Remember all those glowing articles about Ronald Reagan when the Gipper bought it two years ago? There’s always a temptation to morph news of a president’s passing into a glorification of his term. Despite our own Jarrett Murphy pointing out the contrary, an article in the Hollywood Reporter this morning has the big TV news reporters collectively praising our 38th President’s openness to press in a post-Watergate America:
“It was literally and metaphorically night and day,” Brokaw said. “He was much more open, he had a very good relationship with reporters. He didn’t treat the press like an enemy. We were often adversarial but it wasn’t a blood sport as it was with Nixon.”
Brokaw even remembers a live interview from the White House that Ford agreed to do with him and John Chancellor.
“Think about that: Live. That just doesn’t happen anymore,” Brokaw said.
Despite his infamous stumble down the stairs of Air Force One (immortalized by Saturday Night Live‘s Chevy Chase), Brokaw recalls Ford as more graceful than Nixon. CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield mentions how personable he was, and recalls a photo of Ford toasting his own English muffins! But per usual, Fox News’ Chris Wallace takes the cake in another article:
“He had a consequential presidency. I think over the coming days Americans will be surprised to see how influential he was, domestically and in foreign affairs,” Wallace said. “He was the president who brought Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alan Greenspan, James Baker to national prominence.”
Well there you go.