Reagan, addressing the Voice of America 40th birthday celebration,
reminisces about the job of announcing baseball games from wire copy,
in which he would make up details to make it sound more exciting. "Now
I submit to you that I told the truth," he says, to open audience
laughter. "I don't know whether he really ran over toward second base
and made a one-handed stab... but the truth got there and, in other
words, it can be attractively packaged." Present with him is his head
of the U.S. International Communications Agency, Hollywood producer
C.Z. Wick. Many in the Voice of America were uneasy over a perception
that the Reagan administration was trying to turn it from a news agency
into a pure propaganda medium, a course recommended by Wick appointee
Philip Nicolaides, which lead to the resignation of VOA's news director
Bernard Kamenske. Reagan urged the maintenance of "standards of
journalism that will not compromise the truth", but his definition of
truth does not make that reassuring, and his overall message was seen
by most as encouraging the shift toward more propagandistic broadcasts.
Three Canadian documentaries, including "If You Love This Planet",
which was nominated for an Oscar, are officially classified as
"political propaganda" by the Department of Justice, which restricts
their availability in the USA.
A rumor circulates that the Reagans are considering buying a Bel Air
mansion owned by pornographer Larry Flynt for $4.9 million. Says
Flynt, "If Reagan buys it, I'll even throw in a bed that sleeps six."
An unnamed source says of Lt. Col. Oliver North's suddenly famous
secretary Fawn Hall, "People used to drop by to see Ollie just to sit
outside and drool over Fawn." Hall is later offered half a million
dollars to pose nude. She turns it down.