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Kennedy Has “Personal Tone”

Over a full day since the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy, we now have the opportunity to look back at some of the coverage surrounding it. Yesterday, we saw countless commentators and anchors recall memories of Sen. Kennedy in the daytime. We saw hour-long specials produced in the evening. WaPo’s Howard Kurtz notes that much of the coverage has a “personal tone” lent to it by the reporters who brought us that coverage:

There was an unmistakably personal tone to the tributes, the anchors and correspondents sounding as though they, and the country, had lost a friend. Diane Sawyer talked about Kennedy’s megawatt smile. Andrea Mitchell called him “the greatest senator of our generation.” Brian Williams, who had flown during the night to Hyannis Port, observed: “I hope his Irishness . . . isn’t lost in all this.” Geraldo Rivera called him a “mentor.”

Washington can be the smallest of towns, and many in the media recounted touching encounters with the late senator. Chris Matthews, a Type 2 diabetic, spoke of Kennedy calling him with advice after the “Hardball” host had an attack of hypoglycemia. Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist, recalled on CNN that when his father had received a cancer diagnosis, Kennedy called and “gave me the name of one of the world’s foremost experts in cancer treatment. He said, ‘He’s expecting your call. I just talked to him.’ And he helped pave the way to get my father the treatment that, frankly, saved his life.”

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