Olbermann's NewsHole Blog Misrepresents Reagan's Thoughts On Giuliani

It's hard to write a blog aimed at being both red meat for Fox News haters and Reagan conservatives. That didn't stop Keith Olbermann's staff from trying yesterday in a blog that highlighted Giuliani's friendship with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Implying that Ronald Reagan would have something damning to say about Giuliani "from the grave," Keith Olbermann's "NewsHole" blog picked up an item run on HuffPo and American Spectator that cited one brief reference from the Gipper's diaries that called the then-federal prosecutor "crazy."Here's the text of the August 2 post:

The New York Times reports that Roger Ailes and Rudy Giuliani are old friends. So close, that "Mr. Giuliani, as mayor, officiated at Mr. Ailes’s wedding". Apaprently [sic] they bonded over Reagan 20 years ago and remained fast friends ever since. Even though we now know what Reagan really thought about America's Mayor.

The Reagan link takes readers to the Huffington Post, where we find this May 25 item, originally from the American Spectator's Web site:

It appears the Gipper has injected himself into the presidential race from the grave. I picked up a copy of the newly released Reagan Diaries and found the following in an entry from Tuesday, June 14, 1988 :Jim Kelly NSC came in to report Philippine legis. is giving us trouble on renewing our mil. bases there. And Giuliani (U.S. Attorney) is talking of drawing up an indictment against Marcos. I think he's crazy.

Of course, context accounts for a lot in reading comprehension, perhaps a foreign concept to Olbermann's bloggers. First of all, this diary entry was in June 1988, some 5 years before Giuliani would run for and win the New York mayor's race, and 13 years before he'd become widely respected as "America's Mayor" for his response to 9/11 and the aftermath thereof. At the time, Giuliani was a federal prosecutor in New York City. What's more, Reagan's complaint here is not about Giuliani's personal character or integrity, or even his leadership so much as it was venting frustration at the ill timing of the indictment: when the administration working hard to maintain crucial U.S. military bases on Philippine soil that had long been taken for granted under Marcos' dictatorship. Reagan had spent years working to roll back the Soviet empire and to rebuild American and international confidence in the United States after years of malaise and incompetence in the Ford and Carter administrations. To suffer a setback on Philippine bases would work against the administration's "peace through strength" approach. That seems to explain the "crazy" remark. Additionally, HuffPo only re-printed a blog entry found at The American Spectator's Web site. Here's Philip Klein's May 25 blog entry at AmSpec:

It appears the Gipper has injected himself into the presidential race from the grave. I picked up a copy of the newly released Reagan Diaries and found the following in an entry from Tuesday, June 14, 1988 :Jim Kelly NSC came in to report Philippine legis. is giving us trouble on renewing our mil. bases there. And Giuliani (U.S. Attorney) is talking of drawing up an indictment against Marcos. I think he's crazy.UPDATE: Jonathan Martin has documents of the cordial exchange between Reagan and Rudy when Giuliani resigned as associate attorney general to become U.S. Attorney.

Reading Olbermann's crew prattle on might be amusing tea party fare, just don't mistake their fanciful wonderland for reality when you've fallen down "The NewsHole."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters