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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.

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.


       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.


       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.


       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.


       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.


       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.


       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.


       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.


       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 ...

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: cbs; mediabias; reagan; reganminiseries; ronaldreagan; smear; thereagans
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To: Stultis

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:

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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To: Az Joe
...not that there's anything wrong with that...
51 posted on 10/22/2003 9:32:31 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: Howlin
Very nice point.
52 posted on 10/22/2003 9:50:05 PM PDT by des
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To: des
I don't agree with him most of the time, but if you watch his PASSION for the pure political sides of a story, you will know what I mean.

He knows a lie when he hears one and it insults his love of politics.

He doesn't like Bill OR Hillary Clinton for that exact reason.

He openly mocked Al Gore.

And he voted for George W. Bush.
53 posted on 10/22/2003 10:06:39 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Stultis
Reagan one who had a chance to resist Reds in this country and did effectivly. Why was it OK to fight communism overseas but not here in this USA?
54 posted on 10/22/2003 10:09:34 PM PDT by oyez
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To: Stultis
55 posted on 10/23/2003 2:07:49 AM PDT by foreverfree
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To: okie01
Every once in a while, even Matthews can't shut his eyes in the light of truth. Although, not often enough.
56 posted on 10/23/2003 2:51:12 AM PDT by Mustang (Evil Thrives When Good People Do Nothing!)
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To: Dave S
Someone with the screen name, "Bush-is-a-Nazi"? Kamakazi poster if I ever saw one.
57 posted on 10/23/2003 3:10:08 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (Libs counterattack while Rush is away)
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To: Ann Archy




The New Year got off to a bang at the White House where sex was on the menu
for some of the partygoers, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!

Celebrities from media and politics along with hundreds of other guests
danced the night away at the White House after attending the dramatic New
Year's Eve 2000 celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.

But while the first family and guests were boogieing in the New Year,
several of the revelers engaged in sex acts in a room off the Rose Garden,
according to a disillusioned Secret Service agent.

The agent revealed details of what he witnessed at the party on condition
that his identity be protected.

During what one White House aide called the "first-ever disco" at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue, the agent says he interrupted sex acts taking place in
a White House bathroom off the Rose Garden.

"I know it was New Year's Eve, and I know that everyone was celebrating and
drinking, but I was completely shocked," said the agent late Sunday. "Three
people were together having sex when I walked in on them."

The agent says he immediately recognized one of the participants before he
turned around and left the room.

"I was embarrassed and did not know what to do under the circumstances,"
the agent revealed. "I did not file a report on the incident, I'd probably
lose my job."

The agent, who has been stationed at the White House for 5 years, did give
the DRUDGE REPORT the name of the guest he recognized -- but the name is
being held from publication at this time for privacy concerns.

"I am very hurt to see this type of behavior going on in the White House
and to see invited guests carrying on this way," the agent said from

The White House New Year's Eve guest list featured a galaxy of stars:

Robert Barnett, Williams and Connolly senior partner, and Rita Braver, CBS
News; E. J. Dionne, The Washington Post; Bruce Lindsey, assistant to the
president and deputy counsel to the president, and Cheryl Mills; Terence
McAuliffe; Leslie Moonves, CBS Television president and CEO; Michael
Oreskes, New York Times Washington bureau chief, and Jill Abramson, New
York Times Washington editor; Bernard Schwartz, Loral Space and
Communications Ltd. chairman and CEO; Jack Nicholson; Will Smith; Elizabeth
Taylor and hundreds of others.

The Secret Service agent's shocking story of sex in the White House mirrors
charges made in the memoirs of retired FBI agent Gary Aldrich in 1996.

Aldrich claimed sex liaisons between Clinton aides occurred in offices and
in the showers of the White House gym.

One incident, Aldrich wrote, involved a White House carpenter who
complained his staff was unable to finish repairs in a room because two
officials were having sex inside.

White House spokesman Mark Fabiani dismissed the book, calling it "trash
for right-wing cash."

58 posted on 10/23/2003 3:41:37 AM PDT by visualops (I'm not sure what he was wearing, but he did have a tagline.)
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To: Stultis
I saw this show. Everybody (including Matthews) acquitted themselves well.
59 posted on 10/23/2003 5:30:49 AM PDT by sauropod (Fry Mumia!)
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To: sauropod
Gold star (rare) bump for a pro-American liberal (rare), Chris Matthews.
60 posted on 10/23/2003 6:00:09 AM PDT by nwrep
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