CBS Producer: Media Were Wrong About Reagan
Blogging at the "Couric & Co." blog, CBS producer Ward Sloane admitted that many journalists who covered the Gipper were wrong about the 40th President's political and policy acumen. Noting a new book that reveals entries from Reagan's journal, Sloane made it sound like the media were only echoing a large swath of the American electorate:
The fact is that many Americans and -- not surprisingly to some of you reading this blog -- many members of the mainstream press believed that Ronald Reagan was aloof and disconnected from the events that marked his presidency. Historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited the diaries at the invitation of Nancy Reagan, says they show Reagan to be exactly the opposite.
Sloane's blog entry is generally positive about the 40th President, but he shortchanges Reagan's legacy a by suggesting Reagan believed God carried him through the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt in order to push nuclear arms control. In fact, arms control, including the START nuclear arms reduction treaties, were but tactics in the grander strategy of rolling back the Soviet Union's sphere of influence, which had grown during the detente policies of the 1970s.
One more thing, there's an amusing typo in the blog entry which I trust CBS News will shortly correct. It lists the date of Reagan's inauguration as March 20, 1981, two whole months after he actually took office. You can see that in a screen capture below: