Next month, CBS (search) is set to run a miniseries on Ronald and Nancy Reagan, as you may know. But reports say the movie contains propaganda and defamation. And now some Americans are calling for a boycott.
CBS President Les Moonves is quoted as saying there are things about the movie he likes and things he doesn't like. So we assume CBS is going to recut the film. Therefore, we're not jumping to any conclusions until the final version is ready.
That's the fair thing to do. Remember, some condemned the upcoming Mel Gibson movie about the death of Jesus without seeing it. We said that wasn't fair and we're holding to that.
But should the Reagan movie turn out to be unfair, well, CBS is going to be in a terrible position. Millions of Americans will be angry if the Reagans are portrayed as mean-spirited. And they will take their anger out on the network and the sponsors of the movie. There's no question about that.
CBS executives have to know this. And that's why I believe they'll modify the film. But you can legitimately question their judgment in the first place. They allowed two far left actors to portray Ronald and Nancy Reagan. They allowed a screenwriter to put in a scene where President Reagan says people with AIDS deserve it, although there's no evidence Mr. Reagan ever said that. And they are releasing this controversial film when President Reagan is dying of Alzheimer's. What kind of judgment is that?
Talking Points rarely endorses boycotts. The current boycott on French products is an exception because that country is actively working against the USA. But we know the boycotts are very, very serious. They hurt people -- sometimes innocent people. And they should never be entered into lightly.
So we are holding off on judging the Reagan movie until the final cut is available to be seen. We hope the movie is fair and balanced. But if it isn't, I wouldn't want to be in the boardroom at CBS or working the switchboard.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Your humble correspondent -- that's me -- is the second guest on the Charlie Rose program on PBS this evening in support of my book, Who's Looking Out for You? And the first guest is the French finance minister. That Rose has some sense of humor.
Anyway, I think you'll find my chat with him to be entertaining, to say the least. You might want to tape it, if you don't stay up that late.
By the way, sleeping is never ridiculous.