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Reagan Letter Called A Forgery (CBS News deeply saddened)
CBS News ^ | Feb. 11, 2006

Posted on 02/11/2006 1:12:56 PM PST by presidio9

A red-faced auction house was forced to withdraw a letter it believed was written and signed by the late President Ronald Reagan while he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease after it discovered it was a forgery.

The autographed letter was supposed to be auctioned off this month, but Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Autographs in Greenwich, Conn., told CBSNews.com the letter was withdrawn after the forger came forward and admitted his handiwork.

Originally it was believed Reagan wrote the note to a friend in February of 1998, about four years after he mostly disappeared from public view following his announcement that he had Alzheimer's Disease. In the letter he told a friend, "Individuals like you give me the courage and inspiration to move forward, and with your prayers and God's grace, we'll know we will be able to face this long latest challenge." He adds a P.S: "I didn't write this with Nancy's help."

But Panagopulos said the letter was actually a form letter that Reagan wrote in 1994 to thank those who expressed sympathy for his affliction. Reagan had hundreds copied onto his official letterhead.

Panagopulos said the forger, who he refused to identify, somehow got a hold of one and used a heavy felt-tip pen, which Reagan often used, to trace over it. The forger allegedly added mistakes, crossed out words and changed some of the text and the date.

Panagopulos said the letter fooled everyone who saw it. "We showed it to 3 or 4 prominent collectors, and they also missed it. This forgery has been fooling collectors and dealers since its creation in 1999, and it continued to do so until we withdrew it."

The forger allegedly called Panagopulos after seeing the letter on the cover of the auction house's catalog. He told Panagopulos that he created the forgery back in 1999 to increase the value of a box of other autographs he was auctioning off."

"It's called 'salting the lot,'" said Panagopulos. "He had a box of worthless autographs and he wanted to get more for it."

Panagopulos said more than 2,000 customers received a catalog that contained images of the letter and millions of others could have viewed it, but not one complaint or suspicion was raised.

"Since the letter was traced-over, the handwriting was a very close approximation of Reagan’s actual hand, with any discrepancy easily attributable to his advanced Alzheimer’s," said Panagopulos.

In a statement on his company's web site, Panagopulos said, "Despite careful examination and the obvious evidence pointing to the letter’s authenticity, we were wrong...Autograph authentication is not an exacting science, sometimes all the diligence in the world is not enough to unravel the forger’s handiwork."

The auction house thought the letter could fetch as much as $9,000.

The cold war crusader whose sunny optimism made a nation believe it was "morning in America" died June 5, 2004, at the age of 93.

Reagan battled the effects of Alzheimer's disease for a decade before passing away. He returned to the spotlight shortly before he died, as his health deteriorated and his wife, former first lady Nancy Reagan, began to publicly support stem-cell research as a way to find cures for Alzheimer's and other diseases.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cbsnews; fakebutaccurate; forgery; letters; notsidebarmaterial; ronaldreagan; wtfk

1 posted on 02/11/2006 1:12:57 PM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9

Mary Mapes trying to earn a little $?


2 posted on 02/11/2006 1:17:10 PM PST by Cyclopean Squid (History is a work in progress)
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To: Cyclopean Squid

No, if Mapes or any of the usual leftist suspects were involved in this forgery attempt, it would have been a smear to try and portray Reagan as a pedophile, or homosexual, or some other garbage because the one thing the left loves to do more than even breathe oxygen, is to try and trash the good name and memory of the 40th and Greatest President of these United States.


3 posted on 02/11/2006 1:21:52 PM PST by mkjessup (The Shah doesn't look so bad now, eh? But nooo, Jimmah said the Ayatollah was a 'godly' man.)
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To: presidio9
"(CBS News deeply saddened)"

Dan--It's a forgery but it's what he really meant.
4 posted on 02/11/2006 1:24:45 PM PST by jazusamo (A Progressive is only a Socialist in a transparent disguise.)
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To: jazusamo

fake, but accurate


5 posted on 02/11/2006 1:26:09 PM PST by Hoodat ( Silly Dems, AYBABTU.)
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To: presidio9
I must not be reading this correctly. Where is CBS news involved in the forgery?
6 posted on 02/11/2006 1:26:16 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: mkjessup

True, it is rather innocuous. If Mapes had done it it probably would have been written in a child-like scrawl saying "Gorby is good. I like him. He let me win the Cold War. I shouldn't have left the Democratic Party. CBS is my favorite network. The governor of Texas is a bad man."


7 posted on 02/11/2006 1:26:24 PM PST by Cyclopean Squid (History is a work in progress)
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To: presidio9

Paging Mary Mapes


8 posted on 02/11/2006 1:26:36 PM PST by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: jecIIny

CBS News report.


9 posted on 02/11/2006 1:26:53 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: jazusamo

Rather: Reagan dementia "fake but accurate."


10 posted on 02/11/2006 1:27:38 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9

"got a hold"?

This writer had to have grown up in the South.


11 posted on 02/11/2006 1:28:24 PM PST by Crawdad (So the guy says to the doctor, "It hurts when I do this.")
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To: presidio9
a letter it believed was written and signed by the late President Ronald Reagan... was a forgery.

That's hardly relevant. After all, it represents underlying true facts. The fact that the letter itself may not be genuine shouldn't impact the news value at all.

12 posted on 02/11/2006 1:28:38 PM PST by IMRight
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To: presidio9
I think they are just reporting on the this as news. I do not see anything connecting them with the forgery.
13 posted on 02/11/2006 1:28:51 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: presidio9

Paging Mary Mapes. Please report to the exposed liars conferance room.


14 posted on 02/11/2006 1:29:21 PM PST by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: Cyclopean Squid

No... it was somebody from Texas with the initials B. B.


15 posted on 02/11/2006 1:29:29 PM PST by johnny7 (“Iuventus stultorum magister”)
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To: jecIIny
You're new here, so perhaps you don't appreciate the hypocrisy of CBS News reporting on a forgery.
16 posted on 02/11/2006 1:31:00 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9

The credibility of CBS is on par with that of The National Enquirer.


17 posted on 02/11/2006 1:39:01 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (John Paul Stevens for retirement)
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To: presidio9
I have more than a few issues with CBS news. But I have read the article several times now. It seems to be a fair report on a news worthy item. I don't see any evidence of attempting to sensationalize the report or slander President Reagan. I think it looks more like some people on FR were maybe looking for an opportunity to take a shot at CBS news. Thats fine. They deserve their abysmal reputation for bias. But I think we need to be careful to confine our criticisms to those cases where the criticism is justified. I have every confidence that CBS will continue to provide us with such legitimate grounds for attack. No need to get hypersensitive about everything they write.
18 posted on 02/11/2006 1:39:31 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: jecIIny

Seems to me that you are the one being hypersensitive if you can't appreciate the irony of CBS News breaking a forgery story. The magnitude of their earlier crime is generally underappreciated if anything.


19 posted on 02/11/2006 1:42:47 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9

So did CBS hire him?


20 posted on 02/11/2006 1:44:30 PM PST by usmcobra (I'm a Marine on currently on inactive status awaiting an eternal change of duty station)
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To: jazusamo

Yes, the CONTENT was still accurate.


21 posted on 02/11/2006 1:47:04 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day ("Without God all things are permissible." -- Dostoevsky)
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To: jecIIny

Oh there is every reason to whack CBS at every opportunity, and that is because everyone knows (or ought to know) that when nobody was (or is) looking, See-BS is looking to pull a fast one, be it the memory of Ronald Reagan, our current President George W. Bush, conservatives in general, the GOP in particular, all the while painting leftists and liberals like themselves with nothing but adoring colors and words of praise, while lying through their teeth about being "unbiased" and "objective". That's pure 100 percent horse manure and everyone knows it.

CBS is like the juvenile delinquent who stumbles downstairs to breakfast one Sunday morning, eyes bleary, barely awake, and the father grabs him by the collar, drags him out the kitchen door, and starts kicking his ass up one side and down the other, the kid says "what did you do that for?" and the father says "for all that trouble you got into last night", the kid says "I didn't get in any trouble last night?" and the father says "what about the time before?", the kid says "how did you know about that?" and the father says "I didn't, but I suspected it, and that's why you got an ass-whuppin' this morning, just on *general principle*!"


22 posted on 02/11/2006 1:50:23 PM PST by mkjessup (The Shah doesn't look so bad now, eh? But nooo, Jimmah said the Ayatollah was a 'godly' man.)
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To: jecIIny
You're making too much sense. Stop that right now! ;o)
23 posted on 02/11/2006 1:51:01 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Who knew Islam's hot button was in the funny papers?)
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To: jecIIny

LOL Abysmal reputation for bias?


24 posted on 02/11/2006 1:51:30 PM PST by jazusamo (A Progressive is only a Socialist in a transparent disguise.)
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To: Choose Ye This Day

On which? :)


25 posted on 02/11/2006 1:54:36 PM PST by jazusamo (A Progressive is only a Socialist in a transparent disguise.)
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To: Liberty Valance
You're making too much sense.

No, he's being sanctimonius, and he signed up a month ago. Away with him.

26 posted on 02/11/2006 1:57:17 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9

Dan, Dan, Dan, when will you ever learn?


27 posted on 02/11/2006 1:58:45 PM PST by Trueblackman (Terrorism and Liberalism never sleep and neither do I)
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To: jecIIny

It's the irony of CBS reporting on a forgery when they themselves perpetuated a forgery. Kind of like hiring Slick Willie to teach classes on marital fidelity.


28 posted on 02/11/2006 2:03:23 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

cool Reagan shirts...

http://www.cafepress.com/teamcandidate/774143


29 posted on 02/11/2006 2:17:53 PM PST by TheMightyRighty
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