The first Kennedy brother died before the advent of television, while the assassination of the second virtually launched modern television news. The death of the third was another defining television moment in a year–1968– filled with so many other convulsive TV moments.
And finally, Wednesday arrived: The death of the fourth. By contrast, this was almost another day at the office for the TV news trade. Coverage was evenly paced, solemn, and deeply respectful–almost the exact opposite of the bubbleheaded hyperventilation in the hours and days following Michael Jackson’s death.
TV was absolutely ready for this one, and morning TV–which understandably dominated Wednesday – got the equivalent of a 10-length lead when the family announced the death at 1:30 a.m. More…