Newt Gingrich Flays CNN for 'Selective Outrage' Over Ted Nugent Controversy

Crossfire co-host Newt Gingrich exposed CNN's double standard on Tuesday when he slammed the network for "selective outrage" over conservative Ted Nugent's remarks about President Obama, and Nugent's support of Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.

"I always love selective media outrage. As the party of Hollywood, the Democrats have lots of donors and supporters who say truly stupid things. Truly outrageous things," insisted Gingrich. Among those Democratic donors is liberal comedian Bill Maher, who said horrible things about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann on CNN and yet guest-hosted on the network back in 2012.

Maher was an Obama donor in 2012 and had a history of vile slanders of conservative women, even calling both Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann a "MILF" on CNN; yet he returned to the network to guest-host Piers Morgan Tonight in 2012.

Despite Maher's antics that were welcomed on his network, Wolf Blitzer focused on Ted Nugent's rhetoric instead and its connection to a Republican political candidate. "[T]he Republican candidate for governor of Texas should not be appearing with someone who refers to the President of the United States as a subhuman mongrel," insisted Blitzer.

Gingrich wouldn't have it, though, with CNN's "selective outrage":

"I would love to have the media condemn a major Democrat for some of the vicious things they have said. I have never seen it done. I don't expect to see it done in my lifetime. I think this is entirely selective outrage. Again, I'm not defending Ted Nugent. I think what he said was wrong and he shouldn't have said it. But I also think that the outrage is remarkably selective."

Below is a transcript of the segment:

CNN
THE SITUATION ROOM
2/18/14
[5:51 p.m. EST]

WOLF BLITZER: Jaw-dropping slurs against President Obama by the rock star Ted Nugent. Let's talk about that and more with CNN's Crossfire host, the former Speaker of the House, former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Newt, thanks very much for joining us. You hear me okay, right?

NEWT GINGRICH: I hear you fine.

BLITZER: Okay, alright. Good. Let's talk about Ted Nugent. The outrage isn't so much, from my perspective, Ted Nugent says a lot of crazy, vile slurs over the years. The outrage really is that the Republican candidate for governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, is willing to embrace him, invite him to go out on the campaign trail after he calls the President of the United States a subhuman mongrel. Would you do that if you were running for office?

GINGRICH: No. But I always love selective media outrage. As the party of Hollywood, the Democrats have lots of donors and supporters who say truly stupid things. Truly outrageous things. But let's go right to the heart of the Democratic party. The Saturday before the 2000 election, Al Gore went to a black church and charged that George W. Bush would appoint judges to return blacks to be counted as three-fifths of a person. In 2012 Vice President Biden went to a black audience and said if the Republicans win within 100 days, they will put you back in chains. Now why isn't there some accountability for tremendously outrageous, vicious, and racist  statements by Democratic elected officials, not just entertainers? And I just think there's a double standard here. What Ted Nugent said was stupid. I don't support it. He's a big supporter of the Second Amendment, which I am. But in this case, it's not a smart thing to do. But I do think the level of selective outrage, particularly on the entertainment left, where they often day after day say much more vicious things about Republicans, it's just kind of funny to watch.

BLITZER: The phrase subhuman mongrel, you are familiar with this because you are a student of World War II and the genocide that occurred during, when the Nazis referred to Jews, Mr. Speaker, as subhuman mongrels, there is a history to that phrase.

GINGRICH: You cannot have it both ways. You can't say on the one hand –

BLITZER: I'm not saying we should have it both ways, Mr. Speaker. What I am saying is that the Republican candidate for governor of Texas should not be appearing with someone who refers to the President of the United States as a subhuman mongrel.

(...)

GINGRICH: I would love to have the media condemn a major Democrat for some of the vicious things they have said. I have never seen it done. I don't expect to see it done in my lifetime. I think this is entirely selective outrage. Again, I'm not defending Ted Nugent. I think what he said was wrong and he shouldn't have said it. But I also think that the outrage is remarkably selective.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014