Is it not amazing that it's taken the news media exactly 100 years to discover that Ronald Reagan was a role model? While he lived and even after he died, they shot every arrow and dropped every bomb they could on this man and his reputation. Now that it's his 100th birthday and America is celebrating, they find him useful. They're trying to rub Reagan's magic all over a floundering Obama.
After Obama's latest State of the Union speech -- a dreary, boring spectacle for a normally riveting speaker -- all three networks praised Obama as "Reaganesque," as if he were one of the sunniest American exceptionalists. Time's latest cover reads "Why Obama (Hearts) Reagan," and the cover story inside is titled "The Role Model," oozing that Obama "realized long ago that Ronald Reagan was a transformational president."
This is all a grand deception.
The multitude of Americans who were very young or yet unborn in the Reagan years might be misled from one enormous reality: In his prime, the same media that now honor Reagan deeply despised him. He was stupid, he was uncaring, he was evil, he was senile and he was going to ruin America, if not destroy the world in a nuclear war.
The Media Research Center has assembled a Special Report to recount some of the most pernicious and false attacks on Reagan. Let's consider just a few examples, among hundreds.
Take the class war. The "news" people were always waging it. ABC's Richard Threlkeld went to a Miami riot scene in 1989 and announced: "There is an Overtown in every big city in America. Pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years."
NBC's Bryant Gumbel proclaimed in 1989: "Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan Administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II."
NBC reporter Keith Morrison took the cake in 1992: "Did we wear blinders? Did we think the '80s just left behind the homeless? The fact is that almost nine in ten Americans actually saw their lifestyle decline." Morrison completely ignored reality: (Census Bureau data shows median family income increased in all income classes from 1981 to 1989.)
The meanest attack was that Reagan's lack of caring led to a pile of AIDS deaths. NBC's Maria Shriver asked activist Elizabeth Glaser at the 1992 Democratic convention: "You place the responsibility for the death of your daughter squarely on the feet of the Reagan administration. Do you believe they're responsible for that?"