Reagan, Trump, and fake news

Our liberal media have been pumping out lies and gross distortions for decades, and I suppose we might be desensitized to it all, but it still irks me no end, especially when conservatives are attacked simply for relaying stories the liberal press itself has written.

Case in point: Liberal journalist Josh Levin has been writing articles and now a book about Linda Taylor, the infamous "Welfare Queen" crook of the 1970s, whom Ronald Reagan enjoyed poking fun at during his speeches.  It turns out, Taylor was much worse than originally thought — she was likely a murderer as well, killing and robbing elderly victims she would befriend.

Reagan, though, is portrayed as the real bad guy of the story, because, as the reviewers point out, he made up the amount of $150,000 she stole, when in reality she was indicted in Chicago for stealing less than $9,000.

Only the problem is, all Reagan did was read verbatim the story from the Washington Post back in 1977, which indeed claimed she had stolen over $150,000, among other things.  Apparently, the prosecutors had evidence of a lot more crime but played it safe, going with the easiest to prove charges.  In no event, however, could you blame Reagan for anything other than reading what was reported at the time in the Post, the New York Times, and other liberal journals — what they all saw as a very funny and outrageous welfare crime spree.

Reagan didn't coin the term "welfare queen," nor did he even refer to Taylor's race.  But that never stopped liberal journalists from using the episode to call Reagan a bigot.  In-depth researcher Paul Krugman even tried to imply that Reagan made it all up, calling the whole story bogus.

The recent Spygate scandal, now threatening many Obama administration figures, got the same media template coverage, starting in 2017 with radio host Mark Levin, who dared to repeat a New York Times article headlined "Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides."  For this, he was relentlessly excoriated by liberal media outlets.  Only Republicans have ever wiretapped anybody, never mind what the headlines and articles explicitly state.  Apparently, it's no fair for the rest of us to notice any of the rare liberal media stories that support our arguments or criticize the Left.

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, there was published the Bolshevik version of the Britannica, called the Great Soviet Encyclopedia.  Its most famous feature was that over the years, as certain people and events became an embarrassment to the regime, new replacement pages were mailed out to encyclopedia-owners, who were to tear out the old offending pages and replace them with substitute articles.  Levranti Beria, for example, was supposed to go, in exchange for more information on the Bering Sea.

The cheapskates in the liberal media today, however, won't even run a retraction of their own stories they find embarrassing, let alone mail you a new page of articles.  You're just supposed to know all this ahead of time, and if you don't, they call you a liar and a racist. 

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.

Our liberal media have been pumping out lies and gross distortions for decades, and I suppose we might be desensitized to it all, but it still irks me no end, especially when conservatives are attacked simply for relaying stories the liberal press itself has written.

Case in point: Liberal journalist Josh Levin has been writing articles and now a book about Linda Taylor, the infamous "Welfare Queen" crook of the 1970s, whom Ronald Reagan enjoyed poking fun at during his speeches.  It turns out, Taylor was much worse than originally thought — she was likely a murderer as well, killing and robbing elderly victims she would befriend.

Reagan, though, is portrayed as the real bad guy of the story, because, as the reviewers point out, he made up the amount of $150,000 she stole, when in reality she was indicted in Chicago for stealing less than $9,000.

Only the problem is, all Reagan did was read verbatim the story from the Washington Post back in 1977, which indeed claimed she had stolen over $150,000, among other things.  Apparently, the prosecutors had evidence of a lot more crime but played it safe, going with the easiest to prove charges.  In no event, however, could you blame Reagan for anything other than reading what was reported at the time in the Post, the New York Times, and other liberal journals — what they all saw as a very funny and outrageous welfare crime spree.

Reagan didn't coin the term "welfare queen," nor did he even refer to Taylor's race.  But that never stopped liberal journalists from using the episode to call Reagan a bigot.  In-depth researcher Paul Krugman even tried to imply that Reagan made it all up, calling the whole story bogus.

The recent Spygate scandal, now threatening many Obama administration figures, got the same media template coverage, starting in 2017 with radio host Mark Levin, who dared to repeat a New York Times article headlined "Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides."  For this, he was relentlessly excoriated by liberal media outlets.  Only Republicans have ever wiretapped anybody, never mind what the headlines and articles explicitly state.  Apparently, it's no fair for the rest of us to notice any of the rare liberal media stories that support our arguments or criticize the Left.

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, there was published the Bolshevik version of the Britannica, called the Great Soviet Encyclopedia.  Its most famous feature was that over the years, as certain people and events became an embarrassment to the regime, new replacement pages were mailed out to encyclopedia-owners, who were to tear out the old offending pages and replace them with substitute articles.  Levranti Beria, for example, was supposed to go, in exchange for more information on the Bering Sea.

The cheapskates in the liberal media today, however, won't even run a retraction of their own stories they find embarrassing, let alone mail you a new page of articles.  You're just supposed to know all this ahead of time, and if you don't, they call you a liar and a racist. 

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.