Ronald Reagan: Overcoming a Fierce First Draft of History

The 40th President and the Press: The Record


  In a commemorative issue published the weekend Ronald Reagan died, Time magazine described the former President as “a man with the power to pull history around a corner” and “change the conversation of our politics and culture as much by the sheer force of his personality as by the power of his ideas.” The national media’s often gracious coverage in the days after Reagan’s death obscured the unfortunate historical record of media coverage: a chronicle often filled with not just disagreement, but with disgust, hatred, ridicule, and insults.

     Liberals expressed fear that the first draft of Reagan obituary coverage was too generous, a hagiography, a manufacturing of myth. But these few days are no match for decades of demonization, a myth that Reagan only brought the nation poverty, ignorance, bankruptcy, and a dangerously imbalanced foreign and defense policy.

     The Media Research Center has assembled a report documenting the “objective” national media’s most biased takes on President Ronald Reagan, his record and his times: