In the article “Presidential Communication: An Essential Leadership Tool” Thomas Griscom describes important issues of President Reagan’s communication with media, including the press, that helped him to be successful with opponents, the electorate, and in his foreign policy. Ronald Reagan is considered to be the most popular and respected by the press president.
Some in the press and media world emphasized the likeability of Reagan. Somebody could hate his internal and foreign policies, but it was really hard to dislike the image created by Ronald Reagan with the view to media likes and dislikes. Mainstream press and media were telling the story of Reagan’s accomplishments in the one-sided version of some events. Reagan created his devotees who were asserting that he was “right” about anything. Television news was as well under Reagan’s charm.
The influence of Reagan over the issues of world politics and the program of his Republican Party were very important conditions of the media’s Ronald Reagan tributes. It should be mentioned that controversial aspects of the legacy of President Reagan were underestimated or even recast as footnotes.
There are only a few notions about “death squads” in the media during Reagan’s rule considering them as an important issue of Reagan’s legacy to be worth mentioning. The rare cases of critical reflection about his foreign and internal policies were turned into extra evidence of his “undisputable” strength.
In a conclusion, it must be said that Reagan used media as a certain tool to communicate the leadership image of the President. Media was also used by him as a machine that helps to manipulate people’s consciousness, will, and opinions. Media, including the press, served the interests of the Republican Party and Reagan’s government, hiding some of the truth and cramming the public with information that fitted and satisfied Regan and his surrounding.
Griscom, Thomas. Presidential Communication: An Essential Leadership Tool. Ed. James P. Pfiffner, R. Gordon Hoxie. New York: Center for the Study of the Presidency, 1989, p. 337-343.