWTS, so you have no defense. 2 wars, but today we focus on how tickle fests and back hair removal.

    March 11, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  13. Tom B

    CNN offers an explanation of why reporters were not there – but is it accurate? Would CNN like to facy check whether reporters were inndeed at their desks covering this important issue?

    March 11, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. k.c.

    maybe he will stroke out while screaming like that

    March 11, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. bill c

    Yes, Patrick, good move! Keep waving your arms around. It will make it harder for them to throw the butterfly net over you.

    March 11, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  16. Dave Harris

    He's got a point, but the news people are just doing what the public wants. This is like criticizing the auto industry for building all those ridiculous SUV's. Yeah, it's stupid, but that's who we are.

    March 11, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  17. FM

    The man is right. Nowadays there is no weighing in by the Press of what to report and what not to.
    What is beneficial to people and what is not. Its like feeding the dog whatever is available. It will, for sure eat it!

    March 11, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  18. Greg

    Thank Rep Kennedy for saying what most of us know. The media loves to run with stupid stories Massa and racist teabaggers. when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, it's boring, it's been going on for nine years. Did you know there were around 10,000 people in DC a couple of days ago protesting health care? You're not the only one. The media largely ignored it. All that important stuff just isn't important to the media. They're just like primetime TV. Sex and violence sells. Massa and Teabaggers.

    March 11, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. Kevin in MA

    I saw the rant and heard the analysis that it was just grandstanding. I guess I could buy the grandstanding if he was running for reelection but he's not. I think it speaks to a larger point that the American people are pitifully uninformed. There have been many instances of the press failing at its' job. The "intelligence" in the run up to the invasion of Iraq comes to mind. It seems that the press would rather cover the Massa mess, rather than what is happening around the world and how it affects US policy, the budget that everyone is so upset about or the lives of the young men and women that this argument was all about. It begs the question though, are they not covering these stories because it won't sell to the public or they're afraid of what it may cause the public to demand. The old question, is it apathy or ignorance, we don't know and we don't care.

    March 11, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. djk

    The presses' selection of stories does resemble more a soap opera storyline than it does newsworthy events.

    March 11, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. ran

    He is right. we see more coverage about Palin and her family then we see about our troops even here at CNN.

    March 11, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. Ben in Texas

    Leave it to CNN, the all-Palin, all-scandal, all the time news outlet to put in a meager defense of the fact that it hates to cover hard news. CNN believes we are stupid and only interested in fluff and sex scandals.

    The real scandal is what Kennedy pointed to: we are wasting un-told billions of dollars and thousands of lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, while our "news" organizations headline a politician's new book or rumors of sexual impropriety. Those wars, along with American support of Israeli oppression of Palestinians, are the primary recruitment tools for Islamic terrorists.

    I care far more about ending these wars and cutting off support of Israel than I do about the sexual escapades and off-hand remarks of grandstanding politicians. To get real news, I have to check out BBC or another foreign service.

    March 11, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. Daniel

    I am a big time conservative, but Patty has a point. Every time there was a soldiers death during Bush, front page news and every Dem was yelling how the died for nothing. Now where is the press? We have a major offensive in Afghanistan and hardly a peep out of the press. Of course, they are busy trying to help figure out what is going on with healthcare.

    I need to go shower. I feel dirty after agreeing with a Kennedy.

    March 11, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    LOL. If the press comes and gives a negative report, they complain, but if no press shows up, they complain more.

    The Dems are a joke.

    March 11, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  25. mabel floyd

    the press only cares about controversy so why should they push the positive ? no one cares about success-success does not sell papers.
    also the public does not appreciate harmony–they like the braggadocio
    "my daddy can beat up your daddy" esp on the evangelical bunch. that's great for them–playing the "my God can beat up your
    god is even more up lifting. when the reporters can sit at their desk and play these groups against each other they do not have to research and group in the weeds to have a story. what fun–

    March 11, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
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