No Republican senator or living president deserves the kind of media attention Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) has received since the announcement of his death on Tuesday.
So stated Emily Rooney, a former executive producer for ABC's "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," and the current executive editor of WGBH's "Beat the Press."
For those unfamiliar, she is also the daughter of CBS's Andy Rooney.
Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, Rooney was asked by host Howard Kurtz what seemed to be a great question, namely, could a Republican senator have gotten this kind of coverage after his or her death (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Let me just jump in and ask Emily Rooney this question. Putting on your media critic hat, don't many journalists identify with Kennedy's causes? I mean, could a Republican senator have gotten anything approaching these kinds of tributes in the last five days?
EMILY ROONEY: Well I don't think there's anybody like Ted Kennedy. I don't know what Republican senator would have deserved it frankly. I was trying to think, any, even any living president I don't think at this point would get the kind of attention. Which one? If George Bush one or two died tomorrow, I'm not sure they would get the same kind of accolades.
Imagine that: no Republican senator's death would deserve such media attention, and neither would the passing of George H. W. Bush or George W. Bush.
Notice, of course, that she didn't mention Jimmy Carter of Bill Clinton.