Sunday, June 13, 2004

THE PERSISTENCE OF PUBLIC MEMORY


Reaganpallooza ain't just a gelusion of grandeur; it's artful dysmnesia--a concerted campaign to reprogram public consciousness with the conservative revisionist history:

In the case of Ronald Reagan, the past week has seen an exceptional effort to use the prolonged period of mourning to shape the historical picture of the former president for the next generation.

...For Reagan partisans, the motives are obvious. This will be their last chance to make the case for their hero's greatness before a national audience. The same team that stage-managed Reagan's most famous moments in office choreographed last week's "legacy-building event," as one former official was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as calling it, from handing out 50,000 American flags to bystanders to timing the seaside sunset backdrop for the late president's interment. For the media, sensitive always to the charge that they are too liberal, the Reagan obsequies provided a superb opportunity to demonstrate fairness, or perhaps latent conservative sympathies, by showing that cable channel and network anchors could also envision a fifth face on Mount Rushmore or a new visage in place of Alexander Hamilton's on the $10 bill.

For Reagan partisans, the motives are obvious. This will be their last chance to make the case for their hero's greatness before a national audience. The same team that stage-managed Reagan's most famous moments in office choreographed last week's "legacy-building event," as one former official was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as calling it, from handing out 50,000 American flags to bystanders to timing the seaside sunset backdrop for the late president's interment. For the media, sensitive always to the charge that they are too liberal, the Reagan obsequies provided a superb opportunity to demonstrate fairness, or perhaps latent conservative sympathies, by showing that cable channel and network anchors could also envision a fifth face on Mount Rushmore or a new visage in place of Alexander Hamilton's on the $10 bill.


WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Read more here.

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