Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, understands how comforting it is to get cards or hear words of condolences from extended family members, friends, coworkers, etc. And when that person is a public figure like former President Reagan, you understand why even former enemies come forward and sing the persons praise. But come on, the media lovefest must end. Sure we should honor President Reagan, but we must also be true to his memory. That means remembering the good as well as the bad. Since most of the media is tripping over themselves to highlight all the good, thought I would point folks to a Washington Post article that reflects on the coverage so far. Below is an excerpt that particularly caught my eye.
Nation writer David Corn, meanwhile, recycles a piece titled “66 Things to Think About When Flying Into Reagan National Airport”:
“The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, recallable nuclear missiles, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, colluding with Guatemalan thugs, pardons for F.B.I. lawbreakers, voodoo economics, budget deficits, toasts to Ferdinand Marcos, public housing cutbacks, redbaiting the nuclear freeze movement, James Watt.
“Getting cozy with Argentine fascist generals, tax credits for segregated schools, disinformation campaigns, ‘homeless by choice,’ Manuel Noriega, falling wages, the HUD scandal, air raids on Libya, ‘constructive engagement’ with apartheid South Africa, United States Information Agency blacklists of liberal speakers, attacks on OSHA and workplace safety, the invasion of Grenada, assassination manuals, Nancy’s astrologer.
“Drug tests, lie detector tests, Fawn Hall, female appointees (8 percent), mining harbors, the S&L scandal, 239 dead U.S. troops in Beirut, Al Haig ‘in control,’ silence on AIDS, food-stamp reductions, Debategate, White House shredding, Jonas Savimbi, tax cuts for the rich, ‘mistakes were made.’ ”
The list goes on.
Hmmm! Maybe I’m being too hard on the media. Afterall, when my mother died, I didn’t want to hear anything negative from anyone. Now 10 years later, I’m better able to appreciate and acknowledge not just the good but also the not so good. So maybe in time, once people move beyond their initial grief, they’ll start to be more real in their evaluation of President Reagan’s legacy.
June 9, 2004 at 9:21 pm
Would 8 years of Carter have been better? Look at the state of the nation in general before and after him.
June 9, 2004 at 8:54 pm
Wow, I said the exact same thing on my blog today. Only not as eloquently.
June 9, 2004 at 3:41 pm
Ditto Shasta. 🙂
June 9, 2004 at 10:17 am
Ditto Heather, but with a touch more venom.
June 9, 2004 at 10:03 am
I can appreciate that Ronald Reagan is seen by many as one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had. I’m sure he did a lot of good things for many people and set his own standards for the US even after his presidency.
I can also appreciate that being middle class union labor in the 80’s was nota good thing to be and my family struggled to put food on the table. Reagan and his administration were one of the largest reasons the families in my neighborhood lost jobs, had lower wages, and worked 80 hours a week every week all of my childhood.
We should always respect the dead, but to paint him with a broad brush of sunshine is a bitter pill for some.