On this edition of Parallax Views, documentary filmmakers joins us to discuss his latest series, the Showtime original The Reagans, as well as his friendship with the late iconoclast and rabble-rouser Gore Vidal. Vidal was fond of saying that the U.S. should be called “The United States of Amnesia” because of the way American culture memory holes inconvenient aspects of its history. We delve into the influence of this concept and Vidal’s thought on Tynauer, who served as Vidal’s literary executor, and how the concept of “The United States of Amnesia” relates to The Reagans. In this regard we discuss Vidal’s insightful essay “Ronnie and Nancy: A Life in Picture” that offered an early astute commentary and analysis of Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Reagan.
From there we move on the to the subject of his latest documentary effort: Ronald and Nancy Reagan. In this regard we delve into a multitude of areas including:
– The Reagan image, the attention economy, the decline in literacy, and influencer culture
– The parallels between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump
– Ronald Reagan, the John Birch Society, and the Human Event newspaper
– Reagan vs. the Air Traffic Controllers Union
– Grover Norquist and the Cult of Reagan
– The forces behind Ronald Reagan’s political rise
– Nancy Reagan’s role in the White House and Ronald Reagan’s success
– Reagan in Hollywood and his ties to Lew Wasserman and the MCA
– Reagan’s journey from New Deal Democrat to the face of the GOP
– The line from the Barry Goldwater campaign to Reagan’s Presidency and onward
– The role of the media in Reagan’s political success; oppositional journalism in the era of Reagan as represented by Robert Scheer and Helen Thomas
– Reagan and Positive Thinking
– Dog-whistles and the Southern Strategy
– And much, much more!