Months after Ronald Reagan’s grin and his flag-draped coffin inundated the media, many HIVers are still reeling from the disconnect between the coverage’s virtual canonization and their own memory of his absent AIDS leadership. Get balanced again by matching the following statements with POZ’s outspoken respondents:

1. “The media has depicted Reagan as a visionary who attempted to democratize the world, but he did nothing to stem AIDS. He failed to create relevant policy and fund research, education and outreach.”

2. “The coverage befitted a two-term president who undeniably shaped our era. We didn’t know a lot about AIDS 20 years ago, so you can’t judge his response. Presidents today have much more info.”

3. “The coverage would make one think a God had died, not a poor excuse for a president. The media has become a global spam facilitator for the rich. Dying doesn’t make a president great, just dead.”

4. “I got hate mail for critiquing Reagan, saying I should respect the dead. But he sure didn’t! He’ll be named satanic for letting AIDS rage. At least in hell, he won’t meet my dead pals who’d want to kill him again.”

5.“Adolf Hitler, our murderer, is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone else in the entire history of the world is dead. Not one tribute to his passing that I have seen mentioned this.”


A. ACT UP cofounder Eric Sawyer
B. Village Voice columnist Michael Musto
C. Congresswoman Maxine Waters [D-CA]
D. Activist/playwright Larry Kramer [from The Advocate]
E. New York Post writer Andrea Peyser