Fiction vs. Real Life
November 12, 2003, 1:00am

In all the talk about the Reagans TV miniseries that was supposed to be shown on CBS, reality and fiction have become blurred. That account of Reagan’s presidency and marriage was always designed to be a fictional movie based on reality – not a documentary, not a news piece.

It’s ironic that the larger fabrication is not this fictional movie with actors, but the real-life distortion of the truth told by this current president and members of his administration. The implication that Saddam Hussein was involved in September 11th … the certainty that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction that could be activated within 45 minutes …the charge that Iraq was aiding al Qaeda terrorists … the sudden case for urgency in dealing with a government we had successfully contained for over a decade … this was dishonesty, presented to the public as hard news. Listening to Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Powell’s speeches regarding the imminent nuclear threat posed by Iraq leading up to the war, you might think we were all living in a bad TV movie where every point is exaggerated for dramatic effect. But in reality, American lives were lost and are still endangered due to these misstatements. Now, Bush seems upbeat and out of touch with the mounting violence facing our troops and the Iraqi people on a daily basis. Episodes such as his “Mission Accomplished” fighter pilot landing are all too phony and made-for-TV. He rarely mentions the tragedies, instead trying desperately to paint a prettier picture of a deeply troubled situation. And on the domestic front, Bush’s fictional spin is just as bad. Whether it’s “Leave No Child Behind” and then cutting funding for low-income kids, or “Healthy Skies” and then stopping prosecutions of companies illegally polluting the air, Bush’s policies continue to undermine his own rhetoric. And this is not a television drama … this is real life!