In his book Killing Reagan, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly argues that when Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981 his presidency was, for all intents and purposes, “killed.” In other words, Reagan was never the same after the shooting and several of his aides wanted to remove him from office because he was mentally incompetent.
Last week columnist George Will challenged O’Reilly’s interpretation of Reagan Then the two conservatives went head to head on O”Reilly’s show.
Today Will went after O’Reilly again. Here is a taste:
O’Reilly “reports” that the trauma of the assassination attempt was somehow causally related to the “fact” that Reagan was frequently so mentally incompetent that senior aides contemplated using the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove him from office. But neither O’Reilly nor Dugard spoke with of those aides — not with Ed Meese, Jim Baker, George Shultz or any of the scores of others who could, and would, have demolished O’Reilly’s theory. O’Reilly now airily dismisses them because they “have skin in the game.” His is an interesting approach to writing history: Never talk to anyone with firsthand knowledge of your subject.
Instead, O’Reilly made the book’s “centerpiece” a memo he has never seen . Then Dugard asked the Reagan Presidential Library to find it.