Skip to comments.The media's double-edged sword
Posted on 06/14/2004 8:47:54 PM PDT by txradioguy
I couldn't attend the Reagan ceremonies, so I did the next best thing: I watched the live TV coverage of the events honoring the life and death of former President Ronald Wilson Reagan.
I wanted a variety of coverage. But I dropped the hope of "variety" quickly as I realized that mainstream media couldn't resist petty partisanship and historical revisionism.
CNN went on about how Mr. Reagan really didn't have much to do with the fall of the Soviet Union. ABC's Peter Jennings reminded us that Simi Valley was home to the white police involved in the Rodney King scandal. NBC's Tom Brokaw spoke of minorities hurt by the Reagan administration.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews, repeatedly asked guests" "Wasn't it just luck?" that Reagan had any success. He repeatedly expressed surprise that a married couple could be so in love that the woman would devote herself to being a loving, supportive wife. He doesn't understand a man who would say of his wife, as Reagan said of Nancy, that he "gets lonely when she leaves the room."
Matthew's doesn't get it and, stupidly, showed it for all to see.
James Benze Jr., a political science professor at Washington & Jefferson College, quoted in the Dallas Morning News, said he'd most remember Nancy Reagan putting her head on her husband's coffin. Then he added, "I don't think she was a good enough actress to fake that. That was real emotion."
Even Fox wasn't free of it. Guest Ann Gearhart, from the Washington Post, said with a snide whine, that Nancy Reagan's wave from the door of the plane, was just "muscle memory ... turn, stand, wave, pose for the picture." As for Ronald Reagan, "he had a blind sense of faith in the future of the nation."
When Brit Hume commented on many e-mails about Bill and Hillary Clinton dozing through the eulogies, Morton Kondrake and Fred Barnes defended them saying many people concentrate with closed eyes.
Fox's Chris Wallace, in his first real test as an ad-lib chronicler of history and his inexperience was clear for all to see, repeatedly said that "I just can't get over" that people waited eight to 10 hours ... in traffic and shuttles ... to spend one to two minutes seeing the casket."
Chris, you don't get it either.
In fact, the media don't get it the "it" being Ronald Reagan and his connection with real Americans, the heart of this country.
I used to be a television anchor and reporter. When I see how news is done now, I'm grateful I'm in a slightly different line of media work. TV news isn't journalism it's politics worn like a badge of entitlement, a badge that should be white like a skunk's stripe.
I settled on watching Fox, my usual favorite. My personal thanks to Brit Hume for doing what media people traditionally simply cannot do: SHUT UP!
There's a difference between telling a story and letting the pictures do it. With the beauty, majesty and awe-inspiring symbolism of the Reagan mourning and funeral services, there was little to say. Fox allowed us to watch natural sound and pictures.
It was all there beautiful, sad and moving. The humanity of Nancy Reagan's suffering, the grief of the family, the reality of the loss to friends and co-workers, the sincerity expressed by world leaders who knew the man and knew his worth and what he has meant to the freedom of millions worldwide.
There was the simple beauty of the military the men and women, the uniforms, the discipline, the precision, the grace and courtesy the caisson, the horse and the clatter of the hooves, the former president's boots, the music, the sound of marching.
But there was something else. The people. Americans who remembered President Reagan and those who wanted to learn more about him. They came from their homes and offices, from nearby cities and towns and from their homes miles away. They walked, drove and flew to Simi Valley and to Washington, D.C.
They watched, smiled, cried and applauded. They honored Nancy Reagan. "We love you, Nancy!" None of that was part of the plan. No one expected so many to turn out, to wait 6, 8, 10 hours to spend two minutes looking at the flag-draped casket of the actor /businessman /politician /president /world leader /diplomat.
It was never anticipated so many would be there, to see, to be part of it. No one fully realized how many people considered Ronald Reagan to be "one of them" and now that he was gone, wanted to capture part of his passing for their memories and family histories.
He was not a remote, cold figure. He was a man of the people and the people responded. They elected him in landslides and they remembered and honored him in death.
That aspect of his funeral shocked the media. Ronald Reagan had been below media radar. For all intents and purposes, he'd been dead for years. He was out of politics, out of the news and, as far as the left was concerned, out of sight, out of mind.
Except, when they wanted a scapegoat for everything that gets them steamed about conservatives. Then, Reagan was fair game. The only thing that could have made them happier than his Alzheimer's was news of his death.
They got what they wanted on Saturday, June 5. On that day, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died at his home with his family at his side. He had endured the ravages of Alzheimer's disease for 10 years, declining to the point that he no longer recognized his family, children or his beloved Nancy.
His passing, though not unexpected, wasn't soon enough for the left. Not satisfied that the target of their venom was dead, they embarked on a two-faced vendetta of remarks and nastiness all through the days of mourning.
It came from intellectuals to media to columnists to your average leftist down the block. A Post Office clerk told me that one customer railed he'd never vote for Bush because the June 11 federal Day of Mourning meant the Post Office would be closed. Another snarled that "you government employees will do anything to get a day off!"
Ronald Reagan would have loved that, laughed and moved on.
He got it.
He knew what this country is about and what our survival means to world freedom. He always put us, the people and the United States first, because as he said, "As commander in chief, I have the obligation to protect this country."
Thank you Mr. Reagan.
They didn't get it then and they don't get it now.
>MSNBC's Chris Matthews, repeatedly asked guests" "Wasn't
>it just luck?" that Reagan had any success.
no, chrissy. "Luck" would be getting elected president on
the eve of the Technology Revolution. See Wm. J. Cinton
They have to believe that it's luck. People like Chrissy and Timmy and Doddering Dan can't fathom that Pres. Reagan was elected becasue people BELIEVED in his message and what he did for the country.
It's the same reason why they can't understnad why John F'n Kerry can't pull away from W in the polls despite the mudslinging going on at Kerry's behest.
Very nicely written. A beautiful job. It's evident that the writer has the feelings, the sense, and the humanity that these newspersons lack.
They also try to explain away the fall of the Evil Empire as something that was going to happen regardless of who was in office and that Reagan was just "in the right place at the right time".
Meanwhile the RATS take every opportunity to take Republican triumphs and hold them up as their own. And no one in the media disputes them.
SDI and the american military buildup drove the red machine
into the ground. they simply couln't keep up economically.
That's why they are so perplexed.
As the Potentates of Pessimism they are working overtime to change our minds.
Try as they may, it ain't gonna work.
Now that's the part they don't get.
He did? I guess Barbara Simpson and I have different tolerance levels for inanity. I couldn't take Brit Hume.
Thank God for C-Span. Utter and complete silence other than that which the camera mics picked up.
But compared to the other networks (minus C-Span) FNC was almost mute in their commentary.
But I understand what you're saying.
I have to give the worst grade on the coverage of the funeral and the proceedings to CBS radio however. Their announcers sounded like play-by-play announcers for a football game.
Yes. Barbara is an astute and, dare I say, mature woman of very sensible values. I listen to her weekend program in the San Francisco area, on KSFO am radio (KSFO.com), whenever I can and I can attest that she is one sharp lady to be sure. She routinely rakes the "intellectual left" over the coals.
"They also try to explain away the fall of the Evil Empire as something that was going to happen regardless of who was in office.."
Yup. They are partially right - the Soviet Empire would have eventually collasped of its own weight...AFTER swallowing Afganistan, Africa, the Middle East, South America, Europe.
Thank God Reagan saved us from that nightmare.
And the "intellectuals"? - bwahahahaha!
"Thank God for C-Span. Utter and complete silence other than that which the camera mics picked up."
Absolutly. C-Span coverage was excellent. Nothing worse than listening to the chattering numbskulls of the media boring and annoying me with there "insight". C-SPAN was perfect for something like this.