The 'Assassination' of Ronald Reagan
November 3 2003
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?© 2003 Creators
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
It is naked, brutal hatchet 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
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
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?
What CBS is doing is truly Orwellian, exactly what the Ministry of Truth
was designed to do in Orwell's "1984" – rewrite history to deceive and
propagandize those who had no other source of truth.
One of the differences between Americans and our communist and Nazis
enemies was said to be that we stood for truth, and that they denied and
twisted truth, and lied deliberately, for their own ideological ends. Is
this not exactly what Hollywood and CBS are doing with "The Reagans"?
"It's horrendous, it's absolutely horrendous," says Michael Reagan. The
president's son saw eight minutes of excerpts. "They paint my father as
a buffoon." They imply that President Reagan had Alzheimer's in the
White House. They have him using God's name in vain. They portray Nancy
as an abuser of pills who, in disciplining her 5-year-old daughter,
calls to mind Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest."
Who did the hatchet job? Its producers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, are
leftists. Judy Davis, who plays Nancy, sees this show as an antidote to
"the ugly specter of patriotism" that swept America after 9-11. James
Brolin, who plays Reagan, is the husband of Barbra Streisand, who was
seen hanging around the set for weeks.
What Hollywood is about in "The Reagans" is the trashing of his legacy,
the demonizing of the man and the destruction of his good name and image
in the minds of the young by using lies.
For they could not do it with the truth.
If this is not the politics of hate and the politics of personal
destruction, what is?
For its role in this cruel attack on a man they could not defeat, but
who cannot now fight back, CBS is guilty of the premeditated
assassination of the character of Ronald Reagan. A thoroughly rotten
piece of business.
for printable version.
Click here to mail this article to a friend.
Click here for
Daily Column Archives