Thoughts on This Week’s News

I’m back from a nice two week vacation, which was a good break not only from work, but also from the news. I’ve just started catching up on my reading, including PGL’s excellent work here on Angry Bear while I was gone. On the whole, it seems that it was a pretty good two weeks to have missed out on the news – because I have been blissfully unexposed to the busy myth-building activities of the conservative media (which this week seems to include the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, etc.) about Reagan’s legacy. This post by PGL, this piece by Paul Krugman, and this piece by AB do a good job of pointing out the types of fictions and blatant lies about Reagan (and Bush, for that matter) that the conservative movement is working furiously to have established as fact, and that raise my ire so effectively.

One overriding thought has been running through my head this morning as a result. If Bill Clinton died next year, and our major news media outlets ran the sorts of swooning stories about him that they are currently running about Reagan – despite the fact that Clinton’s economy was stronger than Reagan’s, and that he was a more popular president than Reagan – can you possibly imagine the right NOT crying “Liberal Media!!!” at the top of their lungs? I fear that in today’s media environment it would simply be impossible for any Democratic president, no matter how good a president they were, to be afforded the sort of coverage that Ronald Reagan is getting this week. The right has mastered the art of building positive myths about conservative heroes, and simultaneously stripped the left of any ability to do the same.