The mainstream media loves to kidnap stories it knows nothing about, just to make itself feel more important. And the pack thinks it has found a winner with the story about Newt Gingrich overstating his role in the Reagan Revolution.
Of course, what the mainstream media knows about the Reagan Revolution couldn’t fill a thimble. Bloomberg’s Al Hunt was on NBC the other day reporting that Gingrich’s claim that he was a key figure in the Reagan revolution in 1980s is “patently false.”
Now, I worked with Al Hunt at The Wall Street Journal when Ronald Reagan was in power. Al is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, who spent more time sneering at Reagan and his policies than he did trying to figure out why they were working.
Among other things that he missed was Gingrich’s role in holding the line on some key provisions of the Reagan tax cuts. Democrats Tip O’Neill and Dan Rostenkowski were bearing down on Reagan’s cabinet, trying to get it to water down the tax cuts. But Newt was adamant that only massive tax reduction would revitalize the economy. He formed a Congressional working group to hold the line. Reagan ended up using some of Newt’s materials to push Congress on getting more of what he wanted.
A biographer of Reagan’s supply-side Revolution wrote the following about Newt’s role:
“…had people like Newt Gingrich not acted in 1981, we would have had the alternative tax cut that would have been unrecognizable from any of Jimmy Carter’s tax shavings of the 1970s.”
Some in the media can try to twist the facts to fit their story line about Newt, but it won’t work. An historical record exists. If only accuracy played a more important role in all the rhetoric being thrown around in these primaries.