Newswatch: The Bite Without the Sting

Not long ago President Reagan remarked, "I know that what we've been doing doesn't read well in the Washington Post or the New York Times, but, believe me, it reads well in Peoria." Like most of Reagan's hand-carved one-liners (which is about all we get these days), this remark was ambiguously simple. It seems a criticism of two papers unpopular with right-wingers, but in Reagan fashion it was a bite without a sting. The remark could also be read, suggests David R. Gergen, the White House's director of communications, as implying that...

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