43 Replies to “President Ronald Reagan Assassination Attempt CNN Coverage 3-30-1981”

  1. I remember seeing part of the coverage while my parents were working and living in Germany. I was just a teenager, but we stayed up half the night (different time zone, it was midnight!) to find out what was going on. Both of my parents were war refugees and emigrants to the US (naturalized there) prior to their overseas assignment, and they were terrified of another European war breaking out while the President was in the OR and the White House in limbo.
    Keep in mind this was during the Solidarity union uprising in Poland, with talk of the Soviet Union marching in to quell that, much like in Prague and in East Germany.
    We would have gotten on the plane the same night if necessary.

    The next morning, after the situation had calmed down somewhat, I had a big English test at the German school I was attending.
    I mentioned being dead tired to my "English" teacher (i.e. a German teaching English to the other German kids while I was bored). He stared at me, laughed at me being "so worried about that *******", and cracked anti American jokes.
    I lost all respect for my teacher on that day.
    (He got payback – at my later graduation ceremony, he got a full load of my contempt in front of everybody. The man turned dark red and ran off. Good riddance, sucker.)

    Anyway.
    I also saw live coverage that night of Alexander Haig's famous gaffe of "being in charge" at the White House, but I'm not mad about that – it wasn't completely correct, but he was trying to calm down the situation while the Vice President was still on the plane, and the other people in line ahead of Haig (Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader) couldn't take over yet without resigning their current positions.
    (Read up on presidential succession on Wikipedia, no takeover without previous resignation. It just wasn't that simple and quick as people like to say.).
    Haig kept the lid on a potentially volatile situation – as we now know, two nuclear footballs with codes were floating around, and he made very clear he wasn't going to assume the presidency or do anything rash.

    So, thank you for publishing this coverage. It brought back a lot of memories of a fragile and dangerous time.

  2. And just to acknowledge what so many others have here, I had almost forgotten that there was a time that CNN did actual news! I almost expected them to stop the coverage and slander president trump with some fake news! The current team at CNN should study this and learn something!

  3. 50:57…I think a super-sleuth journalist might, at this point have wondered why the first lady had arrived at the hospital if the president was unharmed. Shaw implies that she must have been concerned about the other people who were shot. But they, at this point, weren't at George Washington hospital. They were still lying on the sidewalk in front of the Hilton as we just saw. It strains credulity to believe that the first lady was trying to get to the hospital BEFORE the victims, instead of comforting her husband who had just arrived at the White House (we are incorrectly told.) I thing i can see mr. Shaw's cognitive dissonance click in at this point.

  4. This shows what a mess JFK conspiracy witnesses are. All these initial reports are confusion and partial stories. Decades later and JFK nuts still treat initial errors as golden chutes of truth.

  5. Today, CNN would be reporting this news with party hats while dancing to 'Happy Days Are Here Again'. Sad how far this organization has fallen.

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