The Australian Broadcasting Corporation: too important to be left to its Friends. Email.
Media Watch, 1
Monday, June 14, 2004
NOT TO PRAISE, BUT TO BURY Ronald Reagan, "who was far more controversial in office than in his final years", is Auntie's purpose.
Like liberal opinion in the US, Auntie's communards want to cover Reagan's historic achievements with the soil of a humorist's reputation.
The one thing uniting people on both sides of politics is the belief that Mr Reagan was a decent man who was not only charming, but also had a great sense of humour and talent for amusing anecdotes and one-liners.
It is the 'one thing uniting' those who wish to ignore the fact that Reagan chose to fight the cold war against Stalinism and won it, at a time when, on the left, it was impolite to mention the evils of Sovietism, Maoism, Pol Potism and all the other monsters who were not 'US-backed'.
Do you think it was the 'one thing uniting' the hundreds of thousands of US citizens who paid their respects? Or Thatcher? Or Gorbachev?
LEIGH SALES: Reagan was always fondly known as 'the Gipper'; the 'Quipper' wouldn't have been far from the mark either.
You couldn't call Auntie an informer of the Australian tax-payer, but she sure is a performer.