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Mind's Playin' Tricks on Me


Mind's Playin' Tricks on Me

Reuters reports that "Ronald Reagan's son: Alzheimer's seen during presidency":

Former President Ronald Reagan, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease five years after leaving office, showed signs of the condition while still in the White House, his son says in a new memoir.

In the book, "My Father at 100, a Memoir," Ron Reagan writes he had an inkling of trouble three years into his father's first term.

The end of the Reuters article notes the response to Ron Reagan Jr.'s upcoming book:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation denied that Reagan showed signs of the illness while he was president.

"This subject has been well documented over the years by both President Reagan's personal physicians, physicians who treated him after the diagnosis, as well as those who worked closely with him daily," the foundation said in a statement.

"All are consistent in their view that signs of Alzheimer's did not appear until well after President Reagan left the White House," the statement said.

This response is a lie. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's' in 1994, and as far back as 1989, books were published alleging Reagan's senility. Reagan's son was preceded in this claim by his father's staffers who were also among those concerned about his mental faculties - while Reagan was still in office:

GUPTA: But with Reagan in his mid-70s, there was speculation, even at the White House. In 1987, the deputy to new chief of staff Howard Baker said that several White House staffers came to him with concerns.

JAMES CANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE (video clip): They used, repeatedly, the words, "He's out of it." Meanings with - and suggesting that he was not really up to the job.

GUPTA: James Cannon now says the information was no good, but at the time he did warn Baker. Baker didn't consult the doctor, but instead had a conversation with Reagan and decided he was fine.

Interestingly, members of the "liberal" media helped cover up the conservative icon's condition:

In her new book "Reporting Live," former CBS White House correspondent Lesley Stahl writes that she and other reporters suspected that Reagan was "sinking into senility" years before he left office. She writes that White House aides "covered up his condition"-- and journalists chose not to pursue it.

Stahl describes a particularly unsettling encounter with Reagan in the summer of 1986: her "final meeting" with the President, typically a chance to ask a few parting questions for a "going-away story." But White House Press Secretary Larry Speakes made her promise not to ask anything.

Although she'd covered Reagan for years, the glazed-eyed and fogged-up President "didn't seem to know who I was," writes Stahl. For several moments as she talked to him in the Oval Office, a vacant Reagan barely seemed to realize anyone else was in the room. Meanwhile, Speakes was literally shouting instructions to the President, reminding him to give Stahl White House souvenirs.

Panicking at the thought of having to report on that night's news that "the president of the United States is a doddering space cadet," Stahl was relieved that Reagan soon reemerged into alertness, recognized her and chatted coherently with her husband, a screenwriter. "I had come that close to reporting that Reagan was senile."

Stahl wasn't the only reporter to hold back. Nor were her bosses at CBS the only ones to pressure journalists to soften their coverage of Reagan, both of his policies and his person.

  02:08:00 am by Ragamuffin, Categories: News, Books

1 comment

Comment from: grygus [Member]

See, I would actually prefer a return to this rather than what we have now. Obviously, the ideal situation would be pursuit of the truth, so this would in fact get reported because it is important, but we skidded right past that into lies being perfectly fine to report. An overly responsible press seems a lot better to me than a self-serving one.

01/15/11 @ 09:32
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