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Gary Younge
Reagan Jr takes on TV rightwinger

The son of the former Republican president, Ronald Reagan, has become a liberal talk show host going head-to-head with his dad's onetime director of communications, Pat Buchanan.

After three years fronting dog shows, Ron Reagan, 45, is doing a week-long stint as guest presenter of Buchanan and Press for the cable channel MSNBC. He is filling in for Mr Buchanan's regular liberal foil, Bill Press.

In his first show the former ballet dancer ridiculed conservative guest Michael Long for his opposition to America's first high school for gays and lesbians. "I can't help notice that anything involving gay people gets conservatives' panties in a real twist. Why is that?"

Reagan Jr's television career started in the late 80s when he became adventure correspondent for Good Morning America, before moving on to host a late night chat show The Ron Reagan Show which flopped. His dog show on the Animal Plant network has been slightly more successful.

His most memorable television moment to date, however, was when he hosted the satirical Saturday Night Live for a night and skipped around in contour-hugging ballet tights.

The first time he appeared on Buchanan and Press he called the Bush administration"overly aggressive, overly secretive and just plain corrupt".

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