I'm really sick of all the Reagan recap media frenzy by now, but this letter to the Washington Post from its former managing editor for national news Bill Greider (and currently one of the best left journalists writing on globalization) really takes the cake.
My condolences to the staff and management of The Post. I had no idea you felt so deeply about Ronald Reagan. I was a reporter and editor at The Post during the launch of Reagan's "revolution," and we had a somewhat different take on his presidency then.
Reagan nurtured the strong and punished the weak. He fostered the great regressive shift in economic rewards that continues to this day, while ignoring a visible deteriora- tion in the middle class and manufacturing.
His economic theory was cockeyed and did not add up (both parties spent 20 years cleaning up Reagan's deficit mess). But Reaganomics did deliver the boodle to the appropriate interests, the same ones who financed his rise in politics.
A disturbing meanness lurked at the core of Reagan's political agenda and was quite tangible at the time, though evidently forgotten now. We wrote tough stories about that and other contentious questions; I remain proud of the coverage. I would rank Reagan's place in history right up there with Warren G. Harding's. You want to put him in the company of FDR, maybe even Lincoln. Future historians will decide who's right. Meanwhile, I read your funeral coverage as a lengthy, lugubrious correction.
-- William Greider