Believe it or not, the Huffington Post has actually performed a public service. In publishing author Mark Juddery’s “The 8 Most Overrated People In History: You'll Never Believe Who Made The List,” the official blog of liberal Hollywood reminds us in one brief web slideshow how the left is both condescending and intellectually dishonest.
Condescending because in repeating some (by now) well known corrections to famous stories Juddery seems to think he’s bringing the iconoclastic truth to the blinkered public. Intellectually dishonest because in running down President Ronald Reagan with a list of failings that might have been culled from any 1988 edition of The New York Times, he reminds us where many liberals really stood during the latter part of the Cold War, and how they stoutly refused to accept (Soviet) defeat.
Juddery’s list of overrated people comes from his book, “The 50 Most Overrated Things in History.” It must be a real page-turner if it these shocking revelations are typical: there was no real King Arthur; in landing on Hispaniola, Columbus thought he’d reached India; there’s no record that Lady Godiva ever rode naked through Coventry.
Anyone with a decent education and a minimal amount of common sense can only shrug and wonder who paid Juddery to write this. And anyone who has a nodding relationship with the History Channel probably knows that Thomas Edison was a sharp businessman (“classic Dickensian employer,” in Juddery’s words) who employed hundreds of researchers and scientists working in his name.
Saving the best for last, Juddery dismisses the legacy of Ronald Reagan with nasty disdain. To call Reagan great, Juddery contends, is to “ignore the Iran-Contra scandal, the huge budget deficits, his environment ignorance, his do-nothing reaction to the looming AIDS epidemic, his courting of Saddam Hussein, and numerous other blunders.”
As for ending the Cold War, Juddery rehashes the leftist caricatures of Reagan the dangerous war-monger. “[O]thers have suggested that Reagan’s arms build-up was a cunning ploy to bankrupt the USSR, which is a relief, because I always thought it was a cunning ploy to risk everyone’s life.” Reagan used embarrassing rhetoric like “evil empire” and “was very uncooperative in peace talks” with “the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev,” until “facing scandal and low approval ratings, he was willing to do anything – even something crazy like helping to save the world.”
Luckily, Juddery’s Reagan shares more than hype with King Arthur, since neither of them were real.