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Leftist Media Bias – Even in Death ^ | 6/14/04 | Joan Swirsky

Posted on 06/14/2004 9:08:10 AM PDT by kattracks

Psychologists say that people who have the irresistible urge to blurt out any thought and act out any behavior that strikes them at the moment – no matter the consequences – are suffering from “poor impulse control.”

They reassure parents of out-of-control children and adults who suffer the disorder that with enough “therapy” and behavioral conditioning, the malady can be cured or at least kept at bay.

Well, either they’re dead wrong or the left-wing media haven’t spent enough time on the couch!

Before the body of Ronald Reagan had been flown to Washington, D.C., or his eulogies intoned, “objective” so-called reporters such as Tom Brokaw of NBC, Peter Jennings of ABC and Dan Rather of CBS (see revealed not only their transparent biases but also their shabby characters.

Brokaw, as always, tried to have it both ways, giving cursory lip service to Reagan’s legacy (yes, Virginia, some presidents actually have a legacy!) but patronizingly reminding his audience that his “obligation” was to “put [the president’s] whole life and political career in context.” Translation: to engage in leftist revisionist history.

Rather hated the non-stop coverage of a true American hero and complained to one newspaper that the subject of Iraq, which – yoo-hoo, Mr. Rather, is a great American success story – “got very short shrift this weekend.” Translation: Let’s keep Abu Ghraib, his favorite subject, on the front burner.

Jennings didn’t wait for the President to be buried before offering his leftist “analysis,” typically diminishing our 40th President even before the last ruffles and flourishes had been played. Translation: Promote his Canadian brand of socialism and slam the American brand of conservatism no matter the solemn occasion.

All of them, of course, had one thought in mind as they attempted to distort the legacy of the conservative icon: that Reagan’s accomplishments would be likened to President George W. Bush’s similar accomplishments and that this FACT would sway the electorate to re-elect the incumbent.

But the worst of the worst and the lowest of the low came from the most predictable source: CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes.” Or, more precisely, its spin-off, “60 Minutes II.” Even more precisely, its own Stepford Wife, Lesley Stahl, and that is not to omit its recently retired producer, Don Hewitt.

On Wednesday (June 9), as Reagan’s funeral service had just come to a close and thousands upon thousands of people lined up to pay their respects, “60 Minutes II” decided to replay a 1999 interview of Stahl’s with Reagan biographer, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edmund Morris. The show’s motive, she said, was “… trying to put former President Reagan’s life in perspective.” Translation: to slam the dead president.

These are the quotes that Stahl’s 1999 interview with Morris chose to repeat this week:

“He was truly one of the strangest men who’s ever lived. Nobody around him understood him.”

“Ronald Reagan was never revealing.”

“His only ambition that I can discern in childhood, and in early adolescence, up till his college days, was to act.”

“He’s still a mystery to me.”

“Did he really understand what he understood? I can't tell you what happened in his heart and in his mind.”

In another 1999 program, Stahl also interviewed the late president’s son Ron, weaving this interview with the Morris interview. Here is but one excerpt:

“I think what has always impressed me the most about my father, as well as in a way being troubling about him, is that he treats everybody the same way.”

To be fair, Morris and the President’s son also had positive things to say about Ronald Reagan, but CBS’s desire – in 1999 and again this week – was to inspire the public to hate conservatives as much as they do and to subvert the outpouring of love and respect for our late, great President. No wonder the network continues to occupy cellar status!

My memories of Stahl’s 1999 interviews are vivid to this day and stand as two of the most vicious and biased I had ever witnessed. So outraged was I at the time – by her loaded questions and the malevolent glee in her eyes when Morris, particularly, defamed and insulted Reagan – that I wrote to Mr. Hewitt.

In my letter I told Mr. Hewitt that I was offended by Stahl’s bias and that her “interviews” revealed nothing less than her own, his own and CBS-TV’s opinions. I reminded him that Morris, who had received a $3 million advance, was three years behind in delivering his manuscript to Random House, and that he was “cloaking his writer’s block and his lust to retain his advance with psychobabble and Clintonesque spin.”

“Shame on you!” my letter ended.

Once I mailed my letter, I forgot about it. But clearly Don Hewitt didn’t. About three weeks later, I got a phone call while I was cooking supper.

“Hello,” I said.

“Who the hell are you to question my objectivity?” the hysterical caller blared into my phone receiver.

“Who is this?” I asked.

“It’s Don Hewitt from ‘60 Minutes’ and you have a helluva nerve questioning ME and MY reporter!” he yelled.

As with Rather, Jennings and Brokaw in their outbursts this week, I recognized Hewitt’s “poor impulse control” immediately, understanding that no one but a guy with a pea-sized ego and skin as thin as an onion would respond this way to a letter that questioned his journalistic “integrity.”

“Well, why did ‘60 Minutes’ run this biased piece?” I asked.

At this question, Don Hewitt HUNG UP ON ME!

My husband, Steve, was in the kitchen at the time and I said to him, “You’re not going to believe this!” Just as I finished telling him about the bizarre phone call, the phone rang once again.

“Hello,” I said.

“And another thing,” the familiar blasting voice shrieked, “I voted for Ronald Reagan twice!”

So there you have it. Either Hewitt was a producer of a major leftist TV show who secretly voted for conservative Republicans or a total phony who, like Tom Brokaw, wanted it both ways.

It really doesn’t matter. What Brokaw and Jennings and Rather and “60 Minutes II” and Stahl and the ghost of Don Hewitt have done this week to attempt to undermine the somber and respectful but also optimistic memorials for President Reagan – who ended the Cold War, tore down the Berlin War, revived a moribund economy and renewed the confidence and joy of Americans in the promise of our nation – will serve as less than a blip in the history of our country.

Shame on all of them!

Joan Swirsky is a New York-based journalist and author who can be reached at

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: liberalmedia; mediabias; ronaldreagan

1 posted on 06/14/2004 9:08:10 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks

It was bound to happen... Today I'm hearing all sorts of left-wing attacks on President Reagan and worse- on Nancy.

I'm always amazed how spiteful, how hateful, the left can be. A strange contradiction to their claimed open-mindedness and tolerance.

2 posted on 06/14/2004 9:27:39 AM PDT by Made In The USA (REMEMBER NICK BERG.)
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To: kattracks
“Who the hell are you to question my objectivity?” the hysterical caller blared into my phone receiver.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeelll Excuussssssssse Me

3 posted on 06/14/2004 9:34:46 AM PDT by Mo1 (That's right Old Media .... WE LOVED PRESIDENT REAGAN)
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To: Mo1

Personally, I would contact the police about a crank caller.

4 posted on 06/14/2004 9:41:27 AM PDT by Military family member (Proud Pacers fan...still)
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To: Made In The USA

"I'm always amazed how spiteful, how hateful, the left can be"

It's the queer activists, the first insults actually used the term "Homophobic", truly proving the gays resemtment and hatred for morality.

The more spiritual a man, the greater spite they display.

5 posted on 06/14/2004 10:54:27 AM PDT by damncat (Your brain on liberalism, get the picture?)
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To: kattracks

Ohh 60 minutes of the reasons I left my parents home at age 16! Many more reasons! but I'll leave it at that!

6 posted on 06/14/2004 9:42:59 PM PDT by KingNo155
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