Apr
12
2013

Reagan Didn't Get Thatchered

reagan_thatcherJohn Burns and Alan Cowell on Margaret Thatcher (New York Times, 4/11/13):

Her death has been received in many quarters with a vituperation that was notably absent in the United States with the passing of former President Ronald Reagan.

Anthony Faiola (Washington Post, 4/11/13):

When Ronald Reagan departed this life, Americans joined in an outpouring of bipartisan mourning that ranged from genuine grief to grudging respect for the memory of the Gipper. On this side of the Atlantic, the reaction to the death of his political soul mate, Margaret Thatcher, could not be more different.

When it comes to elite media and political circles, there's no doubt that these two very controversial political figures were treated the same way when they died: with gushing, uncritical celebration of their lives.

No, the problem would seem to be that many in the British public–damn them!–have bitter memories of life under Thatcher. One has to assume that this is especially baffling to Burns, who believes Thatcher restored the country's self-confidence.

As for the "bipartisan mourning" and "grudging respect" for Reagan–well, some of us tried our best to push back against that at the time.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.