Gotta Watch: Behind the scenes of the Reagan shooting
Ronald Reagan exits the Washington Hilton hotel moments before a gunman opens fire in 1981.
March 18th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Behind the scenes of the Reagan shooting

Breaking news, 1981-style – It's hard to believe it's been 30 years this month since the failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. CNN - less than a year on the air as the world's first 24-hour news network - sprang into breaking news mode to report initial details of the attack.

CNN investigation – This Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, CNN presents an investigation into what really happened behind the scenes on that tense day in 1981. In this excerpt, doctors describe how they worked to save Reagan's life in the ER.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Politics
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. mikey

    It amazes me how the liberals constantly spew hate for the right, and the Tea Party gets labeled by our media as the haters.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • "Tolerant Liberal" is an Oxymoron

      Well said, Mikey. Couldn't agree more.

      And I have a question for CNN that we're all dying to know . . . why are you running this story when it has nothing to do with Sarah Palin?

      March 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Shortly after the shooting,Ronald Reagan bragged that we were not living in a sick society. All the drug dealers,pedophiles,murderers,Wall Street embezzlers and especially those warmongers who show their obscene joy at our going off to another useless war are quickly proving him wrong!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tammy

    While I too will and do respect the office I do NOT nor will NOT respect the man who held the position, nor should I expect, nor should it be expected of me to do so. I do find it a sad day in America that another American tries to fluff out, and in some cases succeeded, a Presidents life. Let's not forget what Reaganomics did to the Veterans, and what LASTING effects it they had on our economy, shall we? Also, even Mr. Reagan's son casts doubts if Mr. Reagan's mental faculties were all there during some of his years in office. That being said, this article really isn't about all that we're discussing is it?

    March 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Aric

    Thanks for the flashback, CNN, to when you were a reputable news source. It's amazing. Even this very newsworthy item of a president being shot is treated with less sensationalism than you would now devote to an article on the iPad.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Bauer

      Touché! Well done!

      March 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Martin Scorsese

    It was all my fault. I promise I'll be more careful from now on.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John Hinckley Jr.

    It was all Jodie Fosters fault, she drove me nuts and brainwashed me. Now she's doing it to Mel Gibson, notice all the nutty stuff he's been doing...Obama better watch out for Mel...

    March 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Vice-President Bush

    One day I will be in that White House and so will my son, Georgie....We will rock this world.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Justthefacts

    Reagan was a little more vicious than Tricky Dick, but they both were cast from the same Mold

    March 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. R U Talkin' 2 Me?

    There sure are alot of "internet tough guys" on here, spewing their opinions.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Neahcat

    What I remember about the videos and stills that is still frustrating is how all the police and security people were looking at Reagan when they should have been looking at the crowd. The guy just walked up. Security did have a good medical emergency plan though which probably saved Reagan's life.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Donald Regan not Ronald Reagan

    Look, we all know that Reagan was merely a puppet for Donald "Wall Street" Regan. There is no doubt who was in charge all along; we all remember the video clip where Regan is barking orders to Reagan and Reagan nods and gravels like a little lap dog. He was an actor, he was hired by Wall Street to act, he did a fine job –otherwise where would all of these glittering generalities about the Great Ronald come from. No economist can credibly link his policies to economic success. He did inspire a nation; an uneducated, self-centered, gullable nation.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Bauer

      Aw, does the poor, bitter liberal need a handout? Here's a dollar, go see if you can turn it into ten. Didn't think so. The difference between the haves and the have nots is that the have nots WILL NOT (as in WILL NOT WORK for their money). Now go back to watching MSLSD and Rachel Madcow while weeping in your bowl of store brand franks and beans that I PAID FOR. Loser.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Very well put,Donald Regan not Ronald Reagan. Thank you.

      March 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dude

    there are many who believe that Reagan didn't survive the shooting, that the rest of his term was fulfilled by a sock puppet. True story.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sandra LeVin

    Who's been in charge in the White House the last 2 years?

    March 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The corporations, as they have been for a long, long time.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ed


    March 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. C Bauer

    Tammy, do you mean his gay atheist son who has done practically nothing with his life and needs a buck so he wrote a book, or the adopted son who actually made something of himself?

    March 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
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