I think you meant to say that the hostage crisis ended on the first day of Reagan’s presidency? The hostages were taken during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, and a botched rescue effort may have contributed to Reagan’s victory.

Speaking of propoganda, I was a boy at the time, and I took to watching Ted Koppel’s hostage coverage every night in a new network news program that later became Nightline.

The entire nation’s attention was captivated each night as Koppel led off with the number of days the hostages had been held. While his program was not overtly propagandistic, he rarely talked about the genuine grievances Iranian people had with the US. He rarely talked about how the Shah was perceived in Iran as an American-imposed dictator with a tendency to to torture and imprison his political opponents.

Instead, we were fed a nightly diet of distress about the hostages and their families. All the coverage was truthful and important; the hostages were suffering and so were their families. But the lack of balance, the lack of any genuine Iranian perspective, led to a sense of national outrage that saw peacemaker Carter lose his office in lieu of Reagan, who implemented a much more aggressive, America-centric foreign policy… a policy that arguably has led (just about directly) to the events of the past couple of weeks.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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