Investigative journalist Robert Parry writes that "the U.S. news media's reaction to Ronald Reagan's death is putting on display what has happened to American public debate in the years since Reagan's political rise in the late 1970s: a near-total collapse of serious analytical thinking at the national level. Across the U.S. television dial and in major American newspapers, the commentary is fawning almost in a Pravda-like way, far beyond the normal reticence against speaking ill of the dead. ... Yet absent from the media commentary was the one fundamental debate that must be held before any reasonable assessment can be made of Ronald Reagan and his Presidency: How, why and when was the Cold War 'won?' " Author William Blum writes that Reagan's "ultra-tough, anti-communist" policies prolonged the Cold War, resulting in "pervasive suspicion, cynicism and hostility on both sides."
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