- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The nation, it seems, can never get enough of the wisdom and insight of Ronald Reagan. Now there is a new source to consider about the 40th president.

The Raab Collection, a leading national dealer in historical documents, has revealed newly discovered private correspondence from Reagan — a collection the organization deems “Behind the Oval Office Doors.”

The collection includes never-before-seen letters about press bias, information leakers, religion, support for Israel, women — including then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain — the Challenger disaster and space travel by civilians. That pesky press bias was certainly an issue Reagan addressed in the collection of letters, all written to a close friend, the late Douglas Morrow, an Academy Award-winning Hollywood screenwriter and film producer.

“It goes without saying that Bill Moyers on the CBS special presented a totally dishonest report on poverty. We can refute every heart-rendering experience he portrayed as being the result of our economic program — they weren’t,” Reagan wrote to his friend on April 26, 1982.

“Like Jimmy Durante, ‘I’ve got a million’ of those examples of press dishonesty,” he said in another letter about a year later.



The president also revealed his simple strategy for dealing with the competition during partisan combat.

“The Democrats show signs of marshalling their forces to resist our efforts. So we’ll take our case to the people,” he noted on Jan. 7, 1985.

There is also some candid wisdom about feminism — with a revealing hint of Reagan’s personal civility included. He did not spell out the word “damn” in the letter itself.

“All of this talk of some women about equality is foolish. The plain truth is that they are superior. I don’t know about you but I don’t mind a d—m bit that they are. As a matter of fact, it’s rather comforting. During the recent Summit one of our members — leader of one of the seven nations — gave Margaret Thatcher a bad time. Later I said to her that he was certainly out of line and shouldn’t have talked to her that way. She pleasantly and calmly said, ‘Oh women know when men are being childish,’” the Gipper observed in another communique.

The letters show a side of Reagan reserved for close friends and political allies, including one note drafted and signed “Aboard Air Force One,” a “remarkable rarity” according to the dealer. The collection has never been offered for sale and most of the letters have been “out of the reach” of the public or scholars.

“It is very rare to find such an important and revealing trove of letters of a president. These letters are a window into Reagan the person and the politician,” says Nathan Raab, principal at the Raab Collection and author of the upcoming book “The Hunt for History: On the Trail of the World’s Lost Treasuresfrom the Letters of Lincoln, Churchill, and Einstein to the Secret Recordings Onboard JFK’s Air Force One.”

The Reagan letter collection, Mr. Raab says, is valued at $200,000.

MONICA LEWINSKY, HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER

Some significant news about Monica Lewinsky, who has just joined forces with HBO Max, a video on-demand service from WarnerMedia Entertainment set to launch in early 2020.

“The former Clinton impeachment figure-turned-activist will executive produce a documentary called ‘15 Minutes of Shame’ along with director Max Joseph. Both will also appear on camera as they take an in-depth look at the ‘public shaming epidemic in our culture’ — and people’s collective need to destroy one another,” writes Rick Porter, an analyst for the Hollywood Reporter.

HBO calls Ms. Lewinsky “an anti-bullying activist with unparalleled authority,” and a perfect partner for the project.

“‘15 Minutes of Shame’ will feature well-known names as it takes an irreverent, roller-coaster ride through the world of public shaming. It will include subjects from around the world who have been publicly shamed and also explore the bullies, bystanders, media members, psychologists and experts in between,” HBO advised the Hollywood Reporter.

FOREVER AND EVER

With 2020 bearing down on the nation, the U.S. Postal Service has revealed several of the new Forever stamps and others to be issued in the new year.

“These miniature works of art offer something for everyone interested in American history and culture,” says William Gicker, acting executive director for U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services. “From notable figures such as golf legend Arnold Palmer and esteemed journalist Gwen Ifill to the cultural phenomenon of hip hop to a celebration of the great outdoors, this program is wide-ranging and adds to the history of our great nation as recorded through the U.S. stamp program.”

Also on the list of new stamp designs: There’s a classy image of the historic Mayflower, arriving in Plymouth Harbor 400 years ago. The 19th Amendment gets a nod, and there’s an ornate “Thank You” stamp for the grateful letter writers. Earth Day and the 200th anniversary of Maine statehood will also be celebrated, along with a fancy flower corsage — an image which adorns a new 2-ounce Forever stamp meant for heavy wedding invitations and oversized greeting cards.

FOXIFIED

Fox News continues to be the most watched cable network of all throughout the day for the 41st week in a row, according to Nielsen Media Research. As far as its news competition, Fox News still leads the pack as it has done for over 17 years, drawing 2.7 million viewers compared to 2 million for CNN and 1.8 million for MSNBC.

Presentations of “Hannity,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “The Five” made up 16 of the top 40 cable telecasts in total viewers. And a special citation for primetime host Sean Hannity, who drew over 4 million viewers during two nights last week, besting TBS’s presentation of baseball’s National League Championship Series on Monday, which drew an audience of 3.6 million.

POLL DU JOUR

54% of registered Democratic voters say it’s more important that the party’s presidential nominee have a strong chance of beating President Trump.

39% say it’s more important the candidate shares their positions on major issues.

53% say it’s more important the candidate advocate for policies that have a good chance of becoming law, even if doesn’t result in “big changes”

42% say it’s more important the candidate advocate for policies that would result in big changes, even if they have a lower chance of becoming law.

Source: a CNN/SSRS poll of 424 registered Democratic voters conducted Oct. 17-20.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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