Reacting to the questions posed during Wednesday's presidential news conference, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich expressed disappointment with the White House press corps, telling FNC's Greta Van Susteren the journalists have “taken such a pathetic dive with this President that they ought to be part of his PR firm. I mean it's embarrassing to watch.”
Gingrich cited a series of subjects on which reporters failed to press Obama, such as “So why are you releasing these terrorists in the United States?” and “Why are you so confused about whether or not you want to in fact go after and prosecute people who've never historically been prosecuted before?” Plus, “Doesn't it worry you to have $9 trillion in debt being projected under your administration?”
In the interview conducted at Mount Vernon, Gingrich quipped: “If you didn't know better, you'd think that he was practicing with his own public affairs people for the future press conference.”
The New York Times finally noticed -- kind of -- the nationwide "tea party" protests against the bailouts, the stimulus plan, and President Obama's budget. Reporter Liz Robbins' story, "Tax Day Is Met With Tea Parties" is the first Times news report to deal with any of the conservative anti-spending protests, and does so in a predictably snide manner and in a relatively short article on Page 16 of Thursday's edition.
This paragraph from Robbins' initial version of the story, posted at nytimes.com Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 (no longer online), got a few facts about conservatives wrong:
Fox News was covering the events and streaming live video as its own commentators Neil Cavuto and Michelle Malkin were headlining the protests in Sacramento, Sean Hannity appeared in Atlanta, and Newt Gingrich showed up at City Hall Park in New York.
Oops. Neil Cavuto is a host at Fox News, not a commentator, and given that her story was filed Wednesday afternoon, Robbins couldn't have actually reported on Newt Gingrich's speech at City Hall Park, which didn't start until sometime past 7:30 p.m.
An attack from that first filing that didn't make it into the print version accused the protestors of "group therapy" and of "expressing their anger, but offering no solutions."
Of course, when the small band of colonists dressed as Indians and dumped tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 to protest King George's import tax and imperial government, that movement led to independence.
All of these tax day parties seemed less about revolution and more about group therapy. At least with the more widely known protest against government spending, people attending the rallies were dressed patriotically and held signs expressing their anger, but offering no solutions.
On Monday night's "Hardball," the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore challenged Chris Matthews to come out to one of the many tea parties protesting taxes and the government bailouts, as the former Club For Growth President egged on the "Hardball," host to prove he is "a man of the people," but Matthews ducked the invitation and yelled back: "Steve stay in your box!"
As Matthews was wrapping up a segment with Moore and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, Moore got in the following parting shot:
STEPHEN MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Chris! Chris! Chris! My question is you're a man of the people, why aren't you out there at these April 15th rallies? I mean c'mon! You know you, you say, you speak for the middle-class guys?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What is this? Intramurals? Michael Smerconish, thank you and Steve stay in your box!
Hours from the premiere of his MSNBC cable show Monday night, radio host Ed Schultz told listeners what they can expect on his television show (click here for audio) --
If it's successful then I think you win because I know what I'm going to be talking about, I know what kind of stories I'm going to be looking for. And I want to make sure that the Democrats don't get weak knees on the Employee Free Choice Act.
Yet it was Schultz whose knees grew wobbly after the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by Rush Limbaugh on the so-called Fairness Doctrine in February.
Not only did Limbaugh leave Schultz the most unhinged he'd been since McCain picked Palin, Schultz vowed to respond in print, telling his listeners he'd been in touch with a Wall Street Journal editor about writing an op-ed in the Journal.
Former daytime TV talk show host Montel Williams debuted on Air America Radio on Monday, a network so desperate they’re hiring a man who boasts of how he was a long-time Republican, and now says he can’t stomach either party. But Air America’s trying to draw attention to Montel as he begins his (perhaps short-lived) talk-radio run with a demand that former Speaker Newt Gingrich "Shut up" before he starts a nuclear war. Montel played audio of Newt Gingrich on Greta Van Susteren’s show on April 1, saying he would do whatever it takes to take out North Korean missiles, and offered his own fractured rebuttal:
When you come out that ignorantly and try to threaten to put America in a position that we are now riling people towards nuclear war, I gotta tell you, shut up!...
[Gingrich] said, 'I'd bribe someone' [to prevent a missile launch]. This is the leader of the Republican party...Here is your leader telling you that he wants to do business the way he knows how to do it, and that's bribe, break the law by entering another country's airspace, start another war on his own....
If you're a Republican and you are proud of Newt Gingrich and what he just said, you need to go check yourself in, right now, to a hospital...and figure out whether or not you can get put on something...Newt, shut up!
Fresh off the cancellation of his own MSNBC show an unleashed David Shuster, sub-hosting for Chris Matthews on Monday's "Hardball," ranted and railed against "crazy," "conservative" "wingnuts" like Chuck Norris, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for fomenting, "dangerous," "red hot rhetoric," that "inspire some of the crazies out there", like accused cop killer Richard Poplowski, "to do something violent."
Shuster – who apparently wasn't liberal enough for MSNBC's tastes, that he was replaced by liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz – seemed out to show his bosses, that oh no, indeed he was liberal enough for the network's standards, and set out to prove that, right off the bat, in his "Hardball" opening monologue:
DAVID SHUSTER: Who is the real nutcase? North Korea's Kim Jong-Il or any conservative who wants to bomb him? Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm David Shuster, in tonight for Chris Matthews. Leading off tonight, nuclear war games! So what are we to make of North Korea's attempt to send a satellite into space? Even though the launch failed the North Korean rocket did travel some 2000 miles twice as far as an earlier North Korean rocket. President Obama called it "a provocative act," and wants new UN sanctions. Former House Speaker Gingrich says we should have bombed North Korea before the launch. Is Gingrich crazy to talk like that or is it dangerous to hope sanctions will do the trick?....And back for crazy talk for a moment. How in the world do you explain people like Chuck Norris calling for a second American Revolution to defeat President Obama's policies? And what about conservative Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appearing to tell her constituents to start stockpiling weapons and ammunition.
With the G20 meeting in London, there have been raucous protests - clashes with police in riot gear, destruction of property at nearby banks and even the death of one man from a heart attack. And the media have gone out of their way to cover every sordid detail.
"Look, I got a note from a friend of mine in Orlando who pointed out there were more people at a taxpayer tea party in Orlando a week ago than there are in London," Gingrich said on Fox News Channel's April 1 "On the Record with Greta van Sustren." "They just didn't get any coverage out of the media. There were more people recently in Cincinnati at a taxpayer tea party than there have been demonstrating in London. But the London demonstrators are breaking windows, they're being violent, and you know, the media is always happy to cover the anarchic and violent left."
Both MSNBC’s David Shuster and CNN’s Rick Sanchez pulled their scoop straight from Media Matters’ blog, and focused on Newt Gingrich’s Twitter comments criticizing President Obama’s upcoming commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, instead of the controversy over the speech itself. Shuster targeted the former Speaker of the House during the “Hypocrisy Watch” segment on Tuesday’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue program, saying that Gingrich was “already telling Notre Dame what to do,” even though he wasn’t Catholic yet and had gone through two divorces.
Almost a day later on Wednesday’s Newsroom program on CNN, Sanchez devoted a whole segment to Gingrich’s Tweet, and also brought up the divorce issue: “Newt Gingrich couldn’t resist taking a shot at President Obama. He seems to infer that the president shouldn’t talk to a Catholic university because of quote, ‘values.’ Should Newt Gingrich, thrice married, go there? Really?”
Wall Street’s major stock indexes followed Monday’s strong sell-off with a day of fluctuation, ending with more losses.
The Dow Jones Industrials Average gyrated between modest gains and losses throughout the trading day, ending the down 37 points, or 0.55 percent, to close at 6,726. Monday’s fall below 7,000 sent the Dow to its lowest level since April 1997.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended Tuesday trading down 4.49 to 696, it first close below the 700 level since October 1996. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended Tuesday’s session down 1.84 to 1321.
But after considering inflation, the markets are, in real terms, stuck at 1995 values, as shown in the following chart:
The New York Times seems to think there was no such thing as partisanship in Washington, D.C. until conservative Republicans came around in the 1990s to invent it. White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg's front-page Sunday Week in Review story, "Cutting the President Slack Is So Old School," is another example of that ideological blindness, impying that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich personally invented partisanship.
That requires ignoring Bill Clinton's "war room," his administration's persecution of the White House Travel Office, and before that, the personal attacks made by liberal interest groups on conservative Republican Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Which is just what Stolberg does:
....the concept of the "loyal opposition" came to mean that a president, especially a new one elected by comfortable majority, could expect cooperation from the other side, in deference to the will of the voters. But in the partisan politics of recent decades, another view developed, advanced by Congressional leaders like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, that the minority party has the right, even obligation, to stick to its ideological principles.
With a liberal Democrat coming to power, the New York Times has evidently gotten over the false fear of "big cuts" in Medicare it displayed when Republicans tried to trim the program back in 1995.
Thursday's lead story by Jeff Zeleny and John Harwood, "Obama Promises Bid To Overhaul Retiree Spending," characterized the president-elect's stated willingness to tackle huge entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare in mostly positive terms. The reporters described Obama's vague proposal as an "overhauling," an "approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare," and an "effort to cut back the rates of growth of the two programs."
President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be "a central part" of his administration's efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.
As NewsBusters has been reporting since we were at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been a strongly outspoken critic of how the mainstream media have covered Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin since she was first announced as John McCain's runningmate.
On Wednesday, appearing on Fox News's "On the Record," Gingrich called recent press reports involving the Republican vice presidential candidate "factually wrong, intellectually dishonest, totally biased, worthy of the Polish state news media attacking Lech Walesa back in the 1980s."
Moments later, he put an exclamation point on his criticism: "This is like watching Pravda. This is a one-sided, vicious, unending and dishonest campaign."
What follows is a partial transcript of this delicious exchange (video embedded right):
CNN contributor Roland Martin’s Wednesday column on CNN.com bluntly accused Republicans of exhibiting "fear and desperation" in their criticism of Barack Obama: "McCain's campaign is no longer about issues. He and his supporters want to bring up anything and everything to derail Obama, and nothing is sticking, so they just keep returning to their old bag of tricks." This "bag" apparently includes bringing up issues like Obama’s 20-year relationship with left-wing firebrand Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the socialist labeling of the Democratic presidential candidate, and his associations with terrorist Bill Ayers and ACORN.
Martin first labeled McCain an "old fighter," but not as a compliment: "Watching Sen. John McCain and top Republicans swing wildly in their attempts to slam Sen. Barack Obama, with less than two weeks ago to go before Election Day, is like watching an old fighter -- clearly out of gas, his legs turned to rubber, and all he can do is grab, hold, punch behind the back, just anything to try to win." He then used his "old bag of tricks" line.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday strongly challenged "Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer about the media's lack of fairness towards the McCain/Palin presidential ticket. The exchange came after the ABC journalist followed up on negative Gingrich remarks about the Obama tax plan by asserting, "for fairness," Obama talking points on middle class tax cuts.
An irritated Gingrich refused to allow Sawyer to move on to another topic and retorted, "No, wait a second. I don't notice very often, reporters, for fairness, pointing out what Governor Palin said or pointing out what Senator McCain said." The GMA anchor, slightly taken aback, defended, "And let me just say, I do point out what Senator McCain says, Mr. Speaker. You know I do." [audio excerpt available here]
And yet, just a few minutes earlier, during a different segment, Sawyer seemed to prove Gingrich's point that the media often recite the left's talking points and attacks. She launched into an update on Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher, which was really a series of gratuitous attacks on the Ohio man who famously challenged Obama over his tax plan. She derided, "It turns out, even though he was arguing about taxes for plumbers who end up making $250,000 a year, it turns out that he doesn't have a plumbing license, though the company he works for does."
"I want to take my limited time today and focus in on - I couldn't imagine a better moment for you to be here than after last night's stunningly distorted interview with Gov. Palin on ABC," Gingrich said. "Stunningly distorted because of one particular set of question, which I want to spend my time explaining and putting in context. I don't know how many of you have seen the original interview or excerpts, but there's a point where Charlie Gibson asks Gov. Palin about whether or not she believed that our soldiers were on a task from God and he quoted one-fourth of something she had said in her church."
Last week at the Republican National Convention, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told NewsBusters that if Sarah Palin becomes vice president, she will have "delegitimized the entire left's ability to define what a successful, competent, professional woman is."
On Wednesday, feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia published an article at Salon wherein she not only seemed to agree with Gingrich, but also said, "Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism" that has the potential to break down the barriers erected by "shameless Democratic partisanship over the past four decades."
That was just the beginning, for Paglia proceeded to tear about the whole concept of liberal, feminist dogma, including as it pertains to abortion (emphasis added throughout, photo h/t NBer Viper):
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Moments before Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave her history making speech at the Xcel Energy Center Wednesday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told NewsBusters that the left-wing media are trying to destroy her because she represents a threat to their ability to define what a successful, professional woman is in America today.
Offering some of the strongest media criticisms we've encountered at the Republican National Convention, Gingrich painted a picture of exactly what's at stake for the liberal press if Palin is successful in her bid to become the first female vice president in American history, and that people should not underestimate what they are willing to do to prevent that from happening (video embedded right):
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich did what conservatives have been waiting for someone to do since Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's running mate: take on someone in the media claiming that she lacks the qualifications to be vice president.
Such marvelously occurred Tuesday evening on the convention floor in St. Paul when MSNBC's Ron Allen said to the former Speaker, "But to be fair, her resume is not something we're familiar seeing with presidential candidates."
This didn't sit well with Gingrich who strongly replied (video embedded right, h/t NB readers Matt Noll and Patrick):
With oil prices approaching $150 a barrel, and gas now over $4 a gallon (approaching $5 where I live!), Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future has launched a campaign to force Congress to reconsider current policies that prevent our nation from drilling for oil within its borders and territorial waters:
As gas prices continue to increase, Congress continues to blame others while ignoring practical steps to stop the pain Americans are feeling at the pump. To lower gasoline prices and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we need real solutions to our energy challenges.
With this in mind, AS has started an online petition, with almost 750,000 signatures collected already, with the following goal (video embedded right of actor Chuck Norris explaining the campaign):
On The Daily Show on Comedy Central Tuesday night, Jon Stewart pressed former Speaker Newt Gingrich to agree that Reverend Jeremiah Wright should not be a major story, that every candidate and president has a "preacher who’s said crazy things." Stewart professed he was "really stunned" by the media’s focus, and he asked, "Isn't the silliness of this now boiling down to the strategy of shouldn't we be focusing on whether this is truly an issue?" He also claimed Wright is like many ministers, black and white: "Don't white preachers have very similar beliefs, but when they counsel a candidate, nobody really focuses on them?"
Gingrich was playful, but firm: "I think if you replaced the word, the various things he said about white America, like Ku Klux Klan America, if you replace those with the word ‘black’ and you imagine a white racist preacher who was as vehement as Reverend Wright, he would literally be ostracized in this culture." He also raised Obama’s connection to Weather Underground figure William Ayers. But Stewart wasn’t budging: "I think if he played that game of six degrees of separation with other candidates you could probably find equally vile characters circling the universe."
Last week, NewsBusters reported the peculiar occurrence of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appearing alongside current Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a global warming ad funded by Nobel Laureate Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection.
Included in this piece was an explanation the former Speaker offered at his website regarding this matter which sparked largely uncomplimentary reactions in the rightosphere as well as from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Two days later, Gingrich appeared on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor," and answered Rush (video embedded right):
Appearing on the April 29 edition of "The View," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich proved his intellectual superiority to Joy Behar punching holes in her very shallow debate points. Also, in discussing the ongoing Reverend Wright controversy, Whoopi Goldberg placed Billy Graham in league with Wright and Louis Farrakhan. [audio version of embedded video available here]
In challenging Newt Gingrich’s assertion that there’s a sympathy on the far left for America haters such as William Ayers, Behar inquired, "there’s no romance going on between the hard right of this country and Saudi Arabia let’s say?" Gingrich swiftly answered "the hard right in this country deeply dislikes Saudi Arabia as the source of Wahabbist funding."
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently did a global warming ad with Nancy Pelosi that was sponsored by Nobel Laureate Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection (embedded right).
Obviously, he has taken a lot of heat -- no pun intended -- from conservatives for not only staking out a seemingly unconservative position on this controversial issue, but doing so in such a high-profile way with the likes of Pelosi and Gore.
Update: Sheppard responds to his critics at end of post.
Here's an interesting idea: instead of replacing the soon to retire Bob Schieffer with another liberal shill, CBS should "tweak the format" of its Sunday stalwart "Face the Nation" by having two hosts with opposing viewpoints...let's say former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Global Warmingist-in-Chief Al Gore.
Now THAT would be entertainment.
Before you get all excited about this possibility, such was just one suggestion amongst many in a New York Observer article Wednesday about how CBS should deal with Schieffer's imminent departure (emphasis added throughout, h/t TVNewser):
I'm not talking about endorsing Hillary. I'm talking about raising money for her because apparently the Republican 'strategery' is relying on fear and loathing of Hillary to unite everybody.-- Rush Limbaugh, Feb. 7, 2008
There's nothing the MSM loves more than Republican in-fighting. And of late, conservatives have concededly given the liberal media plenty to gloat about in that regard. Well-founded concerns about John McCain's unconservative positions on a host of issues have famously led to much heartburn in conservative circles. And yes, Rush Limbaugh has been leading the charge in raising the red flag about McCain.
But that doesn't justify Diane Sawyer's utter, complete, 180-degrees-wrong distortion and misrepresentation of what Rush said yesterday about possibly raising funds for Hillary. Sawyer portrayed Rush's comments as evidence of continuing conservative discontent. In fact, they were precisely the opposite. Here are the facts.
Just how far to the left is ABC's George Stephanopoulos?
Well, on Sunday's "This Week," while discussing the presidential campaign with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the former Clinton aide actually cited the liberal website Daily Kos.
I guess we now know what George is reading while he's prepping for the show.
To set this up, Stephanopoulos and Gingrich were discussing how wide open the GOP presidential race looks, and the possibility of a brokered convention, when the host actually said with a smile on his face:
The Washington Post reviewed Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple’s "A Contract for the Earth" on Sunday, but Post "national environmental reporter" Juliet Eilperin was torn. On one hand, she wanted to say that even the Republicans recognize and bow before the Global Warming Threat. On the other hand, she simply had to mock the idea that private-sector solutions would help rather than stringent government mandates: "This is no revolutionary manifesto. It's Gingrich as Smokey the Bear, rather than as the provocateur he used to play on the national stage." The Post illustrated the sentence with a graphic that crudely pasted a picture of Gingrich’s face on a Smokey Bear painting.
Ultimately, in the review's final paragraph, Eilperin dismissed the book as "greenwash," resembling a "corporate advertisement" from an op-ed page, designed for public relations rather than actual solutions:
In April, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich rocked the conservative world by stating in a highly publicized Capitol Hill debate with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) that he believed global warming was real.
NewsBusters has been reporting for the last several years that in the midst of the media's fascination with global warming alarmism, the financial ramifications of proposed solutions to this potentially nonexistent problem have been almost universally ignored.
In reality, you couldn't completely tell just how controversial this piece was from the opening paragraph, but it ended up being a clever -- albeit delicate -- foreshadowing of seriously inconvenient truths that folks like Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his media sycophants have been immorally withholding from the public (emphasis added throughout):