Comments on: Newt Gingrich and the fine art of press-bashing Tue, 10 Feb 2015 19:54:39 +0000 hourly 1 By: WeWereWallSt Thu, 02 Feb 2012 05:40:06 +0000 When Ross Perot was asked about Bill Clinton’s experience as governor of Arkansas in the 1992 Presidential debates, and how that would help Clinton in the White House, he said simply: “It’s irrelevant. It’s like a guy running a mom and pop shop trying to be CEO of Wal-Mart.”

We think the same can be safely said for what Gingrich thinks about the format of fall debates. It’s irrelevant.

By: borisjimbo Thu, 02 Feb 2012 02:17:22 +0000 Republicans don’t want to have to run for president; they feel entitled to simply being anointed. Thus they don’t want to have to answer any stinkin’ questions.

By: ChevalierMalFet Wed, 01 Feb 2012 22:28:04 +0000 I think the more insidious aspect of Gingrich’s whining about the liberal media, which the right has been whining about since before I’ve been born, is the urge to “work the refs”, i.e. complain about the non-call on an early play so you guilt them into giving you the call later.

To some extent this is justified, the press should be equally hard on all candidates of all parties and shouldn’t pretend that these people are their friends, an attitude which leads to, as a counterpoint to the partisan leanings of Fox and MSNBC, the complete sterility of CNN’s useless false equivalence of competing press releases. It also turns the debates into “Politician A points out major problem, Politician B calls him a jerk. Let’s debate whether Politician A is a jerk”.

But there is a line between pushing the press to give equal consideration when you feel they aren’t, and bullying/cajoling them into accepting a certain narrative as a gateway to access.

“Realist”99 brings up a good point in Tony Reszko, the difference of course is that this story died because a)despite some intense shadiness there was no solid evidence of wrongdoing on the President’s part and b) despite that lack of legal wrongdoing, Obama frankly and publicly admitted poor judgment in those dealings. As another example, after initially wavering, and being HOUNDED by the media 24/7, Anthony Weiner resigned from his seat. Newt Gingrich on the other hand claims his multiple affairs makes him a better patriot or something, and I am still waiting for David Vitter’s resignation letter.

The best way to defuse a mini-scandal is to air it out yourself, as Obama has done effectively with each of his, whereas his Republican opponents seem to double-down, obfuscate and otherwise evade, leading journalists to smell blood in the water. Add that to being abusive and trying to score points off a journalist doing their job, will make them twice as eager to dig deeper.

Ron Paul’s newsletters is another great example. Instead of using it to pivot into a Jeremiah Wright moment to speak about race and his own conversion on these issues, he continued to come up with ridiculous explanations that had no credibility outside of his screeching cult-like fanbase.

By: JBltn Wed, 01 Feb 2012 20:28:16 +0000 Jack, good, article but overall incomplete in several instances. I believe the ‘MSM’ was appointed by default post the LWW withdrawing in ’87, PDC emerging as organizer and News Anchors assuming questioner/moderator roles.
Yes, grouchy Gingrich’s outbursts is base pandering and abusive counter-punching; both being debate tactical diversion and and overall campaign strategy. He can’t win on his real record, can’t allow morality questions, must not allow his honesty, integrity, truthfulness or DC insider actions questions; i.e. duck and dodge as you briefly mentioned.
My over-riding belief is that these debates are essentially ‘beauty contests’ platforms for candidates to espouse their [non] differences while lying through their teeth about their real record, denying the litany of their misdeeds, and answering moderator questions with per-prepared and scripted responses. They’re a charade, a disgrace and FAIL every reasonable test of usefulness. The moderator can’t challenge their truthfulness or contradict their statements and other candidates are only trying to score ‘hits’ while evading challenges to their falsehoods.
The on-line fact-checker sites respond quickly – after the ‘dog and pony show is over and candidate quickly depart. Is it possible to use their capabilities, live? I know, if that occurs, no candidate will play, which it itself is all the more reason to push for fact-checker participation. Oh Well, “Move along citizen, nothing to see here”, unidentified storm trooper, Los Eisling spaceport in a galaxy far, far away

By: spall78 Wed, 01 Feb 2012 14:15:43 +0000 The press doesn’t have a liberal bias. They have a bias towards the sensational. They are most likely to report on a story that will generate the most interest from their readers, no matter how newsworthy it may be.

Even the outwardly biased exceptions (Fox, MSNBC, etc) only exhibit this bias because they have a niche to cater to; their readers/viewers are more likely to be interested in hearing about the other side being the bad guys.

The Gingrich ex-wife scandals get lots of play because it includes many elements that make it a compelling story. It’s a simple and easy to understand narrative, it involves sex and it demonstrates hipocrisy on an obvious and epic scale. Larry Craig was a great story for all the same reasons. The Anthony Weiner story was probably the most reported sex scandal of 2011 even though there was no alleged sex (and he was a democrat OMG!), simply because it was hilarious (the pics and his name).

You can’t honestly think many media sources are going to run less interesting or compelling stories that are going to sell fewer copies/generate less advertising income to further a political agenda that doesn’t help their bottom line. They are out to make money.

By: dbuck Wed, 01 Feb 2012 13:07:19 +0000 Jack,
From Boston scribe Bob Angle some years back: “Show me a reporter with a respect for authority and I’ll show you a lousy reporter.”

As for the Lincoln-Douglas debates, pseudo-historian Gingrich forgets two pesky details, the debates were in reference to the Illinois senate race, not a presidential election, and second, Lincoln lost the election to the demagogue, Douglas.

PS Realist99, you might be getting the wrong impression from the debates. There are no tough questions for Democrats because all the candidates are Republicans.

By: Realist99 Wed, 01 Feb 2012 04:06:52 +0000 Jack Shafer misses the whole point. The problem is not the press asking “gotcha” questions of candidates in general. It’s that they do that to a far greater degree to Republicans than they do to Democrats. Yes, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are tougher on Democrats than Republicans, but most of the media (CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times…) slants left and does all they can to frame the topic of conversation towards what Democrats would like to be talking about and not what they wouldn’t. OK, Gingrich got asked about one of his ex wives the first question in a debate. Did a reporter ever start a 2008 Presidential debate by asking Senator Obama why Tony Rezko’s wife bought a lot adjacent to the house he and Michelle had bought on the very same day and then later sold him a strip of that lot? (Tony Rezko was convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery in 2008.) Of course not. The press is generally in the tank for Democrats.

By: KenG_CA Wed, 01 Feb 2012 02:30:17 +0000 All so true, but moot. The amphibian can’t even fool the party of make believe with his re-direction and offense as a defense.