March 7, 2014

"Leaning back on a bone-white sofa, her glasses perched on her head, Kerry Kennedy spoke of her 20-month-long prosecution..."

"... for driving while drugged that ended last week, when she was acquitted after an hour by a 6-person jury."
"For me it caused some emotional upheaval,” said Ms. Kennedy, a 54-year-old mother of 3 girls, college-age twins and a 16-year-old. “There were times I should have been completely emotionally available to my kids and I wasn’t there, even for reading a book with them or watching TV or tucking my daughter into bed. I was unable to be fully present. That’s a loss."
I don't know if you care about Kerry Kennedy's emotional upheaval and her inability to be completely emotionally available to her kids while she was getting prosecuted for drunk driving. (Is she completely emotionally available now that she's found not guilty?)

But I'm blogging this because I just love the accompanying photograph by NYT photographer Suzanne DeChillo, in which we get to see not only that "bone-white sofa" — on which Kerry Kennedy is leaning forward, not back — but the out-of-focus wall behind her with 2 large paintings of young girls in white dresses, which I took to be pictures of herself as an innocent child, but now think are probably 2 of her 3 daughters to whom she was incompletely emotionally available.

In front of one painted girl, there's a lamp that has a base that's a globe, and on the mantel there's an indistinct dark blob that I construe as a bronze bust of Kerry's father Bobby Kennedy. Kerry looks stressed and earnest, with her man-hands slightly clasped, glasses atop her head, and a chunky cross hanging from her neck. The cross corresponds to text in the article:
Readers [of the media coverage of the trial] learned she is a devoted Roman Catholic, going to church on the mornings she does not go to the gym.
That's a funny sentence. What evidence of devotion is that? If she goes to the gym every morning, then she never goes to church... at least not in the morning. I construe that sentence as deliberate satire gesturing at the jury's charitable construction of the evidence it heard.


southcentralpa said...

man-hands ... does she also have the jimmy-feet.

MayBee said...

Reading a book with them? She's talking about activities you do with little kids. Is she emotionally aware of that?

MayBee said...

I forgot to mention "tucking my daughter into bed". Kerry Kennedy is faking it. Pretending to know what an emotionally available mother does with kids.

ddh said...

If that was satire, it probably would be news to the article's author. Anybody who writes for the New York Times is likely to think that attending mass at Christmas and Easter is a sign of unusual religious devotion.

ddh said...

Now, what I thought was funny was the following sentence:

"For breakfast, she may munch on carrots and drink a cappuccino, which she makes herself with an espresso machine that requires 'a 15- to 20-step process.'”

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

She's a devoted Roman Catholic, frequently driving by the church on the way to the drug store to refill her Ambien.

Sean Gleeson said...

"She was unhappy with some of the news coverage, which at times depicted her as appealing for sympathy. In answering a question on the witness stand, she mentioned that her father was assassinated..."

Was that under direct or cross examination, I wonder?

Unknown said...

Poor little rich girl. What a load of tosh.

And ddh nailed it about the NYT and Catholicism.

For me, the faux-Catholic Kennedys brings to mind all that is wrong with the "American wing" of the Catholic Church, including its smug self-righteousness and sense of entitlement, its easy comfort telling other people, especially the middle class and the poor, how we should be living our lives.

Not to mention the murders, sexual abuse, rapes, drug use, and drunk driving.

The "Kennedys" make me embarrassed to be Irish *and* Catholic.

On the plus side, the increasingly militarized police departments in America are among the top recruiters for libertarianism around.

Sean Gleeson said...

The last paragraph was entertaining:

One more thing the trial has taught her, Ms. Kennedy said: Stay away from Zolpidem and Ambien. Their effects are unpredictable.

No one could have predicted that these sleeping pills would have the effect that they had, i.e. sleepiness.

PB said...

The basic gist of her defense was that she accidentally took the sleeping pill instead of another medication. Where I come from, you are responsible for doing certain things in life and responsible for the consequences, even if you make a mistake and something unpleasant/undesired happens.

She should have has some courage to stand up and take responsibility. That would have been a far greater message to her children than she could ever read to them from a book.

Ron said...

All drunk driving charges should be resolved by whomever wins a game of "Mille Bournes" Roulez!

Illuninati said...

What interested me is that she lives in a little apartment during tourist season and rents out her house. Perhaps the Kennedy fortune is beginning to thin out as it is distributed among more and more heirs. The charisma also seems to be lessening.

She comes across as a decent person if at times misguided. She seems to think that helping the Africans involves speaking truth to power even if she doesn't understand the situation on the ground.

virgil xenophon said...


Poor little thing..

Humperdink said...

Before reading this, I always thought devoutCatholic was one word.

tim maguire said...

She can't tuck in her 16 year old and read her a story?!?

They try awfully hard to make these young adults sound like small children.

And she goes to church when she does not go to the gym. So her prioritizing the gym over attendance at mass is given as evidence of religiosity?!?

Shouting Thomas said...

And the difference between this woman and Althouse (besides the inherited wealth) is what?

Both have the "white woman's burden" thing going.

You know, the saving the world with the perpetual civil rights crusade?

Both are do-gooders working for "human rights."

So, like Althouse, Kennedy is a social engineer, looking down on the lower classes and fixing them up. Why the disdain for a fellow sister, prof?

David said...

One great touch in the photo is the LARGE silver cross hanging from her neck.

"Does this cross make me look fatuous?"

Chuck said...

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Rumpletweezer said...

My, what an uncharitable group in these comments. It's not easy being a coddled, emotionally immature Kennedy. Wait, did I just repeat myself?

Shouting Thomas said...

Wait a minute.

Althouse played a significant role in helping lawyers stuff gay marriage down the throats of an electorate that voted against it in 30 straight state elections.

So, she's one of the leaders of a fight that will lead to an all out assault on the Catholic Church's freedom to control its own theology and properties...

Althouse has a very difficult time seeing herself as a member and leader of a corrupt, autocratic and decadent mandarin class. She throws up the Suze Retolo and Dylan thing from time to time to convince herself that she's still just a carefree rebel in the Village.

Unknown said...

I only go to the linked story if I'm interested. Kennedys, not so much, but the AA description was intriguing so...I have to say Ms. A that I think you have too much time on your hands, your description was better then the photo by far.

I guess that makes you a good writer?

Anonymous said...

You're a female Kennedy!

Get off the booze and pills, hire a publicist and start talking about empathy, the glamour and pressures of a Kennedy childhood, and the environmentally friendly
roof you just put up.

Boom, in a year or two, you've got an interview on NPR talking about overcoming your past and the charity ball for the Global Women's Fund you're hosting.

Michael K said...

"So, she's one of the leaders of a fight that will lead to an all out assault on the Catholic Church's freedom to control its own theology and properties..."

I fear this will happen. It is the only reason why I believed civil unions were a better solution.

As for the article, where is the air sickness bag?

prairie wind said...

I see that I am supposed to make fun of her, so apologies in advance.

Her experience, she said, led her to wonder how often such prosecutions ensnare innocent people who “are caught up in the criminal justice system” and do not share her capacity to hire top-notch lawyers.

“They don’t have the ability to take a week off from work to fight for their innocence, and don’t have the wherewithal to hire private attorneys,” she said. “So people who are innocent end up pleading guilty to lesser charges, which is in essence a false confession.”

She's right about this. I'd be happy if she were to take up this cause.

it had what she described as a blanket policy of prosecuting every drunken- or drugged-driving arrest, which she called a “crazy policy.”

“Should it prosecute people they think are innocent?” she asked rhetorically, about the district attorney’s office.

Trick question...because prosecutors don't care if you are guilty or not guilty; they only care if they can convict you. And when defendants agree to take a plea, convictions are assured. It is also worth remembering that when a defendant takes a plea, the prosecution has no need to prove anything in court. Good for her, for going to court and making her case. And good for her for recognizing that most people cannot do that.

Do I think the jury let her off because she's a Kennedy? I don't really care.

Meade said...

Self destruction, thy name is Kennedy.

Kevin said...

From the article:

"Ms. Kennedy said her lawyers had received an email from a juror, Mark Saunders, who said the case should never have come to trial because, as the experts testified, Ambien can impede judgment about its own effects."

That's not true for alcohol, of course.

Having gotten a pass on this, she's going to kill someone some day.

Kevin said...

Also from the article:

"[She] suffered a brain injury three years ago when her car skidded on black ice on the snaking country road outside her home".

Any bets how fast she was going?

We obviously need a Federal "Kennedy Highway Safety Act", to ban Kennedys from operating motor vehicles.

traditionalguy said...

Why does this lady attract so much recurring bad Karma? She seems nice and keeps a neat home. She fell asleep while driving and hurt no one.

Being a Catholic that practices the religion is a plus. Her cross is a nice statement of faith and a plea for mercy and peace.

But that bone white sofa does tell us she has no dog, at least not a Lab. So maybe she earned a small part of the Kennedy Curse.

Humperdink said...

Kevin said: "We obviously need a Federal "Kennedy Highway Safety Act", to ban Kennedys from operating motor vehicles."

Or single engine airplanes.

Kevin said...

The thing that comes across most strongly in the article is the sense of noblesse oblige.

How dare some worthless, two-bit prosecutors prosecute her for driving on a highway in a completely drugged state? How dare they?

Being a Kennedy means that you don't have to accept the consequences of your actions. That's the whole point of being a Kennedy.

Ambrose said...

The Times ought to do a piece on the poor truck driver Kennedy slammed into (and his bone-white sofa). The law came down on him like a ton of bricks for daring to be in the way of KUI (Kennedy Under the Influence).

MayBee said...

Prairie wind-
I absolutely agree with you.

So,we here along the line, someone decided drug and alcohol violations needed to become life-ruining. Ditto minor sex offenses (young men being put on sex offenders list for life, for example)

We need to reevaluate

John Lynch said...

Don't forget Patrick Kennedy driving around on Ambien!

John Lynch said...


So, she lied about being on drugs, too?

Think maybe she threatened the truck driver into not saying anything, and then he got charged for leaving the scene?

John Lynch said...

I drive for a living and have a strong desire to not die. Enforce the law, and get people who drive under the influence off the road.

I've seen two DUI accidents happen right in front of me. No one died either time, but it could have been me.

People get hurt, people die, vehicles are destroyed, and livelihoods ruined. Pay attention when driving and stop drinking before you do.

I drive hundreds of miles a week and somehow manage to not be drunk while doing it. I have no sympathy for drivers who cannot handle that. This isn't a social issue, it's a safety issue. People die.

TML said...

The huge...what could they do to a poor lobster?

dbp said...

An adult should be expected to understand the effects and side-effects of any drugs they take.

That being said, I have a hard time imagining a worse place to be impaired than on 684 between the Hutch/Merrit Parkway and Tappan Zee Bridge. Lots of lanes, huge disparities in speed, curves, entrances and exits all over the place and it always seems to have construction going on. A total nightmare even in the best state of mental alertness.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Ms. Kennedy said her lawyers had received an email from a juror, Mark Saunders, who said the case should never have come to trial because, as the experts testified, Ambien can impede judgment about its own effects."

That's not true for alcohol, of course.

A couple of things. First, I agree - why should the result be any different for pills as for alcohol?

The other though is that it appears that she had a couple of high priced experts who testified on her behalf. Great if you can afford it, which is really the problem - most people cannot. Reminds me a bit of that Kennedy Smith cousin who got off the rape charge in Florida by his family throwing a lot of money at the problem, and renting one of the best criminal attorneys around to defend him. He apparently did get his wish though - he's a doctor, and does something maybe internationally that is somehow supposed to redeem him for that rape with the right people.

I think that a lot of us remember how the OJ trial played out. His "dream team" completely overwhelmed the defense (though I don't think that the state had that good of case in the first place, and deserved to lose after how bad and unprofessional the police investigation was). Which is part of the reason that we seem to have two levels of justice in this country - one for the rich, and another for everyone else. State prosecutors can usually beat grossly overworked public defenders, but are often overmatched by the better criminal defense attorneys.

I was told many years ago that criminal defense is a weird practice. Most of the attorneys involved have to hustle to make their overhead, and that is why so much of the state sanctioning of attorneys seems to involve them. And, they have to do some bad stuff - such as taking houses away from relatives of clients in payment for attorneys' fees (notably, once someone is convicted and goes to jail, they mostly cannot pay their attorneys back, which is why relatives are so often involved). And, then there are a couple of big names in town who get all the big cases, make a lot of money, etc. And, their win/loss is pretty good because they are good, and have the resources to overwhelm the prosecutors, such as by getting the services of more expensive, better credentialed, and more persuasive experts.

And, so, that is what Ms. Kennedy did - used some of her family's money and connections to out lawyer and out expert the prosecution. Sure, the juror wondered why the state brought the case, but may not realize that the problem was not on the prosecution side, but rather, the cost of the defense. Against a public defender, the state likely would have won.

William said...

She wasn't looking at hard time in the big house. She would have lost her license. "Just because I have been unjustly prosecuted doesn't mean I'm Dreyfus or Emmet Till. I reject any comparison of myself to Dreyfus or Emmet Till. You, however, are free to make those comparisons."......The article is ostensibly sympathetic but contains sufficient information to damn her. More a stiletto than a hatchet job.

madAsHell said...

"tucking my daughter into bed"
A 16 year-old daughter?
She's lucky if she knows where her daughter is sleeping.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you guys have taken most of the good stuff so I'll highlight this:
"and takes Zolpidem to sleep when she flies across time zones. "

You know, when she flies across time zones to be emotionally available for her Human Rights Work[tm] for gay Ugandan orphans or school Indians in remote (not touristy) Mexico.

buck said...

That sofa is NOT bone white.
And she's guilty as hell.

bbkingfish said...

This reminds me of what Pete Rose said during the the trial of William Kennedy Smith:

"If his name were William Kennedy Jones, he never would have been arrested."

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

' she is a devoted Roman Catholic, going to church on the mornings she does not go to the gym.'

One way to look at ancient religions is to say that the ancients were not as much bothered by contradictions as we are. The NY Times suggests it has gotten to that point with the Kennedys. At times having a couple of drinks helps with that.

jono39 said...

Who the fuck cares?

LL said...

Cry me a fucking river rich lady. Was she in custody awaiting trial? Where are the NYT stories about all those criminal defendants incarcerated while awaiting trial? Are they sitting on bone white sofas?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

What an utter douche. And the NYT further degrades itself with it's doglike groveling to this entitled clown.

"So,we here along the line, someone decided drug and alcohol violations needed to become life-ruining"

And why not? Given the slaughter that drunk and drugged drivers visit upon the innocent why shouldn't their lives be ruined? At a minimum they should never be allowed to drive again.

Anonymous said...

Can't tear my gaze from those chunky gold picture frames in the background.

Sigivald said...

A Kennedy? Catholic?

Who could have imagined?

paul a'barge said...

Rich Liberals - not like the rest of us.

We don't get off when we drive on drugs. And we don't get NYTimes articles in which we get to wallow in our sorrow.

The rest of us go to jail.

mccullough said...

This was an interesting story. Learned that she is a divorced (from dipshit Andrew Cuomo) pill popper who has been in 2 accidents in the last few years and now questions the wisdom of the government. How many innocent people were fucked over by her dad and his brothers? Her ex-husband? Bone white, for sure

lgv said...

Not only the tucking in, but when do you read a book to someone? When they can't read.

Am I the only one who reads stuff like this and checks the header to make sure it isn't The Onion?

Meade said...

This reminds me of what Pete Rose said during the the trial of William Kennedy Smith:

"If his name were William Kennedy Jones, he never would have been arrested."

Ha ha.

Obviously, we didn't pay Pete to think. We paid him to hit the ball.

Rosalyn C. said...

Some people like to embellish. You look at what they are actually saying and come away with "genteel wack job."
Still, she has moments of clarity when she becomes aware of the world outside her rarified habitat -- thanks oddly enough to this mishap. She correctly identifies the underbelly of the justice system where 1) the local political agenda mandates prosecution of as many DUI's as possible and 2) many innocent people submit to plea bargains because they can not afford to pay for their defense.
BTW, how often does she manage to read stories and tuck her children in bed when she is in traveling to Uganda and such? And where do they sleep during the summer while she is staying in the apartment above the garage? She might not be the greatest mom but she does try to make her children feel important -- big portraits.

Gene said...

Ambien is nothing to be cavalier about. The first night I took it, I fell down the stairs going from my office to my bedroom. No wonder Ms. Kennedy was fast asleep in the back seat of the patrol car. No one would deliberately take ambien in the morning and then go for a drive. It seems to me the only thing the prosecution could fairly charge her with is careless use of prescription meds.

Valentine Smith said...

Cuomo divorced KK over her affair with a personal trainer, or tennis coach, or some other professional bestower of the horns.

I guess fashion demands she wear a cross as opposed to a crucifix. A triumph of taste over ostentation?

And my first time loaded I fell out a bedroom window on my way to the bathroom. Booze fucked with my depth perception. And my balance. As well as my judgement. And it wasn't my bedroom either.