The past fired back Monday with two barrels.
Margaret Thatcher’s death at age 87 ushered in a non-stop sycophantic display of adulation across all the television networks, that, we need to recall, used the same playbook when her ideological kith and kin, Ronald Reagan, also suffering from dementia, departed this mortal coil.
Then, there was a six-day televised praise poem between his death and what amounted to a state funeral with an unending orgy of uncritical commentary, as if the media had fallen down the amnesia hole and forgotten that the great communicator was not that good a communicator and often an embarrassment, not to mention a political fraud.
Now it’s Maggie’s turn, with acres of soundbites stressing that “we should never forget” how tough the “Iron Lady” was. Baroness “Lady Thatcher” was spoken of reverentially as royalty by the high and mighty who treated her as a divine figure.
In life her role was debated; in death, she was consecrated as a goddess. Such is the power of celebrity. Once you have it, you never lose it.
All of the controversy and the critiques by “detractors” were mostly forgotten or buried.
One by one, the “LEADERS’” of the west including Barack Obama and virtually every head of state gushed at how wonderful she was. Never mind that it was members of her own Party that turned her back on her. She sought to insure that there could be no alternative to her conscience-free “free market” policies that enriched the rich and further impoverished the poor.
There was a sprinkle of soundbites from Irish leaders and union activists trying to tell it like was. Chris Kitchen, a spokesman of the Mineworkers Union said:
font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>“We've been waiting for a long time to hear the news of Baroness Thatcher's demise and I can't say I'm sorry. I've got no sympathy for Margaret Thatcher and I will not be shedding a tear for her. She's done untold damage to the mining community.font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>I don't think Margaret Thatcher had any sympathy for the mining communities she decimated, the people she threw on the dole and the state she left the country in.
I honestly can't think of anything good I can say about Margaret Thatcher”
Among the great minds that CNN interviewed was its own pundit for all seasons, that profile in courage, Richard Quest who began speaking first of those who lost their jobs because of her policies but then quickly turned to support her “reforms.”
Editor Tina Brown spoke about how great she was, a “trailblazer” for women. She then, like Quest, blasted the unions.
Margaret Thatcher's death was greeted with street parties in working class neighborhoods in Brixton and Glasgow.
A headline: “Crowds shout 'Maggie Maggie Maggie, dead dead dead' during impromptu events”
"Times New Roman";color:#262626″>“Several hundred people gathered in south mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#262626″> on Monday evening to celebrate mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#262626″>'s death with cans of beer, pints of milk and an impromptu street disco playing the soundtrack to her years in power. 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
"Times New Roman";color:#262626″>Young and old descended on Brixton, a suburb that weathered two outbreaks of rioting during the Thatcher years. Many expressed jubilation that the leader they loved to hate was no more; others spoke of frustration that her legacy lived on. 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
"Times New Roman";color:#262626″>To cheers of "Maggie Maggie Maggie, dead dead dead," posters of Thatcher were held aloft as reggae basslines pounded. 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
"Times New Roman";color:#262626″>Clive Barger, a 62-year-old adult education tutor, said he had turned out to mark the passing of "one of the vilest abominations of social and economic history".
News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs at Newsdissector.net. A filmmaker and author edits the new Mediachannel.org.