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L. Brent Bozell
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Remembering (and Forgetting) Thatcher


The legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, and the national media tried to pay their respects, not only for breaking Britain's "glass ceiling" with a "bruising" political style, but for transforming Britain and helping wind down the Cold War.

Still, Thatcher was a conservative and one of Ronald Reagan's staunchest friends in the world, so you can be sure these journalists were Thatcher-bashers when she was in power. Some of them were American anchors and reporters.

Let's start with a few quotes from long after she left 10 Downing Street. On Nov. 19, 1999, NBC reporter Jim Avila brought the liberal contempt in a story on a sex scandal in higher education: "Hillsdale College is supposed to be different: a liberal arts college where liberals are unwanted, where Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are regarded as heroic deep thinkers, prayer is encouraged and morality is taught alongside grammar."

That knock on "heroic deep thinkers" shows that Avila wrote the story before he showed up at Hillsdale. Reagan and Thatcher were great leaders and certainly great combatants in the war on ideas. But Hillsdale teaches Locke and Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville. One wonders if TV reporters have heard of those philosophers before they mock conservative "deep thinkers." Obviously, if a Fox News reporter mocked college students viewing Obama and Bill Clinton as "heroic deep thinkers," they would be dismissed as street rabble who'd never opened a book.

In 2000, Time magazine and CBS News picked the most important people of the 20th century. On CBS on Christmas Eve, Bryant Gumbel and Dan Rather took turns suggesting Thatcher wasn't worthy. Gumbel began: "On the women's front, Eleanor Roosevelt is obviously a given. Do we agree with the Margaret Thatcher pick?" Rather replied: "I don't, to be perfectly honest."

Gumbel agreed: "I don't either." Rather demeaned her: "My guess, Margaret Thatcher is there, as much as any reason, because she is a woman."

I'm not making this up. Eleanor Roosevelt, best known as a First Lady and then as an esteemed lecturer of liberal nonsense, is to Gumbel and Rather "obviously a given" on the world stage, while Margaret Thatcher is a mere footnote, only worth mentioning because she was a woman. Neither took exception with the other American woman on the list of the century's leaders: radical leftist Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

During Thatcher's time in power, as she boldly argued for less socialism at home and less communism across Europe, American reporters often brought the same dismissive rhetoric to their Thatcher stories that they did to their Reagan stories. On May 3, 1989, NBC reporter Peter Kent asserted, "Thatcher has ruthlessly applied her conservative solutions." NBC didn't report that Obama "ruthlessly applied his liberal solutions" when he forced Obamacare down America's throat in 2010.

On that same night, a foolish ABC reporter named John Laurence made Thatcher sound like a despot: "Mrs. Thatcher has proved to be an Iron Lady at home and abroad. ... And in the process, she converted 10 Downing Street into what's been described as an elective dictatorship."

That's what the Left says when conservatives win repeated landslides.

This tilt may have been established in part because when Mrs. Thatcher sat down for interviews with the American networks, she brought her usual firm approach. In her memoir "Reporting Live," CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl tells of interviewing Thatcher in the depths of Iran-Contra, pushing the prime minister to admit Reagan as a liar, feeling that she was "demolished" by Thatcher "seeming to question my love of country."

"What are you doing your level best to put the worst foot forward? Why? America is a great country," Thatcher insisted. "I beg of you, you should have as much faith in America as I have."

Stahl told of receiving bags full of negative mail. Thatcher was originally livid at Stahl's quite-typical battering, but changed her mind when the letters came in, like one telling Stahl "We applauded when Mrs. Thatcher chopped you into bits."

Our media devoted many more hours of weepy airtime to Princess Diana in 1997 than the spare minutes they'll offer in Thatcher's memory. They have already treated her as faded and forgotten. In 2009, when Michelle Obama came to London, NBC turned to an "expert" named Helen Kirwan-Taylor, who proclaimed Mrs. Obama is "absolutely terrifying for the British, because the British like their women subdued and doe-eyed, modest and soft-spoken, I mean, Princess Di. And here comes this woman who's in your face. Everything about her says 'I'm confident. I know what I want. I can do anything.'"

This quote can only be disseminated by people who know this is Thatcher-ignoring nonsense. Liberals claim to love strong women, but not when those women are conservatives.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... What is about these reactionaries you love so??? Is it the fact that they all want to export democracy no matter what is the cost, and deny it at home no matter who it hurts??? Do you remember that she denied the Miners of England a piddling amount of Solidarity Support from the United States???... Why are the rich so inclined to accept democracy that gives the people no control in their affairs but denies them democracy where it really would have a meaningful effect on their lives, such as in their work places???...
I get it... You hate the unions, and the unions are all corrupt; but who made them that way??? Representatives and representative governments are accepted because the corruption of a minimum can turn the direction of the whole affair; but the long term effect is that the whole of the group, the society becomes corrupted in the same process... In a union you have to look around a try to judge who you can trust... If you chose to be political, you have to know the man on the other end of the piece, and never put yourself in the bite... You have to mentally separate the goats from the sheep, those who have been corrupted into thinking they can ride while everyone else carries until so many are riding that no one else can carry...
Sir;.. The same thing is true of our democracy... The rich want to be carried... The religious want to be carried... The military want to be carried, and the poor the old and the infirm have to be carried... After a while all those made impotent by their corruption and immorality become with the rich too great a load for the society to bear... At that point will we say as Mr. Thatcher that we need a sales tax, or say as some, that we need a flat tax??? All you have to answer the failure of your society with is some scheme, some war, some diversion...
Like my Grandfather was want to ask: What's Johnney Bull doing in the Faulklands??? And what are we doing anywhere if not defending our capital where we see it land...
Naturally, if you want the rich to have more money you have to find a way to make the poor pay more for the government that does not govern on their behalf... This is just to say that where enterprise is free, it will wiggle out of taxation, and depart from the country because it has no master in government, but makes all governments its servants... If the people are ruled, but have no government of their own to force capital to do their bidding, they will see themselves strapped over a barrel and spanked...
Our governments are worse than tyranny... Our governments are the illusion of democracy; but democracy is what the rich most fear, and have from day one; so just as in England the first priority is the corruption and corrosion of representatives, and the subversion, and perversion of democracy...It does not matter that Reagan and Thatcher blew sand up a lot of asses around the world... That is what made them Great... But the longer such people persist, the poorer the people of their lands will become... And when it comes time to change society the graves and reputations of such people will be worth nothing... They will be lost track of... People will dig them up and throw them in the sewer of history... They will call it justice, and so it will be...
Before you make Gods of Reagan and Thatcher; only consider for a moment what was their long term effect??? We have more malaise today than when Mr. Reagan was elected, but politicians refuse to draw attention to it... When you can see what happens to those who tell the truth, your time will be divided between the excuse and the illusion...
That is what we are waiting on now... We need some one with Charisma who can make us believe for another brief instance that we can make this hunkajunk society function...And everytime we swallow that bait we find ourselves poorer and more deparate still... That is why we suffer such hostility... People have the sense to know they have been burned, but they don't want to admit that they elected those who made their burn possible...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:00 AM
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