ABC News Can’t Keep Their Kennedys Straight

ABC News logo


From the “if it weren’t so sad, it would almost be funny” department…

Apparently the overpaid geniuses at ABC News (and I use the word “news” very, very loosely) can’t keep their Kennedys straight.

In a piece posted May 1 on the “Political Radar” blog (“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Says Family Members Are Wrong In Supporting Obama”), ABC News’ Eloise Harper clearly did not know the difference between JFK and RFK.

Our presumably college-educated reporter seems to believe, quite incredibly, that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of John F. Kennedy.

Go figure.

Quoting Madame Harper’s original story:

Introducing Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in Jeffersonville, IN, Robert Kennedy Jr. had some pretty harsh words for his family members who are backing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president.

“There are some members of my family who’ve decided to do the wrong thing, support Senator Obama,” he said of the Democratic presidential fight.

…Kennedy went on to speak about the attacks that Sen. Clinton received while in office saying, “she came in after enduring one of the most savage beatings of a public figure during my lifetime with people like Ken Star going spending 40 million dollars going after her relentlessly with billionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife and his whole right wing machine that sent out hundreds of millions of letters to American citizens going after her relentlessly.”

Trying to connect the attacks Clinton pushed off to similar criticism President John F. Kennedy endured more than 40 years ago. “She had to endure the same kind of attacks that my father had to endure which was being called a carpetbagger when she came into New York.” Kennedy pointed to Clinton’s work in the upstate parts of New York to make his point saying that she”transformed those counties, which not even my father could do…..”


Incredibly, none of the ABC copy or web editors noticed the error.

Even more incredibly, none of the readers did, either.

Finally…five days and 187 comments after the story’s original publication, one astute reader named Art Glick posted the following observation:

“Doesn’t it bother ANYBODY that JFK was NOT RFK Jr’s father?!?! And that the quote above likely refers to RFK???

Don’t they teach history in the schools anymore? Can anybody write copy for a news outlet???

Does no one proof the copy???

Am I really THAT old, that I’m the only one who remembers???

Posted by: Art Glick | May 5, 2008 12:04:20 PM


  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not the son of President John F. Kennedy.
  • The reason his name is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is…(wait for it!)…because his father was Robert F. Kennedy Sr.
  • The only son of John F. Kennedy is deceased. (please reference your own obituary files for 1999.)
  • President John F. Kennedy was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, not New York State.
  • The President’s brother, Robert served as Senator from New York, 1964-68.
  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy was never President of the United States.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (Can’t believe I’m actually having to explain this, but just wanted to cover this territory one more time to make sure we’re on the same page…)
  • Oh…and one more thing: The correct spelling of Ken Starr’s name is with two R’s. (Please reference your own archival database from 1998.)


It would be one thing if this were Joe Blow’s Blog. Even a local newspaper with a limited staff of editors I could easily understand, but ABC News?

At one of this nation’s big three flagship news networks, an error of that magnitude is absolutely unacceptable. When neither the reporters, editors, or the majority of readers know the difference between JFK and RFK, I’m deeply troubled. We all should be.

Why? Because, as the network’s corporate slogan says, “more Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source.”

When five days elapse without a correction to the story being posted, it speaks that basic newsgathering and editing skills are no longer required to get a job in the “news” industry.

Way to go ABC News. With top-drawer journalism like this, no wonder Americans are(as RFK Jr. likes to say) are “the most entertained and least informed people on the planet.”





Filed under election 2008, hillary clinton, JFK, JFK Jr., John F. Kennedy, john f. kennedy jr., media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

9 responses to “ABC News Can’t Keep Their Kennedys Straight

  1. Jack Mosel

    AB WHO??? I get my news from people with passion… who get it right or at least can back up what they say from sources outside of self-serving info-mercials to push an inside agenda. more definitavely… The Blogosphere.

    MSM is SHOT… Kaput, finito, put the fork in it’s done…

    Only good for immediate coverage of live events and finding out what the now proven fascist dictatorship of the Americas is spinning now…

    I’m happy to have the internet to get real facts and real opinions, bantered about to extremes on all fronts… I’m smart enough or motivated enough or learned enough to read between the lines and form my own opinions in these frightening times.

    Love it or hate it, we are all ranting and raving about the same things these days… Corruption, Criminality at the highest levels in our government to the point that it is lewd, in your face! Or the koolaid schlurpers, who take their doses daily and sit in their own soft, warm poop diaper and say “ain’t it grand, the wind stopped blowin’ ma?”… But don’t mention a word about slanting a hint to the left or dare I say conspiracy or inside job… or accountability! They’ll rear up on their pompus / fair and balanced balls of their asses and go bi-polar on you, tearing and snarling at your very flesh and essence, rip your ass a new ripped ass and color you a traitor and a terrorist… No thanx! I won’t support that Anne Culture (Like in a petri dish) media presence anymore. I’ve found that I have people who are intelligent and informed, who respond to my news needs and fulfill my needs to be informed without compromise of feeding a fascist and corporate, corrupt (Halliburton,Exxon,NWO) agenda.

    I get nothing from the media… except c-span and laughing at Bill-O and for now… Feeling like the only honest MSM news man left in the world is Keith Olberman… Thank G*D for Keith Olberman!

  2. Jack Mosel

    Wanna see real journalism??? and Patriotism??? and eloquence?

    Not to mention Brass Balls…

    Let’s Roll…

  3. Jack Mosel

    Not coincedentally, MSNBC’s link doesn’t copy… You Tube’s does!!! My point precisely…

    Watch a real hero here…

  4. Jack Mosel

    If it weren’t so sad…

    It ain’t even funny..

    As if Rev. Wright’s affilliaton with Obama wasn’t damaging enough to his (Obama’s) campaign, the media is currently and conveiniently overlooking this train wreck, who McCain actually has publicly sought and covets the endorsement thereof of this truly criminal (Morally and patriotically) twisted faith witch doctor. If this doesn’t take off the gloves, flying in the face of the Rev. Wright debackle, I don’t know what will!

    credit: Mr. Robert Greenwald

    Let’s roll!

  5. You’re right, Jack, it is incredibly sad and not even funny – the mess our country is in; the warring Democratic candidates in this presidential race; the deplorable state of the fourth estate.

    The mainstream media has lost all credibility in America. Most of us get our news now from the Blogosphere, internet radio & YouTube, and the foreign press, where we can actually get unbiased reporting that isn’t sponsored by the Pentagon.

    As for Rev. Wright: maybe he is Obama’s “crazy Uncle,” (we’ve all got at least one of those, right?) — but you know, sometimes your old crazy Uncle speaks the truth.

  6. Allison

    ABC employs Glenn Beck and John Stossel, so that tells you all you need to know about ABC’s journalistic standards.

    Michael Papantonio does a great segment on called “The Mainstream Media is Dead.” He asserts that a citizen’s media is taking the place of the brain-dead corporate media.

    The above post reminds me of a hysterically godawful YouTube video called “The Secret Behind Larry and Laurie David’s Divorce” featuring the Young Turks. In the video, two women who sound like two gossipy high school girls talk about how RFK Jr. allegedly broke up the David’s marriage (in fact, the other man was a married Republican landscaper who worked for the Davids). One of the woman actually asks, “Is Robert Kennedy Jr. Ted Kennedy’s son?” Duh! They also think Bobby was somehow involved in Chappaquiddick! It’s pretty funny!

  7. Perhaps news reporters and editors should be required to pass some kind of basic litmus test: oh say, for example:

    if you can’t name every president of the past 50 years in the correct order, you’re not qualified for the job.

    Seems reasonable…you know, basic high school history test stuff. Just in case they dozed during that class, or haven’t completed high school yet.


  8. “if you can’t name every president of the past 50 years in the correct order, you’re not qualified for the job.”

    Ya know…that’s not so hard..nor is it too much to ask.

  9. Agreed. I’ll up the stakes here a little:

    “If you can’t name every president of the last 50 years in the correct order AND be able to give an ACCURATE one-paragraph basic bio of each, you’re not qualified for the job.”

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