ABC trotted out the "best of" Newt Gingrich slams on Thursday, finally revealing the results of an exhaustive Brian Ross interview with Marianne Gingrich, the former Speaker's ex-wife. Ross boasted that his scoop could be seen as a "January surprise" to harm Gingrich. Recycling old attacks, Ross eagerly prompted the ex-Mrs. Gingrich: "You know his secrets. You know his skeletons." [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]
How bereft of new information was the segment? According to reports that broke on Wednesday, Ross sat down with Marianne Gingrich for two hours. In the eight minute segment, ABC only used two and a half minutes of actual footage from that interview. But Ross breathlessly hyped, "And we begin tonight with a story at the white-hot intersection of presidential politics, private lives and character."
ABC News's Marianne Gingrich interview has "that awful, awful taint of Rathergate to it," timed as it was "to do the most amount of damage it possibly could to Newt Gingrich's career," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained in an interview with Washington, D.C. news-talk station WMAL's Morning Majority program.
While Marianne Gingrich may be "entirely honest" in her claim, she is "lashing out at her ex-husband" and her story is an unconfirmable account. "I think it was a mess of a story, I think it hurts the media," the Media Research Center (MRC) founder added. [interview embedded below page break]