Skip to comments.Reagan causes a tipping point: How The Gipper trumped the elite media one last time
Posted on 06/11/2004 1:02:48 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
Reagan causes a tipping point
By Bob Kohn
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Last week in this space, I suggested that Bush's re-election bid will depend not on reality itself, but on the public's perception of reality. In the face of a booming economy and dazzling progress toward democracy in Iraq, the media elite have been working overtime to maintain a false perception of bad news on both fronts.
You see this effort most demonstratively on what appears, and what does not appear, on the front page of the New York Times and the nightly wisecracks uttered by the likes of Dan Rather.
In face of the journalistic crusade against him, Bush's re-election prospects will depend on one thing: a shift in the debate from one based on false premises (e.g., how to fix a bad economy or clean up the mess in Iraq) to one based on the truth (i.e., the economy is booming and Iraq is on track). But what, I asked, will it take to effect such a monumental shift in perception?
The next day, Ronald Reagan passed away.
Today, as we put to rest one of America's greatest presidents and celebrate one of our greatest presidencies, suddenly, the country is reminded of our greatness again. Suddenly, we're optimistic about the future. Suddenly, things are going to be all right. And we're not getting these feelings from the press, or even from President Bush. It's coming unfiltered straight from Reagan, just like it did 20 years ago.
Reagan's passing was a disruptive event for the media, and I predict it will mark the tipping point in the all important war over public perceptions.
For months, the economy has been creating jobs at a record clip 1.1 million since last August. Inflation remains negligible and the unemployment rate is lower than the average rate of unemployment during the Clinton years. All sectors are doing well even the manufacturing sector is enjoying its best output in 30 years.
In a few weeks, Iraq will have its sovereignty and the means to start fixing its own problems problems, thanks to President Bush, that are minor in comparison to those it suffered under Saddam Hussein. In place of one of history's worst tyrants will be one of the Middle East's only democracies.
But rather than focusing on the good news, and putting the setbacks in context, the press has been brooding on stories like car bombings and the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib which glorified the front page of the New York Times for over 20 straight days last month (with no appreciable new news to report beyond the shock of the initial photographs).
Granted, the story was a self-inflicted wound in Bush's perception battle with the press. And because the photos served so well in making us feel ashamed, the press splattered the photos on their front pages while largely ignoring the context.
Even though we're in the midst of a war, it was not the press who broke the story it was our own military. The Pentagon deserves praise, not scorn, for quickly disclosing the story and for launching a prompt and thorough investigation, already resulting in trials and convictions of several of those accused.
And what the photos depicted was I'll say it a fraternity prank in comparison to the atrocities committed by Saddam, whose henchman once put the body of a butcher, imprisoned for criticizing the Baathist regime, through a meat grinder before returning the remains to his family. You won't read that in the New York Times and, for the same reason, the barbaric beheading of Nick Berg by al-Qaida operatives in Iraq didn't get one-tenth the play that the prison scandal did on the front page of the Times.
By manipulating the context, the press has succeeded in creating the perception that all is lost in Iraq. The effect has been palpable. Opinion polls show the public even beginning to question their previous overwhelming support for military action against Saddam.
Think about it: a massive shift in public opinion, largely as a result of a set of shameful pornographic photos. Oh, if Hitler only knew what he could have done with the help of our own media to so easily thin America's resolve for war!
Then, Ronald Reagan dies.
Instantly, we regain our perspective.
The week-long mourning for President Reagan, and the glowing encomiums the Gipper is receiving today, provides a poignant counterpoint to the doom and gloom the media elite have strived so hard to produce. Our reflection upon Reagan's life will, I submit, work to properly align perceptions with reality.
What America needs every now and then is the reminder that Ronald Reagan delivered so well in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the Iranian hostage crisis: that despite the setbacks which befall every nation, America has every reason to feel good about itself. We are getting just such a reminder this week.
And with that reminder, we have every reason to feel good about what we have accomplished in the past three years. No one can deny that the booming economy is the result of Bush's tax cuts history has shown repeatedly that they work, just as Bush promised they would. And no one can deny Bush's role in causing regime change in Afghanistan and then in Iraq as they are trying to deny Reagan's role in regime change in former Soviet Union.
President Bush, like President Reagan before him, has shown, in word and in deed, what America can do for itself and for the world if our leaders simply embrace a vision of liberty and are not afraid to act on their convictions.
Earlier this week, CBS' Dan Rather suggested the press is devoting too much time to covering the mourning of Ronald Reagan this week: "There is other news," said Rather, "like the reality of Iraq."
If Dan Rather and his brethren in the elite media would only cover that reality rather than attempting to convey false perceptions I'm sure the Gipper wouldn't mind there being far less attention paid to him this week.
But until then, let our mourning for Reagan and our celebration of his life remind us that "it is morning in America" and "the best is yet to come."
Liberals can't stand good news. What infuriates them most about Ronald Reagan's passing is almost every one recalls the best about America - and the dawn that still lies ahead.
Priceless pic -- thanks for posting, Ivan.
Ashamed of what?
Not this boy...
What a scumbag!
Sorry folks, I have to vent when I read that to stay sane.
Welcome back Ivan--haven't seen you around FR in a long time (or I've just missed your posts somehow).
I think dying at the appropriate time was one last task that God had for Reagan. In fact, I think He kept him quietly in his illness all these years just for this purpose. God knew that his "good and faithful servant" would be pleased to serve once more.
Good to see you again, MadIvan. Thanks for posting that wonderful pic.
No doubt, God's timing was in this.
Glad to have you back, Ivan. We all missed you here.
I know in my heart of hearts...that Reagan could not have invoked any timing into the overall situation going on today in America. And yet, as if the Gipper himself was there in the statdium...we will now go out and win one for the Gipper. This charge on the public state-of-mind was like a 10,000 volt whack...and brought us all back to reality. As for the media and the liberal left...their moment ended the second that Reagan passed away. Every dollar spent...every lie spoken...every rumor spread...was all a waste. We are on Gipper time now...and will be riding with the Gipper into all future events. By the time Marquet Thatchers words are spoken at the funeral...our tears will like the great Mississippi...we will not forget or forsake the Gipper.
It is good to see you back.
There is indeed "an angel in the whirlwind."
I think so too, Walden.
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