1.  Rick Perlstein, author of The invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan spoke to Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies about how Reagan’s stories did not withstand scrutiny: 

"I say that Ronald Reagan could not have survived the age of Google. … He’s telling a story about out-of-control federal bureaucrats and how they even want a tourist paddle wheeler that plies the Mississippi River to get the same kind of fire insurance that commercial ships have, even though this paddle wheeler is this ancient — not a real ship, right? He says, "It has not even had a fire in its entire existence." All I have to do is Google the name of it … and find out that it had a fire two years before he spoke.
He found moral truths in the stories that he told. As people discovered when he was president, they often didn’t withstand scrutiny, but as they also discovered when he was president, it was always hard to make this criticism of Reagan stick. They called him “The Teflon President.” And his ability to make people feel good — to kind of preach this liturgy of absolution in which Americans were noble and pure and could absolve themselves of the responsibility of reckoning with alleged sins in America’s past — that was to me the soul of his appeal.”


Photo:
Ronald Reagan waves to the crowd on the final night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 19, 1976 in Kansas City, Missouri. By David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
View in High-Res

    Rick Perlstein, author of The invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan spoke to Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies about how Reagan’s stories did not withstand scrutiny: 

    "I say that Ronald Reagan could not have survived the age of Google. … He’s telling a story about out-of-control federal bureaucrats and how they even want a tourist paddle wheeler that plies the Mississippi River to get the same kind of fire insurance that commercial ships have, even though this paddle wheeler is this ancient — not a real ship, right? He says, "It has not even had a fire in its entire existence." All I have to do is Google the name of it … and find out that it had a fire two years before he spoke.

    He found moral truths in the stories that he told. As people discovered when he was president, they often didn’t withstand scrutiny, but as they also discovered when he was president, it was always hard to make this criticism of Reagan stick. They called him “The Teflon President.” And his ability to make people feel good — to kind of preach this liturgy of absolution in which Americans were noble and pure and could absolve themselves of the responsibility of reckoning with alleged sins in America’s past — that was to me the soul of his appeal.”

    Photo:

    Ronald Reagan waves to the crowd on the final night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 19, 1976 in Kansas City, Missouri. By David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

  2. ronald reagan

    rick perlstein

    american history

    politics

    interview

    fresh air

    dave davies

  1. Tomorrow: News anchor and political commentator Chris Matthews joins us to talk about his book “Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked," and to reflect on his own interview style, as well as his Catholic faith. 
When interviewing Matthews likes to, “race them a little, get them working a little faster than they like to think out loud, so they begin to think just on their feet and they have to answer more impulsively, and that way you can get closer to the truth.”

    Tomorrow: News anchor and political commentator Chris Matthews joins us to talk about his book “Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked," and to reflect on his own interview style, as well as his Catholic faith.

    When interviewing Matthews likes to, “race them a little, get them working a little faster than they like to think out loud, so they begin to think just on their feet and they have to answer more impulsively, and that way you can get closer to the truth.”

  2. fresh air

    interview

    chris matthews

    tip and the gipper

    tip o'neill

    ronald reagan

    politics

    msnbc

  1. Starting in Hollywood in the 1940s, Ronald Reagan developed a special relationship with the FBI. He became an FBI informer, reporting other actors whom he suspected of subversive activities, and later, when he became president of the Screen Actors Guild, the FBI had wide access to the Guild’s information on various actors. At one point, the Guild turned over information on 54 actors it was investigating as possible subversives — so the FBI viewed Reagan as an extremely cooperative source in Hollywood. He was far more active than we know from previously released FBI records. As a result of this, Hoover repaid him with personal and political favors later.

    — Seth Rosenfeld on Ronald Reagan’s Affiliation with the FBI

  2. Seth Rosenfeld

    Subversives

    Ronald Reagan

  1. Assessing Ronald Reagan at 100. View in High-Res

    Assessing Ronald Reagan at 100.

  2. ronald reagan