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.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday evening promised a look “back at some of the hits, runs and errors” of Newt Gingrich’s years as Speaker of the House, but other than a sentence from Lisa Myers about how “working with President Clinton, Gingrich piled up real achievements: a balanced budget, an historic welfare reform,” she focused her entire piece on how “his speakership also was marked by chaos, polarization, and incendiary remarks.”
Her first witness: NBC’s own Joe Scarborough, who feigned concern that Gingrich “hurt the Republican Party and more importantly, to a lot of us, the conservative movement moving forward.”
Apparently unconcerned about being hypocritical or lacking intellectual honesty, in the same program today MSNBC's Martin Bashir celebrated the over-the-top partisan smarminess of former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and blasted GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney for his decidedly tame quip about President Obama's economic (mis)management.
The mid-afternoon host proudly featured the ex-congressman in a segment entitled "Sunshine State of Mind," proudly reminding viewers that it was Grayson whose hallmark achievement in Congress was charging during debate on the House floor that Republicans want sick Americans to "die quickly" because they opposed ObamaCare. [video follows page break]
After a stint as a White House reporter for the Times after George W. Bush took office in 2001, Frank Bruni wrote a fairly respectful biography of the president, Ambling Into History. But as a recently minted Times columnist, Bruni has betrayed no similar feeling for the current Republican candidates, who “are to varying degrees yahoos," according to his mocking Sunday Review column "And Now ... Professor Gingrich."
In his Politico column and on Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough made the case for Newt Gingrich from the Republican primary voter's perspective, pointing to Gingrich's record of winning back the congressional majority, achieving balanced budgets and passing welfare reform.
Scarborough then proceeded to trash Gingrich, saying that: 1. he'd never vote for him; 2. Gingrich would be a "danger to the country"; 3. Gingrich is a "bad person" in political if not personal ways; and 4. Gingrich would lose to Obama in a rout, winning 100 electoral votes at best. Video after the jump.
As NBC's Meet the Press panel ripped into Newt Gingrich on Sunday for his comments on poor children in inner cities lacking working role models, Manchester Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid was the lone voice of dissent: "I think he gets a bum rap on the child labor thing."
That prompted host David Gregory to declare: "Are you really saying that the working poor in this country don't have good role models of how to work hard?...How do you get to that practical solution and not see it as a kind of grotesque distortion of what's really happening out there?"
We live in a bipolar culture. We allow ourselves to be drenched in sexual images in movies, on television and on the Internet and then defend First Amendment protection to even the most graphic of them. Then, when a politician acts out what culture promotes, we criticize him, especially if he's conservative, branding him with the equivalent of a "scarlet letter."
In our not too distant past, a feeling of shame made people go into hiding after an adulterous relationship was exposed. Now they go on television to talk about the sleazy details. They either deny it (Herman Cain), admit it and say they've asked God for forgiveness (Newt Gingrich), or pay no political price at all (space limitations prevent me from listing the legion of politicians that fall into this last category.)
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's John Dickerson and Time's Joe Klein harped on Newt Gingrich's overwhelming "liabilities." Klein hinted that the former House Speaker's ego would get the better of him: "This is a guy who cannot stand prosperity....[He] cannot control his ego when he is riding high." Dickerson played up how Gingrich's "negatives were very, very high when he left Washington in the mid-'90s."
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor asked the CBS political director, "What are the chances Newt Gingrich is the nominee?" Dickerson punted on making a prediction, but borrowed a line from colleague Jan Crawford, stating that "he has a great deal of baggage." When co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis followed up by asking about how the Obama reelection campaign saw the former Speaker, he raised the "likeability" issues with Newt:
I’m sorry to say the good people at CatholicVote.org are apparently starstruck. Blogged Josh Merceryesterday: "The Gingrich campaign contacted me directly last night about the comments that he made to ABC News. The campaign sent me the following statement from Newt Gingrich. (Which is also on their website). I am very glad that the Gingrich campaign was quick to respond to the fallout from the ABC News interview and that they came out with a strong pro-life statement which reaffirms the scientific fact that life begins at conception."
Really? A personal note is all it takes to move past Newt Gingrich’sunequivocal statement to ABC’s Jake Tapper on December 2, that “when a woman has [a] fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life”?
How much do the gang at MSNBC's Morning Joe despise Newt Gingrich and want to derail his run for president?
Near the end of a Monday segment in which she read - with a smile on her face, mind you - numerous columns quite hostile to the former Speaker of the House, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, "How do we stop talking about Newt Gingrich?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For conservatives, hell may have frozen over on Sunday.
Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, said on PBS's McLaughlin Group referring to the perilously liberal Newsweek columnist named Clift, "Eleanor has hit it on the head" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin last Sunday accused the right-leaning media of being "embarrassingly bad this election cycle," it seemed a metaphysical certitude CNN's Howard Kurtz would soon have her on to advance her view.
True to form, exactly one week later there was Rubin on Reliable Sources with the host saying, "This indictment suggests, my reading of it, that the conservative media, parts of the conservative media are essentially corrupt" (video follows with transcript and commentary):