"Wife number three and I made a movie about the Pope, so my divorces and adulterous affairs don't count."
That's how one person greeted Newt Gingrich's recent announcement that he is seriously considering the possibility of running for president. Most followers of the presidential-primary scramble figured as much already. But Gingrich's press conference ushered in an open season on the man and his personal life.
The negative comments have focused on more than the former congressional speaker's personal infidelity. They've gone after his professional record, too. It's always hard to divorce one from another.
On Thursday's The View on ABC, during a discussion of potential Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's challenge in having to talk about his history of failed marriages during a campaign, right-leaning co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck chimed in with a blatantly pessimstic view of Republican chances for winning the 2012 election. Hasselbeck, who has a history of endorsing GOP presidential candidates, quipped that "it could be over for the entire Republican Party" in the next election, and suggested they "consider saving their cash" for next time instead. Hasselbeck:
For the seventh day in a row, MSNBC's Chris Matthews attacked possible Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee.
In a lengthy, twelve minute opening segment lambasting the pair for largely past indiscretions, the "Hardball" host concluded with a literary reference likening the both to con men (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, George Will this weekend lambasted Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee about separate comments the two have made regarding Barack Obama's background and upbringing.
On Monday, during his fifth day in a row on this subject, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually compared Will's column to William F. Buckley Jr. banning anti-Semitic writers from the National Review in the '50s (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough appeared on Monday's Today show to deliver a forecast of doom for Republicans on the budget fight and their 2012 presidential prospects. On their skirmish with Democrats in Congress the host of Morning Joe told NBC's Matt Lauer he thinks Republicans "have the most to lose" and in explaining the late start for GOP entrants into the 2012 race proclaimed, "they are afraid of Barack Obama," as seen in the following exchange:
Even though there's still a year and eight months to go until the 2012 presidential election, Good Morning America's John Berman on Monday derided the GOP field for not joining the race yet. As a mocking trombone sound played, Berman joked that Newt Gingrich "had us on the edge of our seats" last week by establishing only an exploratory website.
Highlighting Mitt Romney's failure to officially enter the race, Berman offered this insulting aside: "But will it be him? What other possible explanation could there be for the fact that Romney, who was trying to shake the reputation that he was born in a business suit, has apparently has lost all of his neck ties?"
Highlighting a conservative for dismissing other conservatives, the ABC reporter quoted, "Some Republicans feel timing isn't the problem, but the field. Columnist George Will writes, 'If pessimism is not creeping into Republicans' thinking about their 2012 prospects, that is another reason for pessimism.'"
President Obama apparently has 18.5 million Facebook friends which not surprisingly is far more than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
When the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman told his liberal colleagues on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" what a potential advantage this gives the current White House resident, there was much rejoicing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was lambasted by numerous liberal media outlets for comments he made to conservative radio host Steve Malzberg regarding President Obama's past.
Surprisingly joining in the harsh criticism was George Will whose column to be published in Sunday's Washington Post also excoriated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as well as Malzberg:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews had multiple Obamagasms on his program again.
The thrills up his leg embarrassingly came at the beginning and the end of "Hardball" in what at times seemed like an hour-long commercial for the President's reelection (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Discussing the possibility of Newt Gingrich running for president in 2012, on Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge touted "big negatives" for the former House speaker: "...baggage that he brings with him...the government shutdowns back in the '90s, to being forced out as speaker, to the fact that he's on his third marriage, which is probably going to alienate some social conservatives."
Political analyst John Dickerson agreed with Wragge's assessment: "Well, some of that baggage, they're trophies. He can say, 'I fought for these principles harder than anyone else.' But as you say, the personal baggage is considerable. He's not only had multiple marriages but he is an admitted adulterer. That matters in Republican primaries, where religious voters care about that kind of thing."
Chris Matthews, once again, abandoned any notion he was serious about establishing a new tone of political civility in the wake of the Tucson shooting, as on Wednesday's Hardball he compared former Speaker of the House and possible GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to a terrorist as he screeched "He looks like a car bomber" and even described him in demonic terms, adding: "He's got that crazy Mephistophelian grin of his. He looks like he loves torturing."
The following Matthews rants came during a discussion about possible GOP presidential contenders with the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page and The Huffington Post's Sam Stein on the March 2 Hardball:
Chris Matthews got another thrill up his leg for Barack Obama Tuesday.
As you read and/or watch the most-recent presidential gushing and fawning from the "Hardball" host, keep telling yourself that this man believes his program is "absolutely nonpartisan" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, after anchor Brian Williams asked correspondent Richard Engel to respond to concerns about the radical nature of the Muslim Brotherhood that have been expressed by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Engel asserted that the movement is "not al-Qaeda, it’s not the Taliban," but, as he went on to compare the group instead to Hamas, partly because they "wear business suits," he neglected to point out that Hamas is itself a terrorist organization.
He related that the organization is "anti-American, it’s anti-Israel, but it wouldn’t kick all the Christians out of this country."
When Williams brought up the Muslim Brotherhood, he posed the question: "And the Speaker (Gingrich) said that they were enemies of civilization. He said it’s in their own creed. I know for many years you lived and worked alongside members of the Muslim Brotherhood there in Cairo. Tell us your knowledge of this group."
MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe on Tuesday said, "The experiment of democracy, of untrammeled democracy inside the Middle East is most clearly demonstrated by the Palestinian authority with Hamas taking power in the Gaza strip."
Such transpired in the same lengthy "Hardball" segment wherein Chris Matthews called Sarah Palin "a cuckoo clock" and Newt Gingrich "a mortal enemy to our civilization" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday used ominous Democratic talking points and pressed Newt Gingrich as to whether Republicans are willing to put uninsured Americans at "risk" by repealing Obamacare.
The former Democratic operative turned journalist also offered this complaint about GOP efforts to overturn the 2010 health care law: "This repeal is likely to pass the House tomorrow. But it's not going anywhere in the Senate. So, what's gained?"
Citing a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services, Stephanopoulos warned, "If President Obama's reform is repealed, they say that's going to put these people at risk. Are you willing to take that risk for the 129 million Americans?" The ex-Speaker of the House dismissed this document as "far-out left-wing propaganda" and added, "I don't particularly trust Health and Human Services on anything at the present time because it's a very politicized agency."
Newt Gingrich on Sunday said that if he runs for president in 2012, he would not participate in a debate that had MSNBC's Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann moderating.
Instead, the former Speaker of the House told C-SPAN's Steve Scully that he'd prefer to just have an open, informative dialogue between the candidates with only a timekeeper (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, as he plugged a segment on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s appeal to President Obama to cooperate with the GOP, host Keith Olbermann suggested that Obama should "kick" the "ass" of McConnell rather than surrender to the Republican Senator’s demands. Referring to McConnell during a plug, Olbermann complained: "Once again, he honestly explains what compromise means: agreeing with him. And instead of kicking him in the ass, the President agrees to sit down and chat."
After a few more plugs in which the Countdown host mocked McConnell for asking Obama to move in the Republican direction on issues, Olbermann got to the segment and played a clip of the Senate Republican Leader speaking to the conservative Heritage Foundation. After bringing aboard the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, the MSNBC host held his hands over his head and began the discussion: "Forgive me. I have to deal with this headache immediately, so I'm doing this right at the moment."
He soon asked Fineman if President Obama would ever realize that trying to compromise with Republicans "hasn’t gotten me a lick of spit" and give up:
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as host Matthews asked the panel to predict the outcome of the Pennsylvania Senate election, he described Republican candidate Pat Toomey as "right-leaning," but assigned no ideological label to Democratic candidate Joe Sestak. Panel member John Heilemann of New York magazine asserted that Toomey is "not just right-leaning, he’s a pretty conservative guy," while also giving no label to Sestak. Ironically, it was Helene Cooper of the New York Times who finally described Sestak as "so far to the left."
Later in the show, as the group discussed what Republican control of Congress would mean for President Obama, Heilemann continued to see Republicans being at an extreme without noting any liberal extremism as he recounted President Clinton’s battle in the 1990s with Republican Speaker New Gingrich and how President Obama could play a similar role with a Republican Congress. Heilemann: "He (President Clinton) took advantage of Newt Gingrich’s extremism to make Republicans look bad. Obama can play that part of the game possibly very effectively."
Chris Matthews' level of political advocacy as we approach November's elections has now crossed from being unprofessional into almost pathological.
After claiming on Wednesday's "Hardball" that the Chilean miners would all be dead if they followed the so-called "every man for himself" philosophy of the Tea Party movement, he proceeded on Thursday to use this incident as an example of why people should vote for Democrats on November 2 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough is wondering if somebody should tell former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to "shut up," in his newest Politico column. In referencing a 1996 best-seller by David Maraniss and Michael Weisskopf, "Tell Newt to Shut Up," the MSNBC host writes that "maybe it's time for someone to deliver that message again" in lieu of recent controversial soundbites from the former House Speaker.
Ironically, a cable news show host who has trouble thinking before speaking his mind is calling out his former colleague for making outlandish statements – as if Gingrich wasn't already infamous for those as House Speaker.
Scarborough's column is titled "Gingrich's Rhetoric Will Backfire," and the former Florida congressman spares nothing in attacking his former colleague for "political hate speech."
"These days, Newt Gingrich's modus operandi is to smear any public figure who fails to share his worldview," Scarborough writes. "His insults are so overblown and outrageous that after the rhetorical dust settles, the reputation most damaged is his own."
With House Republicans set today (Thursday) to unveil their “Pledge to America” if they win a majority of seats in November, a look back at how then-NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw derided the Contract with America when it was announced on Tuesday, September 27, 1994. “Today,” Brokaw declared on the newscast he anchored from in front of the White House, “GOP congressional candidates were summoned to Washington and given a battle plan. However, as NBC's Lisa Myers tells us tonight, it is long on promises, but short on sound premises.”
In the subsequent story, Myers cited the GOP's promise of “tax cuts for just about everyone” while also pledging “more money for defense and a balanced budget amendment.” She countered: “An independent budget expert called it standard political bunk.” Myers also poked at term limits, noting Newt Gingrich “already has served 16 years...Gingrich said any term limit bill will apply only to future members of Congress.” She mused in concluding her piece: “And politicians wonder why voters are cynical.”
Video clip, from the MRC's videotape archive, is of Brokaw's introduction followed by the entire story from Myers. Audio: MP3 clip. Extra treat: The video begins with a Today show promo narrated by Katie Couric: “The latest on the OJ Simpson case. Can celebrities get a fair trial?”
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, comedian Bill Maher picked up on a recent contention by Newt Gingrich that President Obama is motivated by anti-colonialism which his Kenyan father felt as the Real Time with Bill Maher host smeared the potential 2012 Republican presidential field as racist:
How are they going to out-firebreathe each other? I mean, where this rhetoric has gone to at this point. It’s only 2010, and we’re having Newt Gingrich, as we were talking about before, calling him an anti-colonial Luo tribesman. ... That’s the new Kenyan, Larry. And Kenyan, of course, was code for n*****. But that’s where they are. They can’t say it out loud. But that’s where this whole campaign is going to be. You asked about racism. It’s all about racism. They cannot fathom this idea that there is a black President. And that’s what they are going to fight about.
Maher also declared that, while he personally likes Delaware GOP senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell because she is a "nice person" who used to be a frequent guest on his Politically Incorrect show in the 1990s, that he was also cheering for her and other "tea baggers" to win GOP primaries, declaring that "she's going to get her Christian ass kicked in the general election."
And, as the topic turned to the Ground Zero mosque, while Maher acknowledged that there is a substantial amount of Islamic extremism in the world, he believed using the military against it makes it worse, and suggested that, because 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already been captured, America should declare victory and New Yorkers should "forget about it." Referring to the 9/11 mastermind, Maher declared:
Appearing on MSNBC to present his magazine's feature piece critical of the "Baby Boomer" generation, James Bennet of The Atlantic named George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton as the three worst "baby boomers" who did the most harm to the country's political culture and its economy.
"It'd be hard not to point to George W. Bush as having done a lot of damage," Bennet asserted. Bush, he added, "created a lot of programs that costed us a huge amount of money, without a lot of regard for what the effects are going to be on the folks that are going to have to pay for those for many years."
Bennet also blamed President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for failed policies. However, Bennet was quick to reference the "surpluses as far as the eye could see" at the end of the Clinton administration, as a counterweight to Clinton's damage while in office. He bafflingly lauded President George H.W. Bush's tax hike as "politically brave" and which helped create the prosperity of the Clinton years.
Not how I'd mark an anniversary, but MSNBC is flexible in its alleged standards.
On Sept. 8, Rachel Maddow told viewers it was two years since her cable show started on MSNBC. And what better way to enter her third year of televised liberal polemics than with Maddow's trademark melding of smarm and deceit.
The following night, Maddow railed at Newt Gingrich and Citizens United for producing and marketing a documentary warning Americans of the threat from radical Islam, after she complained about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck charging admission to a meet-and-greet on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (first of four parts in embedded video) --