After the media's disgraceful intrusion into Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's former marriage last week, it would be hard to make the case they've been too easy on him.
But that's exactly what MSNBC's Joe Scarborough did on Monday's Morning Joe (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
"I don't know exactly what the media is supposed to do, whether you just let a candidate go, or whether you have a responsibility to stop him at every turn," said Scarborough at the beginning of a lengthy segment about the GOP race.
"When he says something that is so obviously false that a quick check on Google would prove it," he continued. "Newt Gingrich called himself the outsider several times there. He talked about not being the establishment candidate, and how Republicans had messed things up and strayed away from conservative values."
To prove Gingrich wrong, Scarborough pointed out all the money the former Speaker has made via his Capitol Hill influence. Before we get to whether or not that refutes Gingrich's "outsider" claim, let's first address the media question.
In a perfect world, all candidates would be fact-checked for everything they said be they Democrat or Republican.
Unfortunately, we know from history that Democrats can say virtually anything they want safe in the knowledge that their fans in the media will give them a pass. No finer example was how they treated Barack Obama in 2008. Some of them even admitted after the fact they were too soft on the former junior senator from Illinois.
Now, in this election cycle, the press have been more interested in scandal than fact-checking because they're all looking for the knockout punch.
When Texas governor Rick Perry was riding high in the polls, rather than analyze any of his positions, the media went after a hunting ranch his family leases that used to be called "Niggerhead."
Soon after when Herman Cain was the frontrunner, allegations of sexual harassment two decades ago occupied print and airwaves for weeks until he was forced to drop out of the race.
Now that Gingrich is looking like a viable challenger, out come decades old charges by a bitter ex-wife.
How can the press possibly have time to fact-check what candidates are currently saying when they're devoting all of their energy to digging up dirt from the past?
Despite what just happened in last Thursday's debate which began with CNN's John King actually asking Gingrich about his ex-wife, Scarborough missed this irony.
He also appears to be misunderstanding what the former Speaker means about being the "outsider" in this race.
Quite clearly, the Republican establishment wants Romney. Take a look at what some of them said on the talk shows Sunday and this seems almost irrefutable.
As such, Gingrich - and obviously some primary voters - sees himself as the outsider because the insiders all want him to lose.
Since Scarborough is part of the "Anybody But Newt" crowd, he should understand this better than most.
Maybe he does but his antipathy toward the former Speaker is too encompassing for him to show it.
One thing's for sure - a lot of mainstream media heads on both sides of the aisle are going to explode if Gingrich wins the nomination.
Isn't it delicious?
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