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The Media and Reagan

February 15, 1987

Apologists for the Reagan Administration--people who still think the Emperor's New Clothes are fashionable--accuse the press of being too harsh on the President. Such a position could only be held by one who is naive or extremely partisan.

For the first time in six years, the media have finally stood up to the President. Until now--far from being hostile or liberal--the media have been asleep, allowing the President to get away with an assortment of blunders, scandals, and lies.

Remember the 239 Marines killed in Lebanon? That did not receive even a fraction of the media attention that crucified former President Jimmy Carter during the Iranian hostage crisis.

We have never had either a "Teflon President" or a "Great Communicator." What we had had was a news media too afraid of a popular President to challenge him. Why has this suddenly changed? Have the media found the courage they lost? Or, perhaps more likely, has Reagan's waning popularity made the media less cautious?

Whatever the reason, I feel safer knowing that our "watchdog" press has finally awakened from its six-year nap.

BRUCE KLEINE

Woodland Hills

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