By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

An old lie recycled

Unexpectedly, it’s turned into Charlie Pierce Week here at Media Nation. Why? Because conservative media critic Tim Graham is smearing Pierce with a five-year-old lie — a lie that Graham had a hand in spreading in the first place.

Pierce has a story in the new Esquire on the presidential campaign. Graham doesn’t like it very much. Fair enough. But Graham, writing for NewsBusters, begins with this:

Charles Pierce is the infamous Boston Globe writer who tried to insist in 2003 that if Mary Jo Kopechne had survived Chappaquiddick, she would enjoy all the senior citizen benefits provided by Ted Kennedy’s beneficent policies.

Graham links to an old item at his own organization, the Media Research Center, which later bestowed on Pierce its “Quote of the Year” for what it considered his extreme liberal bias.

I’ve written about this several times before, and I don’t feel like doing it again; just read this and this. As you will see, Graham deliberately misconstrues what may be the single meanest thing ever written about Ted Kennedy (by a liberal, anyway), strips out the irony and sarcasm, and then pretends that Pierce is tastelessly using Kopechne’s death to praise Kennedy.

Since the record has been corrected several times, Graham is no longer mistaken. Now he’s lying.

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Younger and cheaper (III)


The Clinton-Kennedy split


  1. Anonymous

    Dan, did you read the Charlie Pierce story in GQ? For someone (Pierce, not you) who spends so much time bashing other media and their abilities, that was one truly horrible piece. 4,000 words ostensibly on Obama, and he doesn’t have a single fresh quote?Plus, he wrote the whole thing in the third person. It’s one thing to write a column; it’s another to disguise it with an affected gimmick and make your readers slog through it in the hopes of finding something new. The “cynic” in me says that Pierce is pretending to be something he’s not.

  2. Anonymous

    I realize that you know for a fact that Graham DELIBERATELY misconstrued nuances in Pierce’s original statement, however, can we PLEASE end Pierce Week? Not bad enough the guy thinks he’s a lot funnier than he actually is on WWDTM on NPR. There’s a world of difference between a Renaissance Man and a dilettante. (Brudnoy, he ain’t). If we ignore Pierce, perhaps he will go away?

  3. Anonymous

    I love Charlie Pierce. He swings and misses sometimes, but he always takes a good hack. If there is a God (there isn’t) WEEI would replace the Morning Klan drive with Charlie.Bob in Peabody

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén