Topic: Media Research Center
Last week’s episode of FX’s The Americans, set in 1987, imagined a U.S. arms control official telling an undercover Soviet KGB operative that he’d heard from a White House insider that President Ronald Reagan has “been forgetful, not focused, almost a different person lately. The man I talked to said he thinks that the President might be going senile.” In the next scene, the agent’s KGB handler worried: “Weinberger and his cronies are even more hard-line than Reagan.”
But as leading Reagan biographer Craig Shirley has pointed out, “there is no truth to the notion of Ronald Reagan having Alzheimer’s during his presidency.” Not that such a fact would have prevented the scene The Americans played out from happening in reality – given the disdain for Reagan from so many in the DC establishment.
But as we've noted, Shirley is more of a Reagan hagiographer than a straight biographer, and he fears that questioning Reagan's health means delegitimizing his entire presidency. He also insists that only conservatives be allowed to write about conservative history and that they should "root out and eviscerate and disembowel liberals writing of our history."