You can hardly turn on the news or pick up a newspaper without reading or hearing about another scandal involving the illegal or immoral antics of elected officials. What you may not realize is that this trend is not new. In the past, some major news stories were buried by the people who were sworn to expose them. Were their reasons valid? You decide.
Ronald Reagan’s Senility – You have to admit that Ronald Reagan was a lovable guy. He was a beloved movie star who captured the hearts of the American public and kept them. Reporters covering the Reagan White House were undoubtedly enchanted by the charismatic and garrulous chief executive. They attributed his occasional gaffes to his busy schedule and his studied persona of being a manager rather than a detail man. If they noticed the symptoms indicating the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, they said nothing. It is probable that the correspondents in Washington D.C. realized that something was wrong, however, due to the nature of their profession.
John F. Kennedy’s Addison’s Disease – In addition to the World War II back injury that occasionally plagued him, President John F. Kennedy suffered from Addison’s disease which is a disorder of the adrenal system that affects digestion and causes a brownish coloration to the skin. Although it isn’t fatal, it is uncomfortable. The fact that JFK had the disease was never reported, but then again, neither were his numerous affairs.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Infantile Paralysis – Although the public knew that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had developed polio in 1921, newspaper photo editors honored White House requests not to publish pictures of the president being carried by his aides, in his wheelchair, his leg braces or on crutches. As a matter of fact, it was a general rule that reporters covering Washington, D.C. in the 1950’s systematically refused to report which elected officials drank, philandered, or got arrested unless (as one correspondent explained) “it affected his ability to carry out his job.”
Woodrow Wilson’s Stroke – President Woodrow Wilson suffered a severe stroke during his presidency in September of 1919. President Wilson was oppossed to the idea of allowing Vice President Thomas R. Marshall being sworn is as chief executive. Because he wanted to continue in office, he allowed his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt to assume many of his duties, which was in violation of the United States Constitution. The extent of her involvement was never determined. However, it is certain that she did so for the duration of his presidency which did not end until 1922. In fact, there are several references about her being the “first female president” and the “secret president”. Click here visit her biography page at the White House Government Site.