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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: Cicero
WELLLLLLLLL! There you go agAAAAAAAAAAAAAAinnnnnn!!!

Pray for President Reagan and the Truth

61 posted on 10/23/2003 6:27:55 AM PDT by bray ( Old Glory Stands for Freedom)
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To: Az Joe
It's blocked. Maybe too many "real Americans"
have commented about the lies, and the biased, leftist attempted to smear one the greatest Presidents of all times.
62 posted on 10/23/2003 7:41:26 AM PDT by zip
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To: okie01
Actually, Matthews is just being consistent. I heard him before the 2000 election talking about how the democrats always try to smear the intelligence of Republican candidates. They did it with Reagan and were trying to do it with Bush. In smite of missing a lot because of his liberal views, Matthews is a man with integrity. Wrong many times, but not totally blind. He has always decried this, to his credit.
63 posted on 10/23/2003 7:44:47 AM PDT by twigs
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Since the post was already pulled by the time I got here, at least I got the flavor or it from your post.

I'm not sure I agree with the zotting and pulling of posts like this. Are we so fragile here at FR that we can't wipe the floor with bozos like this? Is our only option to pretnd they don't exist?

I for one feel energized by people like BIAN. He reminds me not to be lazy, not to underestimate the hate and stupidity of the left and to be vigilante. I love to hone my debate skills on these intellectual midgets. Clearly this guy is so intellectually flawed his only comfort is to pull out one of the weakest, more tired tactics of name calling in his attempt to have discourse.

Just my two cents........
64 posted on 10/23/2003 8:54:40 AM PDT by hilaryrhymeswithrich (Al Franken is a pimple on the butt of liberalism)
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To: Billthedrill
That book, and the one filled with his love letters to Nancy, gave me a view of Reagan that was truly in black and white in truly his own words. Once you read those letters, I defy you to not find him to be charming, witty, funny, with a slightly twisted (in a good andclever way) sense of humor and a truly brilliant man. As much as I thought I loved him before those books, I truly adore him even more now. I miss him and wish I had appreciated him more at the time but I was young.
65 posted on 10/23/2003 8:59:50 AM PDT by hilaryrhymeswithrich (Al Franken is a pimple on the butt of liberalism)
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To: Dave S
So you're the one who bought that book! I used to like and watch little chrissie but, when the chips are down, fair and balanced he is not. It's too bad because I think he shows alot of promise but, he does what he thinks he has to do for the team he plays for.
66 posted on 10/23/2003 9:35:44 AM PDT by capydick (Where did all these Useful Idiots come from?)
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To: Cicero
Leslie Moonves is a lying scum.

...and I bet he's not mentioned in Al Franken's latest outhouse staple item.

67 posted on 10/23/2003 9:49:34 AM PDT by blake6900
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To: Stultis
Have any of the people who are criticizing this actually seen the movie or are they like all the people criticizing The Passion based on second-hand reports?
68 posted on 10/23/2003 10:37:51 AM PDT by Stone Mountain
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To: Dave S
Nice pick. The jerk only got 2 shots.
69 posted on 10/23/2003 10:52:50 AM PDT by AMNZ
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To: Stone Mountain
They are making comments based on scripts that were obtained by The New York Times and other media sources and by the fact that those who were actually around Reagan during these years were not approached for input or commentary.

While I gather from your remark you tryingto point out hypocricy, which is understandable, I am not sure they can be compared apple to apple. The Passion is the view of an historical event, long ago, by a relatively few people which may or may not be legitimate. The Reagan story is about someone in current times and its historical accuracy can be obtained by the actual players and thus not open to "interpretation".
70 posted on 10/23/2003 10:56:00 AM PDT by hilaryrhymeswithrich (Al Franken is a pimple on the butt of liberalism)
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To: Az Joe
I heard none of them were of the same sex.
71 posted on 10/23/2003 11:06:23 AM PDT by Freakazoid (Freaking zoids since 1998.)
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To: Stone Mountain
actually seen the movie

That would be kind of tough since it hasn't been aired yet, and is probably still being edited. As noted comments have been based on advance scripts that have been making the rounds. Critics are trying to preempt a proxy smear of conservatives as well as a liberal hatchet job on Reagan.

72 posted on 10/23/2003 11:15:27 AM PDT by Stultis
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To: okie01
I'm a little surprised at how perceptive Matthews was in deducing this.

He must have overheard someone talking in the john. Matthews is a loser.

73 posted on 10/23/2003 12:04:26 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Billthedrill
I assume that deleted comment #18 was from Bush_is_a_Nazi. I don't know what he/she said, but disruptors really need to get a life. If they think they can come here and shock anyone or ruin our day, they're as stupid as they think Bush is.
74 posted on 10/23/2003 12:57:02 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: capydick
Chris is one liberal who can be counted on to be fair once in a while. I'd rate him not far behind Alan Colmes as a liberal with some sense of integrity and fairness. I also kind of like the smiling, sexy-but-aging blonde liberal attorney/law professor who's often on Fox (her name temporarily escapes my aging brain). She was disgusted by the L.A. Times releasing all the stuff on Schwartzenegger.
75 posted on 10/23/2003 1:02:18 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Steve_Seattle
Yep, and 21 as well. You can get a flavor for what was said in Stultis's reply in 33. It was the usual mixture of distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies. Maybe it was the screenwriter'd be in character.
76 posted on 10/23/2003 1:07:23 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Dave S
And let's not forget he voted for Bush!!
77 posted on 10/23/2003 1:09:04 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: Steve_Seattle
Susan Estrich?

Getting old is a terrible thing:

I agree that she is more intellectually honest than most RATS.

78 posted on 10/23/2003 3:24:08 PM PDT by capydick (Where did all these Useful Idiots come from?)
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To: Naspino
It's a lot deeper than just a network. They are just a toy.

Communists never give up.

Who's got that great list of communist goals?
79 posted on 10/23/2003 4:52:18 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (Please become a monthly donor!!! Just $3 a month--you won't miss it, and will feel proud!)
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To: Stultis
Well, the hit on Reagan was predictable. Ever since Clinton
gave it to the country up the a _ _ and the libs backed him all the way, they have had an irrational need to lash out conservatives and conservative icons to distract attention from their own warts. All the liberal dorks are out doing this. James Brolin , Streisand's boy toy, just joins the pack with the other dorks - John Kerry, Dean, Gephardt, Gore. It's the dorkacalypse. When they get tired of Reagan they go back to hurling mud at the Pope or some other figure who opposes their slimy culture of death. They're like Vampires at sunrise.
80 posted on 10/23/2003 4:58:19 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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