Big Three Nets Trumpet Homosexual Activist's Glitter Attack on Gingrich

On Wednesday, all three major broadcast networks' morning shows played up a homosexual activist throwing glitter at Newt Gingrich during a book signing in Minneapolis. Both CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today show played footage of the attack on the Republican presidential hopeful at the top of their programs, while ABC's Good Morning initially failed to mention the left wing cause of the protester.

A minute into the 7 am Eastern hour of The Early Show, anchor Chris Wragge previewed a report on the former House Speaker's campaign woes from correspondent Jan Crawford by highlighting the video: "Look at this: a gay rights protester throws glitter all over Newt at an event last night." During the report itself eight minutes later, Crawford noted, "More embarrassment Tuesday in Minneapolis, when a gay rights activist glittered Gingrich at a book signing." The protester, which the AP tentatively identified as Nick Espinosa, shouted during the attack, "Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!"

The Early Show's website on CBSNews.com featured the video of the confetti-laced protest and added a slanted caption: "Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was showered with glitter at a Minneapolis book signing event by a gay rights activist...Later that evening, Gingrich was due to give a speech at the anti-gay socially conservative Minnesota Family Council." By using that term, the liberal media outlet all but labeled the right-leaning organization a hate group.

NBC's Meredith Vieira played the footage of the glitter attack at the top of 7 am Eastern hour during a teaser: "Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign off to a shaky start. Just this week he has upset conservatives, refused to talk about owing the high-end jeweler Tiffany's as much as half a million dollars, and then this – why a protester showered the former House Speaker with glitter." About 15 minutes after this, correspondent Andrea Mitchell featured an extended cut of the video near the end of her segment detailing the setbacks to the former Georgia representative's nascent presidential campaign as she reported, "Topping off a bad day, the Gingrich's book signing in Minneapolis was briefly interrupted by a glitter attack. Activists said it was a gay protest."

Screen cap from 18 May 2011 edition of ABC's Good Morning America of glitter attack on Newt Gingrich | NewsBusters.orgUnlike the other two networks, ABC's Good Morning America didn't highlight the protest at the top of the program. However, correspondent Jake Tapper omitted the left-of-center cause of the glitter-tosser during his report 11 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour: "It has been a difficult, and at times, just plain weird presidential campaign launch for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, shown here last night in Minnesota being assailed with glitter by a protester."

Over an hour later, news anchor Josh Elliott did mention this detail during a news brief on the attack, but made a small gaffe about what specifically was thrown: "Meanwhile, an unwelcome surprise for Newt Gingrich: a gay rights activist dumped graffiti on the presidential hopeful at a book signing, capping off a rough few days for Gingrich. He had just had to apologize for criticizing a Republican plan to reform Medicare."


It is completely reasonable for the Big Three networks to report on the struggles of Gingrich's campaign, especially given it has been less than a week since the former House Speaker launched it, but their liberal leanings are made apparent by their decision to play up the sparkly protest.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center