Pat Buchanan

Does Ronald Reagan deserve this? Does Nancy, who has nursed her dying husband through a horribly difficult decade as he struggles in the final hours of his life, deserve what is being done to her?

On Nov. 16 and 18, CBS plans to air a four-hour miniseries, "The Reagans." It purports to be the drama of Reagan's rise to power and presidential years.

It is naked brutal hatched work, a smear of a good man by haters who fabricate and lie to paint Reagan as a religious bigot who thinks those dying of AIDS are getting what God intends for them, and says, numb and crumbling after the Marine barracks massacre in Beirut, "I am the Antichrist."

James Rutenberg of The New York Times describes the script as a "deconstruction" of the Reagan presidency "through a liberal lens."

Reagan's restoration of America's spirit and morale after the malaise of the Carter era goes unmentioned. The astonishing Reagan Recovery, seven straight years of economic growth that created 20 million new jobs, goes unmentioned.

CBS implies Reagan ratted out actors to the Hollywood blacklist. The script has him telling agent Lew Wasserman, "I never called anybody a Commie who wasn't a Commie." Pressed by Nancy to take greater interest in the AIDS crisis, the Reagan actor says, "They that live in sin shall die in sin," and cuts off the conversation. The script implies Reagan got the idea for a U.S. missile defense system from a 1940 movie.

There is no substantiation for any of this.

CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves says it was "very important for me to document everything and give a very fair point of view."

Yet when Rutenberg noted that Nancy did not, as the script said, write Al Haig's resignation letter, CBS cut the scene. Now under fire, Moonves says, "there are things (in the script) we don't like. ... There are things we think go too far. ... So there are some edits being made trying to present a more fair picture of the Reagans."

Moonves is admitting his writers fabricated like Jayson Blair. But when you catch Jayson Blair lying, you do not send him to rewrite. You fire him. What is the matter with Moonves?

What is the matter with Dan Rather and other correspondents whose names America associates with CBS? They did not approve this script, but the company for which they work, CBS, allowed these Hollywood haters to make up quotes to tarnish the legacy and destroy the name of this president in the minds of the young, for whom such docudramas are the only history they will ever know.

Do they approve of this? If not, why have they not said that any CBS show that purports to be history should be rooted in reality and truth, not fabrications and falsehoods?

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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