Nets Ignore 20th Anniversary of President Reagan’s 'Tear Down This Wall' Speech

Was it the most important speech of President Reagan’s life?

Who knows? But, on the 20th anniversary of the moment many historians believe signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War, none of the broadcast evening news programs bothered to even mention it.

Not one.

Instead of covering the anniversary of President Reagan’s demands in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany, for Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” (video and transcript of the speech available here), ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” reported:

  • American home foreclosure rates
  • The battle over the immigration bill
  • A possible water contamination at the Marine base at Camp Lejeune
  • Goings-on in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel
  • President Bush’s missing watch
  • The case of the $54 million missing pants
  • Correspondent Bob Woodruff’s return to the Middle East.

Clearly, they had no time to slip in a report on the 20th anniversary of Reagan’s speech. Neither did the “CBS Evening News,” although Katie had plenty of time for the following:

  • The battle over the immigration bill
  • A possible water contamination at the Marine base at Camp Lejeune
  • Goings-on in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel
  • Duke lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong’s problems
  • Good news on the budget deficit
  • The problem baby boomers will have retiring
  • A new diet pill
  • A gypsy moth caterpillar infestation in the mid-Atlantic region.

Obviously, no time for Reagan’s marvelous speech here. And, no time in Tuesday’s installment of the “NBC Nightly News” either given this hectic schedule:

  • The battle over the immigration bill
  • The problem baby boomers will have retiring
  • American home foreclosure rates
  • Duke lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong’s problems
  • A story about New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg
  • A new diet pill
  • Goings-on in the Middle East
  • Tony Blair’s comments about the media
  • President Bush’s missing watch
  • An experiment in education in Harlem, New York.

As you can see, it was much too busy a news day for the broadcast networks to spend even thirty seconds on one of the most important speeches by an American president in the past twenty years. 

Think this would have been so universally ignored if Presidents Clinton or Carter had made this amazing speech?

No, I  don't think so either. 

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.