Does CNN think President Ronald Reagan was insane?

A headline appearing on its website tonight had some news readers wondering, after the network altered an Associated Press headline.

Screen shot of Wednesday, May 2, 2007 includes a headline some feel implies President Reagan was insane

In a story about a newly published compilation of Reagan’s writings, the original AP headline read: “Reagan’s wit, humor comes through in detailed diaries.”

But on CNN’s homepage, the network’s altered headline read: “Reagan diary gives new take on insanity.”

“It’s obvious, they are insinuating Reagan was insane,” reacted one WND reader upon seeing the CNN headline. “It’s blatant.”

The AP article does mention “insanity,” in this context:

In an April 1984 entry, he wrote that [his daughter] “Patti screamed & complained so much we took the [Secret Service] detail away at her request.”

“Now, S.S. went to her & asked if she would accept it for no more than a week until they could get this information out of Lebanon & check the story (about an apparent threat). She said yes. But today’s the 4th day & she’s screaming again about her invasion of her privacy & last night she abused the agents terribly. I said take them away from her so she’s again without protection. Insanity is hereditary. You catch it from your kids.”

Some believe the network intentionally took Reagan’s joke out of context.

“The bottom line is this,” said the WND reader. “It’s one short, humorous comment he made, and that’s what they focused on because they want to link Reagan and the word insanity. There was no reason to pick one little word from the entire AP article and focus on that for the headline. It’s as if they want to equate Reagan with the word ‘insanity.'”

In the wake of WND’s exposure, changed the Reagan headline on its homepage, removing any reference to “insanity.” The updated headline read: “Reagan’s wit comes through in diaries.”

After WND’s coverage, revised its Reagan headline to delete any reference to insanity early Thursday, May 3, 2007

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