October 21, 2015

Every Time Bill O'Reilly pens one of his "Killing" books, experts on the subject matter come out in droves to throttle his lack of real knowledge. And after he released "Killing Reagan," nothing has changed except maybe that his critics are all Conservatives.

What Bill O’Reilly’s new book on Ronald Reagan gets wrong about Ronald Reagan
By Craig Shirley, Kiron K. Skinner, Paul Kengor and Steven F. Hayward

“Killing Reagan,” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, is supposed to be a book of new scholarship on the Reagan presidency. Instead, it restates old claims and rumors, virtually all of which have been discredited by the historical record.

In this best-selling book, there are no endnotes, no bibliography, no long list of interviewees and only a smattering of footnotes. There is a section titled “Sources,” but it is only two-and-a-half pages long. It includes about two dozen sources, but that is not adequate for a subject, Ronald Reagan, who has been the focus of thousands of books and articles and who was one of the most consequential political figures of the 20th century. The works of three of us are not noted at all, and between the four of us, we have written 19 books on Reagan, not to mention countless articles. The sources section does, however, reference long-questionable works, including the sensational 1991 attack by Kitty Kelley — which is clearly incorporated throughout the book — and the 1999 biography by Edmund Morris, roundly criticized for its intermingling of fact and fiction...read on

BillO responded:

Then, last week, a hit piece on "Killing Reagan" shows up in "The Washington Post." It was almost comical. For example, the writers of the story insisting Ronald Reagan was not a lady's man when he was a Hollywood star.

Do you remember the names Errol Flynn and William Holden? They were Reagan's running buddies. The actors, well, they were a bit flamboyant to say the least. You might want to look them up.

If anything, Dugard and I played down the Hollywood stuff, but we had to include it in order to show how Reagan went from a somewhat shallow celebrity to a great man. Nancy Reagan had a lot to do with that...read on

I bet the awesome Rick Perlstein could tell you who's right and wrong, but it's always enjoyable to see O'Reilly get skewered by his ilk.

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