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Matthews, Scholars Strongly Denounce Reagan Smear in CBS Miniseries (Hardball 10-21-03)
MSNBC - Hardball w/ Chris Matthews - Transcript ^ | 21 October 2003

Posted on 10/22/2003 6:43:27 PM PDT by Stultis

I'm under the impression that we are required to limit ourselves to "fair use" quotes from MSNBC. Rather than interspersing quotes, I start with my summary and comments and then append some excerpts from the Hardball transcript at the end.

Guests:
Ed Rollins, former Reagan campaign manager
Lou Cannon, author Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power
Martin Anderson, author Reagan: A Life in Letters

Matthews started out confirming that not one of these Reagan experts had been consulted or contacted by the creators of the miniseries. Most of the discussion concerned the quote regarding homosexuals put into the mouth of CBS's Reagan character when the actress playing Nancy Reagan urges the President to addresss the issue of AIDS: "They that live in sin shall die in sin." Also touched on was the equally dubuious exchange with Lou Wasserman where Wasserman says to Reagan, "People know you’re an informer for the black list," and Reagan replies, "I’ve never called anybody a Commie who wasn’t a Commie".

In brief, all of Matthews' guests strong expressed the view that the AIDS quote was entirely oppossed to everything they knew of Reagans personality, demeanor, and his specific views and attitudes towards the subject of homosexuality. Regarding the other quotes is was clarified that, although Reagan did testify regarding communism in Hollywood, where he had been involved in resisting the efforts of communists to take over various unions in the entertainment industry, he never named names publicly.

EXCERPTS, "die in sin" psuedo-quote:

       ANDERSON: Well, Chris, look at this. Like all good pieces of propaganda, most of what they’re saying is correct. It’s what they leave out, like the economic recovery.
       It’s the little poison pills they put in, like the one you just quoted. Now that’s a false fact. Even the lady who wrote it-what’s her name, Eglaus (ph) — admits it was false. And yet the chairman of CBS says we want this to be fair. I suggest he go take a look at the movie he’s about to put out. And they still have time to pull out all the poison pills.

[snippage]

       ROLLINS: [...] He, like everybody else in the White House, were very concerned about AIDS. It was in its infancy and very few people knew a whole lot about it. We did whatever we could to find it early on. And there’s this great myth that he didn’t care about it. He cared very deeply about it, and many of his friends in the art world and the Hollywood world were the first victims of it.

[snippage]

       CANNON: Well, Chris, I fault Reagan for being a little slow on the AIDS epidemic.
       But contrary to any homophobia, Ronald Reagan in 1978, before he was president, there was an initiative on the California ballot that would have discriminated against homosexual teachers and it was-it probably wasn’t constitutional. There were people then who-I think Ed probably remembers-who advised Ronald Reagan not to take any part in this campaign.
       He opposed the initiative. I mean, he actually very courageously, I thought, and a lot of people on both sides of the initiative, credit Reagan for defeating that initiative. So I think it’s really unfair to slam him as anti- gay. He just wasn’t.
       [...] Well, he came from a Hollywood milieu. And so he was used to people who were gay. [...] And he just simply didn’t have the prejudices of many of the people around him.

[snippage]

       ANDERSON: What Lou says is absolutely correct. I remember once in early 1980 on the campaign plain with issue about what do we do about gay groups that want to see him and demanding things. And he sat us down and he said, “Now, look. First of all,” he said, “I know a lot of gays. I was in Hollywood.” And then he reminded us, “You know how many of them there are?” And then he said, “Look, leave them alone.” And that was his policy.

EXCERPTS, "Commies" psuedo-quote:

       MATTHEWS: [...] Ronald Reagan, quote, “I’ve never called anybody a Commie who wasn’t a Commie.”
       Right of all, they argot here. The lingo. Ed, are you familiar with Ronald Reagan talking like that, in this cartoon-like the old Korean War comic books, “Commies”?
       ROLLINS: No. I think-the three of us who have had lots of time around Ronald Reagan know a very gentle man who basically was really a nice person. He was what he appeared to be. He was-he had a great sense of humor, but he would never be disparaging. And was he anti-communist? Yes, he was. Certainly, he had a very strong core. But I just don’t imagine any of that to be true.

[snippage]

       MATTHEWS: [...] during the investigations, the legitimate investigations back in the early ’50s and late ’40s, when he was in SAG as president. Did he ever-Is there any record that he ever testified against anybody or turned in anybody?
       CANNON: No. He was an informant for the FBI. But when he testified, and I reprint some of the testimony in my most recent book. When he testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the counsel, a man named Stripling, was very unhappy with Ronald Reagan because he didn’t name names.
       MATTHEWS: Robert Stripling, he was the chief counsel. He was the guy that got the pumpkin papers, and he’s the guy that helped Nixon nail Alger Hiss, yes.
       ROLLINS: As a matter of fact, if you look back...
       CANNON: Anyway, if you look at the liberal publications of the day, they praised Ronald Reagan’s testimony. So for them to rewrite it this way is really wrong.

[snippage]

       MATTHEWS: I just want to repeat something somebody said earlier, which I thought was brilliant, which is what they do in Hollywood is they soften up their subject like Ronald Reagan. They show some nice pictures. They say some nice things about them that they can’t deny saying nice about them. They do it to soften them up, and they’ll put the dagger in.
       And this is what they did in the movie “Nixon.” They softened him up in a sentimental way and then stuck the knife right in: he’s a drunk; he’s a bum; he’s a bad guy, a crook. That’s what they always do out there.
       There is a prejudice that they don’t know out there in Hollywood. And I think in this kind of case it’s too bad you can’t sue the bastards. Because what is happening here is clearly, these are late hits.

EXCERPTS, "Political Buzz" segment later in the show:

       MATTHEWS: [...] Anyway, coming up, is a new Ronald Reagan television miniseries revising history? I think so. I think it’s trash.

[snippage]

       MATTHEWS: He fought the communists in the labor unions back in the ’40s. He was head of the Screen Actors Guild. He’s been through all that fighting. He was a bit more sophisticated...
       FINEMAN: He was more sophisticated and more knowledgeable, as his letters proved. A lot more thoughtful guy than most people gave him credit for.
       MATTHEWS: But the fact that he was an Elia Kazan guy, that did what he did. And he never did it. There’s no evidence he ever testified against any other member of the film community. This is just totally fabricated, as far as I can tell, James.

[snippage]

       MATTHEWS: I know the Hollywood game. It’s played brilliantly by Oliver stone, who’s totally incredible.
       What they do is they soften up their target, and it’s always a Republican target. Nixon in the movie “Nixon,” here, Ronald Reagan, a man they despise. They soften it up with sentimentalities and they say nice, obviously things about him, and then they put the dagger in. He was the guy who ratted on people during the Cold War.
       Or here’s another one. In another scene Reagan is confronted by his wife, Nancy, about dealing with the disease AIDS, to which Reagan replies, “They that live in sin shall die in sin.” What is he, Jeremiah? People don’t talk like that. And there’s no evidence that he was ever intolerant, ever in his career, towards gay people.

[snippage]

       MATTHEWS: OK. Let me tell you something, when they go out there, they use people like Lou Wasserman, who passed away, because he’s beyond litigation. They use people who can’t sue them, that’s why those names are chosen.
       This is about money. It’s about screwing people without facing any legal risk.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.com ...


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: cbs; mediabias; reagan; reganminiseries; ronaldreagan; smear; thereagans
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1 posted on 10/22/2003 6:43:28 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: zip; BOBWADE
ping
2 posted on 10/22/2003 6:50:18 PM PDT by Mrs Zip
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To: Stultis
Thanks for the post.
3 posted on 10/22/2003 6:53:55 PM PDT by TXBubba (Conservative Soccer Mom and proud of it!)
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To: Stultis
Leslie Moonves is a lying scum.
4 posted on 10/22/2003 6:55:17 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Stultis
When Matthews goes after CBS, they have gone way way left.
5 posted on 10/22/2003 7:00:29 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: Stultis
Anybody have CBS's e-mail address; I'd like to send them a message.
6 posted on 10/22/2003 7:02:42 PM PDT by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Stultis
MEGA BUMP!!
7 posted on 10/22/2003 7:03:20 PM PDT by conservativecorner
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To: Peach
Thanks for the link from the other thread Peach.

Barbara Bush being shown on Scarborough show now.
8 posted on 10/22/2003 7:04:42 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (We will not deny, ignore or pass our problems along to other Presidents. ---GWBush)
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To: Stultis
These are simple, petty people who are doing this. They probably couldn't name two implemented policies of Reagan's they could cogently argue against. They're making their little hit here for no other reason than that Reagan is a beloved Republican hero. The good news is that this smear job is perfectly naked, as apparently even people like Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman can clearly see it for what it is.
9 posted on 10/22/2003 7:05:16 PM PDT by BearArms
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To: prairiebreeze
Thanks, prairiebreeze. Sure wish I got MSNBC but alas...

FNC talking about the ricin found in an envelope in SC. About 2 hours north of me.
10 posted on 10/22/2003 7:06:56 PM PDT by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Stultis
I think conservatives need to make it loud and clear that we will boycott (and encourage others to boycott) the sponsors of this television program.
Dammit, this is where we need to swing a big hammer !
11 posted on 10/22/2003 7:07:21 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Stultis
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me tell you something, when they go out there, they use people like Lou Wasserman, who passed away, because he’s beyond litigation. They use people who can’t sue them, that’s why those names are chosen.

This is about money. It’s about screwing people without facing any legal risk.

I'm a little surprised at how perceptive Matthews was in deducing this.

And, of course, he's right...

12 posted on 10/22/2003 7:07:41 PM PDT by okie01 (www.ArmorforCongress.com...because Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
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To: Stultis
Also touched on was the equally dubuious exchange with Lou Wasserman where Wasserman says to Reagan, "People know you?re an informer for the black list," and Reagan replies, "I?ve never called anybody a Commie who wasn?t a Commie".

And to think, that is supposed to be a slam of Reagan.

13 posted on 10/22/2003 7:08:35 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Stultis
It's pathetic how they can fictionalize "history" a la "JFK" and confidently expect to deceive the youth of America. There oughta be a law.
14 posted on 10/22/2003 7:08:37 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The everyday blessings of God are great--they just don't make "good copy.")
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To: okie01
I'm a little surprised at how perceptive Matthews was in deducing this.

I saw this segment last night; I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen Chris Matthews as made as he was last night. He was furious!!!

15 posted on 10/22/2003 7:11:55 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
bump
16 posted on 10/22/2003 7:12:02 PM PDT by UB355
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To: Stultis

#$#!&*($# all.

17 posted on 10/22/2003 7:12:39 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: sistergoldenhair
ping
19 posted on 10/22/2003 7:17:52 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: bush_is_a_nazi
credibility questions all around with him

You are the one with no credibility Mr Joined 10/23/2003.

20 posted on 10/22/2003 7:20:18 PM PDT by Dave S
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Howlin
Hard to grasp Chrissie Matthews inflamed at the media defamation of a great conservative, like Ronaldus Magnus.

Guess I'll have to give him a gold star for the day.

22 posted on 10/22/2003 7:21:42 PM PDT by okie01 (www.ArmorforCongress.com...because Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
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To: Stultis
Here's the FR posting of the story that broke the news about the leaked script. A surprisingly critical expose from the NY Slimes:

Grumbling Trickles Down From Reagan Biopic (by JIM RUTENBERG, NYTIMES, 10/20/03)

23 posted on 10/22/2003 7:22:11 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: Stultis
Im not surprised by Matthews reaction. Chris liked Reagan and appreciated him for what he did for the country in ending the Cold War. Matthews despite harping a lot about the war in Iraq has written a lot of good things about President Bush. He devotes a whole chapter to him in one of his books.
24 posted on 10/22/2003 7:23:03 PM PDT by Dave S
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To: okie01
The thing you have to remember about Matthews is that he is "one of them." He considers himself a participant in a lot of history, i.e., Tip O'Neil, et al.. He likes the stories STRAIGHT.
25 posted on 10/22/2003 7:25:17 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: bush_is_a_nazi
Just curious. Does it hurt to be stupid and hateful?
26 posted on 10/22/2003 7:27:29 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: bush_is_a_nazi
One o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock ZOT!!!
27 posted on 10/22/2003 7:28:08 PM PDT by kennedyd
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To: Rodney King
And to think, that is supposed to be a slam of Reagan.

Matthews LAUGHED OUT LOUD at that line; he said it sounded like something out of an Edward G. Robinson movie, something like Hollywood writers *think* people say.

28 posted on 10/22/2003 7:28:27 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: bush_is_a_nazi
With an original screen name like yours, you'll go far here...
29 posted on 10/22/2003 7:29:59 PM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: bush_is_a_nazi
If you want tobe taken seriously in this forum, please use proper punctuation and grammar.

"interesting that they are airing this miniseries on the 20th anniversary of raygun's disastrous foreign policy gaff in beirut. you all remember, the one that resulted in 241 dead Marines and sailors. i wonder if they included that in the miniseries as well?
i really enjoyed in the transcript where anderson whines about how they never addressed the raygun recovery. i guess that would be where he put the us $3,000,000,000,000, that's 3 trillion dollars in the hole."
30 posted on 10/22/2003 7:33:24 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Vietnam was, in truth, a noble cause." - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: Stultis
Look again at what RR says about gays.

RR was nothing if not a realistic evaluator of fact. He did not seem to regard homosexulity as a threat. Maybe, based on his Hollywood experience, he regarded it as natural, in the sense that most did not choose it.

The one thing which distinguishes RR, is the soundness of his judgments.

31 posted on 10/22/2003 7:39:48 PM PDT by Urbane_Guerilla
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To: Peach
About 2 hours north of me.

Shivers!!

I've only read a little bit about this. Hopefully it will get more air time coverage tomorrow.

Prairie

32 posted on 10/22/2003 7:43:12 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (We will not deny, ignore or pass our problems along to other Presidents. ---GWBush)
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To: bush_is_a_nazi
interesting that they are airing this miniseries on the 20th anniversary of raygun's disastrous foreign policy gaff in beirut. you all remember, the one that resulted in 241 dead Marines and sailors.

So I take it you are pleased with the Bush policy of standing up to the terrorists, fighting them on multiple fronts, and not cutting and running in Afghanistan and Iraq?

BTW, although Reagan was focused primarily on defeating the Soviet Union (which was fomenting international terrorism from the 70's right through it's demise) he kept forces in Beruit for something like 6 months following the bombing, IIRC, specifically to avoid an appearance of weakness. Contrast to Clinton's post-haste retreat from Somalia where the casualities were much lighter, after a battle that the Rangers and Delta force actually won. (They carried out the raid they had been tasked, and returned with subjects they had captured in spite of everything.)

i really enjoyed in the transcript where anderson whines about how they never addressed the raygun recovery.

Yep. Starting with the double-digit inflation/interest rates/unemployment of the Carter era, Reagan's policies inititate the longest period of economic growth in American history. With brief and shallow recessions in '92 and '01, it's lasted Twenty Years!

i guess that would be where he put the us $3,000,000,000,000, that's 3 trillion dollars in the hole.

Which turned out to be a small fraction of the explosive GDP that Reagan's policies created, and a pittance compared to the value of winning the cold war. The growth in revenue under Reagan would have actually paid for defeating the Soviet Union in full if the congress had managed to limit domestic spending to to the inflation rate (which of course plummeted under Reagan).

Thank you for helping to remind us of this great President's accomplishments!

33 posted on 10/22/2003 7:43:49 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: Stultis

Don't worry, buddy, we've got your back.

34 posted on 10/22/2003 7:44:35 PM PDT by krb (the statement on the other side of this tagline is false)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
I think conservatives need to make it loud and clear that we will boycott (and encourage others to boycott) the sponsors of this television program.

Boycott the Network, like we did with CNN. Sponsors don't care if you agree with them, they only want to know you are watching their advertising. The best result is when they spend their advertising dollars on a network, NO ONE IS WATCHING.

35 posted on 10/22/2003 7:46:15 PM PDT by NJJ
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Correction : "to be"
36 posted on 10/22/2003 7:46:21 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Vietnam was, in truth, a noble cause." - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: krb
I could see Reagan shrugging off this latest insult with a dismissive:
"Well, there they go again."
37 posted on 10/22/2003 7:49:37 PM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: Stultis; hellinahandcart
My respondee was there a minute ago, but only the faint scent of ozone remains.
38 posted on 10/22/2003 7:49:37 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: Admin Moderator

39 posted on 10/22/2003 7:54:13 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: Peach
PASS THIS AROUND TOO.

Leslie Moonves CEO,
CBS-TV 7800 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Fax: 323-653-8276

You can leave a comment for CBS-TV online at:
http://www.cbs.com/Common/customerservice/feedback/fb_pt_form.shtml

Please mark these messages “attention Leslie Moonves, CEO, CBS-TV”
40 posted on 10/22/2003 7:56:08 PM PDT by Az Joe
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To: Stultis
PASS THIS AROUND TOO.

Leslie Moonves CEO,
CBS-TV 7800 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Fax: 323-653-8276

You can leave a comment for CBS-TV online at:
http://www.cbs.com/Common/customerservice/feedback/fb_pt_form.shtml

Please mark these messages “attention Leslie Moonves, CEO, CBS-TV”
41 posted on 10/22/2003 7:56:25 PM PDT by Az Joe
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To: Stultis
He got zotted I think..


42 posted on 10/22/2003 7:58:15 PM PDT by WVNan
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To: Stultis
He was what he appeared to be.

It took me a very long time, probably because of his Hollywood antecedents, to accept this as fact. For an excuse I can only point to the rampant superficiality that is a signal characteristic of so many of the Hollywood set, examples of which abound, and we need look no further than the wretches involved in this miserable production to find them.

But he really was what you saw, and what convinced me was reading some of his letters in Reagan: A Life In Letters and Reagan In His Own Hand, two compendia that no hack in a CBS office had to ghost-write for him (listening, Hillary?). Highly recommended. Actors and politicians are not noted for being particularly genuine people. Reagan was the exception.

43 posted on 10/22/2003 7:58:21 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Stultis
His comments were gone by the time I posted my reply.

Thanks for this article, btw. Nice job, considering the restrictions we're under. It doesn't feel excerpted.
44 posted on 10/22/2003 8:01:07 PM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: hellinahandcart
The dirty slimesuckers at CBS have to be realizing that they blew it bigtime, when the liberal Chris Matthews is trashing them.
45 posted on 10/22/2003 8:10:28 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Az Joe
Why don't these networks understand that their well being depends on their trustworthiness with the public. The majority of television viewes DISTRUST ABC and NBC after they decided to kill off the family hour and go ultra-left. They are scratching their heads at why viewership is dropping. I like several of the CBS shows but if they attempt to teach a new generation hatred for Reagan because of something a writer *thinks* Reagan might have *thought* but never actually said then they better prepare for a backlash across all of their shows. Stirring up controversy isn't going to get us to watch it -- if anything we'll avoid watching a movie about a President we loved.
46 posted on 10/22/2003 8:15:26 PM PDT by Naspino
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To: Stultis
nice work. anybody doubtr why the networks are not trusted to tell the truth? poll after poll shows this and only the fact that the corporate people will not stop them proves that news is cheap and a lost leader.
47 posted on 10/22/2003 8:40:08 PM PDT by q_an_a
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To: Stultis
This hit piece will only place more people into the Reagan/Bush Camp that were on the fence. The Left is skwirming under the lamp of talk radio and Fox news and is grasping at straws.
48 posted on 10/22/2003 8:50:14 PM PDT by liberty or death
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To: Az Joe
Leslie Moonves supposedly had a three-way sex-capade in a White House bathroom during the What-else Clinton years!! Someone walked in on them..... What an upstanding citizen!!!
49 posted on 10/22/2003 9:06:42 PM PDT by Ann Archy
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To: Ann Archy
Was everyone of the same sex?
50 posted on 10/22/2003 9:12:56 PM PDT by Az Joe
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