Bill O’Reilly‘s “Killing Reagan” co-author Martin Dugard fired back at Washington Post columnist Erik Wemple on Sunday, questioning the motive of the “Reagan apologists” at the paper after Wemple published a story calling the book “historical fraud.”
Wemple suggested that a sequence in the book has “factual problems” and even dug up video to prove his point, but Dugard disagrees. The “Killing Reagan” co-author questioned Wemple’s motive, pointing to Washington Post publisher Frederick Ryan, a former Reagan White House staffer who has written numerous books on the president.
“Thus, Mr. Ryan’s motivations and Mr. Wemple’s writing are hardly what anyone might consider objective journalism,” Dugard wrote in an open letter to Bill O’Reilly. “Rather, it is a smear campaign meant to attack you and the Reagan book.”
Wemple’s story accused “Killing Reagan” of exaggerating an exchange between the president and the press back in 1984 to make Reagan look bad. Wemple points out that the book said veteran journalist Sam Donaldson was in “full confrontational mode,” but the retired broadcaster told Wemple he wasn’t there.
“To be clear: This incident occurred. I am not sure if Mr. Wemple is trying to prove President Reagan did not have a slip, or that the moment never took place, but the video is irrefutable proof,” Dugard wrote to O’Reilly, providing evidence of his own.
Dugard wrote that he is “flattered” that Wemple spends an “inordinate amount of time reading and writing” about the book, but that “no amount of attacks by Mr. Ryan, Mr. Wemple or any of the Reagan apologists who have come out of the woodwork to attack ‘Killing Reagan’ can reverse the fact that this incident occurred.”
Dugard ended his letter by saying, “What’s next, asserting that Reagan didn’t die of Alzheimer’s Disease?”