Ron Reagan, Jr. had some choice words about the people who evoke his father’s name in order to push their far-right agenda.
In an interview with Media Matters, Reagan said about the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, “It bothers me, yes, that they’re using him [President Ronald Reagan] for whatever purpose they have in mind,” Reagan said. “They’ll just take whatever idea they have and they’ll just slap his name on it and hope that that just gets them over.
The younger Reagan said he has no interest in reading Bill O’Reilly’s latest book, “Killing Reagan.”
“Bill O’Reilly is not somebody who as far as I can tell really invests a lot of time or energy in the truth,” Reagan told Media Matters in a phone interview on Monday. “He’s a snake oil salesman, he’s a huckster, he’s a carnival barker, but that’s about it. He’s not a journalist. I don’t consider him to be that. Is it annoying when anyone writes crap about your parents or your family members, loved ones? Yeah.”
… Reagan thinks his father would have had a harsh view of prominent conservative media figures. “I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t have found them bigoted, homophobic and all the rest as they appear to be,” he said. “I also think that he would find people like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity to be just hucksters. I don’t think that he would be impressed by their sincerity or their intellect. I don’t think that either one of them are really serious about what they say.”
He also criticized the candidates for pandering to conservative media figures, something he says his father would not have done.
According to Reagan, “Unlike a lot of politicians today, he didn’t need the imprimatur of some talk show host, he was very much his own man. He wouldn’t be worrying about what Rush Limbaugh said about him.”
I can hear Fox Newsies dismiss these comments already because Reagan Junior is a liberal. But who would know better about What Would Reagan Do? Fox News pundits or a member of St. Ronnie’s immediate family?
Caricature of Ronald Reagan by DonkeyHotey.
And I agree that it’s become a regular and ridiculous spectacle for current right wing shouters to invoke Reagan for whatever they want. But we must remember the facts of Reagan’s presidency, and the sad legacy of issues his administration left us. His was certainly the most virulent right wing presidency we’d ever seen, with members of his cabinet pushing many ideas not thought prudent or polite before at that level.
This was a President who wanted to appoint Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, who wanted to name Paul Laxalt as his Chief of Staff during the Iran Contra mess, who cultivated an Administration that saw a record number of indictments and convictions – essentially a record amount of demonstrable criminality in the White House. And that’s not even getting into the wild problems he ran into in terms of fomenting untruths about welfare, social policy and foreign policy. The rise of people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity can directly be traced to the behavior of the Reagan Administration back in the 1980s. Back then, the most direct echo of Reagan’s thinking was the infamous Wally George, who could only get himself on a public television station for his rants and screeds. Nowadays, thanks to Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, we have a whole passel of Wally Georges – namely, the entire Fox News Channel.
“Well, you know my dad was an actor who later got into politics. He could recognize people who are just play-acting a role from people who are real. There’s not a single person at Fox”News" who is not play-acting a role. They’re all posers and pretenders, more interested in making a buck than in responsible journalism or presenting real conservative ideas."
THAT would’ve been more spot-on.
I would not be the least bit surprised if O’Reilly wasn’t buying all those books himself just so he can get to the top of the best selling lists.
More than one way to “skin a cat”.