Thursday (June 5) marks the 10th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s passing and a look through the MRC’s archives shows that during his presidency many in the liberal media couldn’t withhold their contempt of the conservative icon.
From depicting Reagan as a puppet of the rich whose economic policies were cruel towards the poor and minorities, to denying his foreign policy vision helped lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union, the media did their best to trash the 40th President. The following is a look at the many ways the liberal media attempted to distort Reagan’s record. (videos after the jump)
Since September 2, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala next week.
Click here for blog posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2003. Today, the worst bias of 2004: CBS’s Morley Safer eulogized Ronald Reagan by saying “I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him;” the New York Times asks George W. Bush if he feels “personal responsibility” for 9/11; and Dan Rather finds “exclusive” documents regarding Bush and his Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Morley Safer interviewed New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and pressed him on the his commitment to traditional Church teachings: "No question that you're conciliatory, that you like to have dialog, but underneath that you're an old-fashioned conservative. I mean, in the sense of right-wing conservative."
Dolan turned Safer's characterization around: "I would bristle at being termed 'right-wing.' But if somebody means enthusiastically committed and grateful for the timeless heritage of the Church, and feeling that my best service is when I try to preserve that and pass that on in its fullness and beauty and radiance, I'm a conservative, no doubt."
Is it not amazing that it’s taken the news media exactly 100 years to discover that Ronald Reagan was a role model? While he lived and even after he died, they shot every arrow and dropped every bomb they could on this man and his reputation. Now that it’s his 100th birthday and America is celebrating, they find him useful. They’re trying to rub Reagan’s magic all over a floundering Obama.
After Obama’s latest State of the Union speech – a dreary, boring spectacle for a normally riveting speaker – all three networks praised Obama as “Reaganesque,” as if he were one of the sunniest American exceptionalists. Time’s latest cover reads “Why Obama [Hearts] Reagan,” and the cover story inside is titled “The Role Model,” oozing that Obama “realized long ago that Ronald Reagan was a transformational president.”
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes" anchor Morley Safer interviewed left-wing actor Alec Baldwin and spent some time focusing on Baldwin's liberal activism: "And yet it's his off-screen performances that can get in the way of a truly gifted man. And often it's his liberal politics that make him red meat for his critics." Baldwin explained to Safer: "They hate liberals who can throw a punch." And when Safer asked: "‘They’? Who's ‘they’?," Baldwin responded: "They, the vast right-wing conspiracy that's after me."
An admiring Safer described Baldwin’s activism this way: "Liberal politics has always been his passion...He has an impressive grasp of the issues and spends a huge amount of his time and money supporting causes he believes in: animal rights, the environment, the arts." Safer then went on to continue to portray Baldwin as a victim of the "right-wing conspiracy":
SAFER: But his bare-knuckled approach to political discourse...
BALDWIN: Not all Republicans are as insane as these extremist conservatives.
SAFER: ...has made him an easy target for conservative junkyard dogs like Sean Hannity.
SEAN HANNITY: He's unhinged. Let's be honest, he's not really bright.
On Sunday’s "60 Minutes," anchor Morley Safer did a segment on Demark being ranked the happiest country in world consistently for the past three decades and wondered: "What makes a Dane so happy? And why isn't he wallowing in misery and self doubt like so many of the rest of us?" Later in the segment, Safer discovered that low expectations of the Danish people was the key to their happiness and he concluded that:
Wanting it all is a bacterium that stays with us from youth to old age -- wanting a bigger house, fancier car, more stuff. And when we get more, there's always someone with even more stuff who's just as unhappy. Some suggest that the unhappiest zip codes in the country are the wealthiest, like the Upper East Side of New York.
It’s interesting that many liberal media figures reside in New York’s Upper East Side.
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years.
Yesterday, I wrote about the liberal media’s softness when it came to totalitarian communism. Today’s installment: The liberal media vs. Ronald Reagan and the GOP. TV reporters regularly condemned Reagan for his supposedly ruinous conservative policies, but it’s still astonishing to hear then-ABC reporter Richard Threlkeld castigate the Gipper on his last day as President, January 20, 1989.