Saturday, November 01, 2003

Controlling the Media: The Republican National Committee flexes muscle - RNC asks to review 'The Reagans' - Oct. 31, 2003
The Republican National Committee Friday asked CBS to allow a team of historians and friends of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife to review a miniseries about the couple before it airs.

Republicans have expressed concern that the miniseries, titled 'The Reagans,' may inaccurately portray the couple.

...Gillespie said that if CBS denies the request, he will ask the network to run a note across the bottom of the screen every 10 minutes during the program's presentation informing viewers that the miniseries is not accurate.

Fascinating. CBS must wonder how it got into such a pickle. FOX would never be in this position -- on the wrong side of the RNC.

CBS can cave, and get some flack from the NYT. Or they can resist and earn the emnity of the Wall Street Journal, the RNC, the Bush administration and the Church of Reagan. No contest. They have to cave.

On the other hand, these biographic miniseries on commercial TV do not have a reputation for accuracy. They're often at the honesty level of a Bush press briefing. So, without having seen it, I suspect the RNC may have a point. Unfortunately their credibility is even lower than that of commercial TV, and their reputation for vengeance is most unseemly.

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