Anderson Cooper found yet another way to scrutinize Republicans, as on Tuesday he spotlighted GOP candidates attacking each other's record after each promised to run positive campaigns – even though verbal spars happen during every single election.
The segment's title of "Keeping Them Honest" insinuated that the subject is being deceitful or dishonest, and Cooper decided to call the candidates out for backtracking on their promises of positive campaigns – even though an overall positive campaign doesn't necessarily rule out attacks on opponents' records. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, after complaining about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's proposal to provide school children with work experience and the chance to earn money in their schools, Whoopi Goldberg joined host Behar in asserting that it was "racist" for Gingrich to speak of preventing children from becoming "pimps and prostitutes and drug dealers."
Goldberg began by ranting about the absence of people who "want to see the country do better." Goldberg:
The media elite and the Republican Ruling Class are remarkably similar in their political projection for the coming year. Journalists spent the entire year savaging every fast-rising challenger to Mitt Romney. The GOP’s power pundits became equally agitated at the sniff of a conservative anywhere near the top of the GOP pack. It’s the odor of extremism that both the elites in the media and the GOP have detested – always.
So here we are, on the cusp of the election year, and both these groups have one primary target: Newt Gingrich. Both are using the same ammo: Newt is too unstable, immature, flawed, and arrogant. Or as power pundit Peggy Noonan put it, Newt is “a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, ‘Watch this!’” The Washington Post’s political cartoonist drew him as a suicide bomber.
CNN touted a study from the liberal Tax Policy Center claiming that Newt Gingrich's tax plan would increase the deficit. On Tuesday afternoon's The Situation Room, business correspondent Poppy Harlow simply labeled the Tax Policy Center "non-partisan" even though it is a joint venture of two liberal think tanks, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute.
CNN even reported the Gingrich campaign's claim that the study did not include "many details" of the plan because the campaign "does not recognize them as an independent arbiter of tax policy information." That bit of information was buried at the end of CNN's report, however. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
All three morning shows on Tuesday hyped the fight between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but it was snarky John Berman who offered the most hyperbolic take, exclaiming on "Good Morning America," "Boom! Boom!"
The opinionated journalist offered inflamed rhetoric to describe the nomination battle, saying that the attacks follow "24 hours of political shivs and sharp elbows." Berman narrated the fight between Romney and Gingrich with glee: "Boom! Gingrich responded...Boom! The Romney camp responded...Boom! Boom!" Was this really necessary?"
MSNBC's supposedly conservative host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday continued his months-long attack on the Republican presidential candidates.
After telling his Morning Joe viewers that he would consider voting for potential third party candidate Ron Paul if Newt Gingrich won the nomination, Scarborough said he could "in five minutes write a list of 200 Republican members of the House of Representatives" more qualified than "the presidential candidates that are running right now" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Today's Morning Joe has been one long festival of Gingrich gouging.
Joe Scarborough set the tone early. During the opening segment Scarborough announced that, like Glenn Beck, if the choice comes down to Obama vs. Gingrich, and Ron Paul is running as a third-party candidate, "I'm going to give him a long look." Video after the jump.
New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel, covering the Gingrich campaign, inflated conventional pro-Israel, anti-"peace process" opinions delivered by Newt Gingrich into a diplomatic drama about Gingrich scrapping the two-state solution worthy of "damage control," in Saturday’s “Gingrich Suggests a Reversal of Mideast Policy.”
Hardball's Chris Matthews on Monday spewed hatred for Newt Gingrich, excoriating him as voicing "deadly" contempt for Barack Obama. Matthews trashed, "He's a political killer, a gun for hire."
The unhinged Matthews compared Republicans who support the former Speaker to those who would make a deal with the devil. Using violent rhetoric, the MSNBC anchor constructed reasons why conservatives embrace Gingrich: "Because he voices in cold, nasty, deadly tones the words of their contempt, because he's an opportunist ready to seek any route to his opponent's heart and thereby kill it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The New York Times devoted a front-page story Monday to casting doubt on a theoretical nuclear threat publicized (among his many, many other ideas) by Newt Gingrich -- what scientists call electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a burst of electromagnetic radiation released by a nuclear explosion that could damage or destroy electrical service. Science reporter William Broad filed “Among Gingrich’s Passions, a Doomsday Vision.”
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked new NBC special correspondent Ted Koppel about the success of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign: "He has said some very controversial things over the last month....Is being outspoken – and some would even say a little bit reckless – necessarily a bad thing in this election cycle?"
Koppel lamented how Gingrich had not been damaged by scandal: "For some reason or another, the three marriages don't seem to have hurt Newt Gingrich. For some reason or another, taking 1.6 million from Freddie Mac [don't seem to have hurt]." He later observed that Gingrich was like the class clown of the GOP 2012 field: "There's the sort of kid that has everybody laughing in class all the time. At the moment, that's Newt."
Appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press, Koppel told moderator David Gregory that the idea that Gingrich could be overcoming past political baggage, "leaves me absolutely breathless."
On the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion this weekend, NPR star Garrison Keillor sang a different version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It had a slightly different melody, and mocked Newt Gingrich, without naming him. Keillor sang: "Don’t think a sense of style conceals your escapades / Don’t vote to impeach Bill Clinton while shacking up with Congressional aides." Gingrich was cheating on his second wife (with his eventual third wife) at that time in 1998.
Keillor also sang that Santa is watching for who is "beating up on" gays or minorities. There's nothing wrong with opposing physical violence or mean-spirited bullying -- but with NPR, you'd have to suspect Keillor is implying a broader argument about conservative arguments against gay marriage or "affirmative action." Keillor sang:
On Sunday's Good Morning America, This Week host Christiane Amanpour portrayed Newt Gingrich as trying to appeal to a "narrow group" because the GOP presidential candidate characterized the Palestinians as "an invented people" being used to undermine the Jewish claim to Israel, and took exception with the former House Speaker because he pointed out that the Palestinian Authority incites hatred against Jews in its schools.
Even though Gingrich during Saturday's debate referred specifically to Fatah - which runs the West Bank - and the terrorist group Hamas - which runs the Gaza Strip - Amanpour complained that he was "saying that all Palestinians were terrorists."
After ABC's George Stephanopoulos brought up Gingrich's views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the This Week host:
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Kerley filed a report highlighting anti-Newt Gingrich comments from a number of Republicans who used to serve in the House of Representatives with the former Speaker, and, although at least half the members cited as criticizing Gingrich have a history of being moderate Republicans, Kerley did not inform his viewers of this aspect of their political history which may affect their negative view of him.
After beginning the piece by asserting that Gingrich is "now frightening some of his own party," Kerley used a clip of centrist New York Representative Peter King:
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour just can’t comprehend why Jon Huntsman, with his “eminently sensible” anti-conservative positions, could be losing to Newt Gingrich who is full of “bombast” and “does say some pretty alarming things, some might say outrageous things.” More upsetting, Hunstman is supposedly “reversing” himself on those “eminently sensible positions.”
Interviewing Huntsman, who appeared from the Granite State, Amanpour noted on Sunday’s This Week that “you are at the bottom of the pack despite the fact that some independents, for instance, in New Hampshire call you the sanest one running,” yet “ what you’re offering does not seem to be resonating. It appears that the Newt Gingrich, sort of bombast and brash in your face against Obama, is what’s resonating.”
Chris Matthews has a theory as to why Newt Gingrich is suddenly soaring in the Republican presidential polls.
As he discussed with his panelists on the syndicated program bearing his name this weekend, it's all because of the former House Speaker's time as a contributor to Fox News (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Americans that spent their Saturday evening watching the Republican presidential debate witnessed the height of media hypocrisy.
Former Clinton adviser turned ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos actually asked attendees - with a straight face no less - if marital infidelity should be an issue in the campaign (video follows with highlights and commentary):
Two Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, are both promising to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they should become the nation's next president. There's literally no way to "fact check" something that is only a promise, but Gearan wasted over 500 words pretending to do just that. She couldn't even buy a clue that her item's title ("FACT CHECK: Israel embassy promise may be empty") gives away the, uh, fact that it wasn't a "fact check" at all. Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web minced no words in critiquing AP's and Gearan's cluelessness (bolds are mine):
Rosie O'Donnell, possibly one of the most uninformed people to ever be given a television program, actually ridiculed the intellectual capacity of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Thursday.
Appearing with fellow brainiac Joy Behar on the HLN program thankfully in its final shows, O'Donnell called the former Speaker of the House a "joke" saying, "Perhaps he should read a history book" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, America's supposedly impartial media have been gushing and fawning over President Obama's press conference retort to Republican accusations of his appeasement, "Ask Osama bin Laden."
Doing his part Thursday was CNN's John King who proudly declared on the program bearing his name, "Point, set, match Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"There were 1,365 evening news stories" during the 2008 Democratic primary cycle and not one mentioned then-Senator Obama's connections to Bill Ayers. By contrast, the media have been doggedly determined to aggressively vet GOP primary candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich this cycle, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity during a "Media Mash" segment last night.
Of course in Gingrich's case, the media have been particularly sloppy and unfair, Bozell observed, citing NBC's Lisa Myers who insisted Gingrich "shut down the government" when in fact it was a Clinton veto of spending bills that did that. What's more, the media have often raised a long-settled IRS investigation of Gingrich, without mentioning that the investigation cleared him of wrongdoing (video follows page break):
CNN's Anderson Cooper ran a critical segment on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's old ethics charges of violating tax law and lying to the House Ethics Committee. Only at the very end did Cooper acknowledge that Gingrich was vindicated by the IRS on charges of tax violation.
Cooper opened his show with the story. "We begin tonight 'Keeping Them Honest' with Newt Gingrich who's skyrocketing the polls and downplaying his past which includes the distinction of being the first House speaker in history to be reprimanded for ethics violations," the CNN anchor reported.
Cooper didn't note that while Gingrich was the first House Speaker to be reprimanded, Democrat congressman Jim Wright – just a few years before – was the first House Speaker to resign over a scandal. Wright tendered his resignation from Congress in 1989 while under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Thursday’s New York Times front-page campaign story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg prominently featured Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod frankly discussing how the party plans to influence the GOP primary by pitting Newt Gingrich (himself a "juicy target") against Mitt Romney: “Democrats See 2-Horse Race, Adding Whip.” It’s the kind of early White House attacks the Times once disapproved of, at least when done by Republican President George W. Bush.
The GOP presidential candidates, at the upcoming ABC News debate in Iowa, should brace themselves to be splattered with tough questions from the left from moderator George Stephanopoulos. The good news for them is that most should be well-prepared for the left-leaning sliders, as many have already been subjected to Stephanopoulos’s liberal questioning on Good Morning America. In 20 interview segments this year with the GOP candidates, totaling nearly two hours (110 minutes), an MRC review has documented Stephanopoulos has consistently pressed his guests from the left. Of questions with an ideological bent 75 percent (36) were from the left with just 25 percent (12) of them coming from the right.
When current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich showed up on the January 18 edition of Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos prodded the former Speaker of the House if he was prepared to put 129 million Americans at “risk” with his opposition to Obamacare. (video after the jump)
Just how much does MSNBC's Joe Scarborough despise Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich?
On Thursday's Morning Joe, the supposedly conservative host equated Barack Obama's lack of government-running experience in 2008 to that of the former Speaker of the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberals worried that Newt Gingrich threatens the Obama presidency are overwrought in their criticism of Gingrich.
Examples of this occurred yesterday during a discussion on Ed Schultz's radio show between Schultz and Democrat congressman Jim McDermott, one of Saddam Hussein's most steadfast defenders in Congress. (audio clips after page break)
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Wednesday trashed Newt Gingrich as a mad bomber, smearing, "...Newt's main appeal and his main skill is as a guy who knows exactly where to put the explosive device to blow up the bridge."
Fineman was appearing on Chris Matthews' Hardball. Matthews has previously decried so-called incendiary rhetoric on the right, but the host just chuckled at Fineman's comments.
Following the recent threats from Nancy Pelosi and the heavy brush with which the media are painting Newt Gingrich as unethical, the Media Research Center is now calling on the networks to seize the moment and report the truth from nearly 13 years ago.
It has been 4,689 days since the IRS formally cleared Newt Gingrich of any violation of tax law. It’s been 4,689 days since ABC, CBS, and NBC have had the opportunity to report it. What the heck. Why not today? Now is the time for these networks to report the truth for once. The networks owe it to the American people to report the fact that in 1999 the IRS completely vindicated Gingrich.