Tuesday, November 10, 2015

George Will Hits Bill O'Reilly Again...Hard

In his book Killing Reagan, Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly argues that when Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981 his presidency was, for all intents and purposes, "killed."  In other words, Reagan was never the same after the shooting and several of his aides wanted to remove him from office because he was mentally incompetent.

Last week columnist George Will challenged O'Reilly's interpretation of Reagan  Then the two conservatives went head to head on O"Reilly's show. 

Today Will went after O'Reilly again.  Here is a taste:

O’Reilly “reports” that the trauma of the assassination attempt was somehow causally related to the “fact” that Reagan was frequently so mentally incompetent that senior aides contemplated using the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove him from office. But neither O’Reilly nor Dugard spoke with any of those aides — not with Ed Meese, Jim Baker, George Shultz or any of the scores of others who could, and would, have demolished O’Reilly’s theory. O’Reilly now airily dismisses them because they “have skin in the game.” His is an interesting approach to writing history: Never talk to anyone with firsthand knowledge of your subject.

Instead, O’Reilly made the book’s “centerpiece” a memo he has never seen and never tried to see until 27 days after the book was published. Then Dugard asked the Reagan Presidential Library to find it.

Recently on Fox News, O’Reilly put this on the screen from Sue Janzen of Yorba Linda, Calif.: “We went to the Reagan Library, and were told they do not sell Killing Reagan because it’s not factual.” Then O’Reilly said: “You were deceived, Sue. The Reagan Library is angry at Martin Dugard and me because we’re seeking” the Cannon memo. He added: “The memo’s disappeared. But Dugard and I are on the case and the library is not happy about it.”
“Disappeared”? His crude intimation was that the allegedly deceptive library is hiding the memo. The library, however, has never had it because when James Cannon wrote it, he was not a member of the White House staff, hence the memo was not a “presidential record.”
Read Will's entire column here.