Why Doesn’t Senator Ted Kennedy Believe in Free Speech?

Michael Cannon of the free market group Citizens for a Sound Economy reports in a July 24, 1997 NET-NewsTalk Television interview that Senator Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate office apparently doesn’t believe in freedom of speech for non-liberals.

In mid-July Senator Kennedy held a press conference to promote his view that the federal government should expand its programs providing health care to children, because, Kennedy says, ten million American children don’t have health insurance. Armed with a press release from Citizens for a Sound Economy citing a U.S. Census report showing the number of uninsured children is actually closer to 2.8 million, and that many of these children are already eligible for the federal Medicaid program, Cannon went to the press conference. Once there, he distributed copies of the release to reporters — a common Washington practice. An aide to Senator Kennedy came up, looked at the release, and immediately took the copies, and swiftly left the room. Cannon chased him, asking “Don’t you think this is a little childish?” The aide didn’t answer, and vanished with all the press releases.

It seems to us that Senator Kennedy shouldn’t feel threatened by the facts. If he’s right, and there are 10 million uninsured American children with no access to federal health care, it should be easy enough for a man with his staff resources to show it. If he’s not, he should withdraw his legislation, or re-write it to conform with the facts.

And in the meantime, the Senator should tell his staff not to confiscate materials which do not belong to them simply because they express views with which Senator Kennedy does not agree.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.