Monday, June 07, 2004

Some Reagan Death Thoughts

I'll post something tomorrow on an aspect of Reagan's legacy that seems to have disappeared from conscious realisation. But I wanted to note a couple of things I saw in the wake of his death.

First, I happened to have the television on when his death was announced. Only ABC and FOX went live wall-to-wall; CBS and NBC stayed with their sports coverage until those events ended.

One thing that stood out sharply was the difference between ABC and FOX initially. ABC had their star-power reporters, hosts and commentators all talking about their experiences covering Reagan. George Stephanopolous even introduced a segment he later repeated on This Week the next day! But over on FOX, Chris Wallace had on various people who had worked with Reagan over the years, including some present-day commentators, who shared reminiscences about their favorite memories of Reagan. It had the melancholy/happy feel of an Irish wake. No one was over-serious and there was a real fondness for the man that came through loud and clear. ABC seemed more concerned about their stars. In fact, several people made explicit mentions of some Reagan policy or event, then tied it politically to GW Bush's current problems. It sickened me, frankly.

Then, on Sunday, the Commercial Appeal's banner headline was "Reagan ends his fight." Forgive me, but that sounds like he gave up. Like it was Reagan who ended it, not pneumonia that felled him. Remember, Reagan fought Alzheimer's for a decade. He was 93. Pneumonia in a man of his age is almost always deadly. That headline, to me, smacks of a loser mindset, not of respect to a great man.

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