Overdone anger

Gingrich's hot response to media didn't look very presidential

  • Follow Editorials

Newt Gingrich’s rage at the news media in Thursday night’s debate was delicious, understandable, crowd-pleasing and wholly overdone.




His over-the-top combativeness may, paradoxically, help boost him to the top in today’s South Carolina primary – but also ultimately may be the end of him.

We agree, in principle, when he says, “The destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.” The tone set by the media – and the double standard in which Republicans are subject to vivisection while Bill Clinton remains a rock star and much of Barack Obama’s past is a closed book – is a growing problem for civil, civic America.

But if Gingrich’s umbrage felt good, it didn’t feel all that right.

For one thing, it was a completely legitimate line of questioning by CNN’s John King, one of the fairest members of the broadcast media: That Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne, alleged in an ABC-TV interview that Gingrich had asked her to have “an open marriage” in order for him to philander with the woman who ultimately became his third wife – well, that was simply the big news of the day.

Gingrich’s righteous anger at being asked about it right out of the chute at the debate was also a bit much; what difference does it make when it’s asked? It’s possible King could have waited until later, only to be accused of lying in wait. And again, it was the breaking news of the campaign.

The major media are biased; they have made a mess of the campaign; they are hurting the country by tugging the national dialogue into the sewer. But in this particular case, Gingrich has nothing to complain about. How could he not have known his past wives might be an issue?

Conservatives feel under siege by a hostile media.

We appreciate someone finally standing up for us with a modicum of courage.

But Mr. Gingrich just came off looking imperious in his rumbling anger Thursday night. How might he deflect the even greater flak that comes with being president – by constantly returning fire?

Asked Thursday night what he would’ve done differently in the campaign, Gingrich basically said he would’ve avoided being handled by political consultants at the start of his bid. Well, he sure needed a consultant Thursday night.

A little less indignation and a little more contrition might have helped his former wife’s charges blow over.

Maybe.

But his pugnaciousness – while it played well for the cameras and may even help him today – ensured the issue won’t go away anytime soon, and might hurt him in the long run.

Upon reflection along the winding campaign trail, conservatives may, once their own anger at the media subsides, conclude that the former Mrs. Gingrich’s allegations are actually quite grievous and not to be discounted in the emotions of the moment.

Especially for a political party grasping onto quaint values as one might hug a tree in a hurricane.

There may be a media double standard for Democrats and Republicans. However unfair, the tougher standard is still preferable.

Comments (91) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
faithson
6709
Points
faithson 01/21/12 - 01:49 pm
0
0
"Romney dares not go there.

"Romney dares not go there. Not Newt. He’s the street fighter with a history of poisonous politics who not only goes there but dwells there. He makes his nest among the thorns of open animus and coded language... Gingrich is appealing to (and exposing) an ugly, gut-level anger and animosity among a sizable portion of the Republican electorate. This may work for him in the primaries, but it doesn’t bode well for his party in November." By CHARLES M. BLOW

harley_52
33753
Points
harley_52 01/21/12 - 02:26 pm
0
0
Newt has consistently

Newt has consistently refused to say anything bad about this woman. Newt's two daughters have nothing bad to say about him, to the contrary, they both support him and are willing to go to bat for him often.

Who holds the moral high ground here? Newt could announce that his ex-wife told him, in private, she wanted to have sex with all their neighbors, or some other wild story that's neither provable, nor provably disputed. He hasn't. He's chosen to keep the issues surrounding the divorce private, as they should be.

Willow Bailey
20619
Points
Willow Bailey 01/21/12 - 02:22 pm
0
0
If you can't take him on the

If you can't take him on the issues, then look for ways to personally discredit him. That is the left's way, political and media. They hold everyone else to a standard that THEY, themselves cannot meet. Insanity!

Every successful marriage has two participating, just as every failed marriage had two participating.

Riverman1
124385
Points
Riverman1 01/21/12 - 02:29 pm
0
0
Willow is so insightful,

Willow is so insightful, erudite, cogent, incisive and humorous with her comments today. But the real reason I compliment her is she is such a beauty. Let BigBob say the same things and I ain’t passing out any kudos.

harley_52
33753
Points
harley_52 01/21/12 - 02:54 pm
0
0
I'm sure Willow is all those

I'm sure Willow is all those things you said (I had to look up "erudite") and I'll have to take your word for the "beauty" part.

Riverman1
124385
Points
Riverman1 01/21/12 - 03:00 pm
0
0
To the AES, I get the feeling

To the AES, I get the feeling it's okay for the press to bring up anything, but let us cowardly anonymous posters bring up something and it's wrong.

Harley, I say you and I take my pick-up one night and try the tressel thing after we are medicated up enough. You game? Do they stop your military retirement if you go to jail?

Riverman1
124385
Points
Riverman1 01/21/12 - 03:10 pm
0
0
"Mrs. Gingrich’s allegations

"Mrs. Gingrich’s allegations are actually quite grievous and not to be discounted in the emotions of the moment."

If such things mattered to the public when the personally despicable Bill Clinton was actively doing his perversions in the Oval Office they would have kicked him out. Statements made by an exspouse about a marriage that ended 12 years ago...hardly compares.

I've heard one or two people in the local media saying much worse about their ex's. I take it for what it is...a disgruntled ex.

itsanotherday1
59849
Points
itsanotherday1 01/21/12 - 03:13 pm
0
0
Harley: "'m sure Willow is

Harley: "'m sure Willow is all those things you said (I had to look up "erudite") and I'll have to take your word for the "beauty" part."

And she definitely is not execrable; (my new word for the day I learned from Kiwi) although from what I hear, it might apply to a couple of self appointed R & R cops.

harley_52
33753
Points
harley_52 01/21/12 - 03:12 pm
0
0
I'm in.

I'm in.

Willow Bailey
20619
Points
Willow Bailey 01/21/12 - 03:16 pm
0
0
Sigh... you guys are the

Sigh... you guys are the best!!

Truth Matters
11589
Points
Truth Matters 01/21/12 - 03:22 pm
0
0
What do we know about

What do we know about Copperhead? Is that his real name. Does his family know that he posts under an unlikely name? Where does he work, go to church___does he go to church? Questions, questions, questions!

harley_52
33753
Points
harley_52 01/21/12 - 03:22 pm
0
0
riverman1 said "I've heard

riverman1 said "I've heard one or two people in the local media saying much worse about their ex's. I take it for what it is...a disgruntled ex."

Precisely the way it should be taken, except that most disgruntled ex's aren't given a national platform to spew her unprovable side of the story. Newt has shown some class by refusing to attack her.

Riverman1
124385
Points
Riverman1 01/21/12 - 03:37 pm
0
0
You know Newt is one of those

You know Newt is one of those kind of people that you just love to hear speak. He says things that give you those, "come to think of it, he's right" moments. I could listen to him talk all day.

However, I've been backing Mitt recently. Either way, I believe we will beat Obama. Newt just keeps growing on the public. When it comes down to him against Obama with daily interviews he is going to continue to improve his electability.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/21/12 - 03:46 pm
0
0
itsanotherday and eel.

itsanotherday and eel. Please describe for me how obama will appeal to middle of the road voters and gingrich will not. Obama is the most far left president the USA has ever had - if he's even on the chart at all - is marxism or communism represented on the political scale?

eel, I said nothing about your "real" manhood. How would I even know you are male? You got busted calling out another poster when you did the same thing yourself.

allhans
25543
Points
allhans 01/21/12 - 03:49 pm
0
0
The young women at the water

The young women at the water cooler doesn't like the fact that Newt had 3 tries at getting the right wife and they doubt that he is through yet. Power is attractive they say. Women!

(They really have a thing about the mother of his children, a woman a few years older than him, being ditched for a younger model.)

Truth Matters
11589
Points
Truth Matters 01/21/12 - 04:06 pm
0
0
I agree with some positions

I agree with some positions of this editorial, but not for the same reasons. Attacks on the “main stream media” by some conservatives have become sport. I would suggest that the AC is main stream in this market in that it is the only daily in this town.

Regarding Newt Gingrich, I believe his affairs are the business of himself, his ex-wives and his current wife. The issue many have with him is the hypocrisy of leading the charge to oust a sitting president for an affair while he was engaged in an affair with Callista. It was Newt's hypocrisy and arrogance that made Bill Clinton a sympathetic candidate and allowed him to sail to re-election.

The assertion that the media have a liberal bias is not felt by many average voters and amounts to conservative victimization. And what about the treatment of the president by FoxNews reporters? I watched President Obama being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly and Bret Baier and both repeatedly interrupted the President before he could complete a sentence. Yet those same hosts have interviewed conservative guests and were overbearing in allowing them to get their points across. I guess the perception or reality of media bias is truly in the eye of the beholder.

harley_52
33753
Points
harley_52 01/21/12 - 04:29 pm
0
0
Truth Matters said "The

Truth Matters said "The assertion that the media have a liberal bias is not felt by many average voters and amounts to conservative victimization."

With a name like yours it would behoove you to know that it's a proven fact that the mainstream media is biased to the political left and, perhaps more importantly, people know it.

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/what-do-studies-tell-us-ab...

http://www.mrc.org/static/biasbasics/Exhibit2-5GallupPollsonMediaBias.aspx

itsanotherday1
59849
Points
itsanotherday1 01/21/12 - 05:02 pm
0
0
Chillen, Mitt appeals to the

Chillen, Mitt appeals to the middle, not Obama. One of us mis-read EEL's post.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/21/12 - 05:18 pm
0
0
itsanotherday. Seems one of

itsanotherday. Seems one of us is having trouble with the deeper meaning of posts. Let me make it very simple for you.

You said. "EEL: "Romney may appeal to the block of middle-of-the-road voters who in the end elect presidents. Those voters will run from Gingrich in droves." Count on it!

My post says and implies this.

So what. Obama won't do any better getting middle of the road voters either. So, what I am asking for is, why is this important to Gingrich and not to obama? Obama won't get them either.

Sorry I had to spell it out for you so clearly. Do you understand the question now that it has been simplified?

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 01/21/12 - 05:42 pm
0
0
I could care less about Newts
Unpublished

I could care less about Newts adultrey and I could care less about how many millions he spends on jewelry for his new wife. . Its his constant statements about being a good christian that I have a problem with. BTW when is he going to release his papers on his involvement with the Fanny-Mae business. Just how many times can a good christian marry and still be a disciple of god?

carcraft
37368
Points
carcraft 01/21/12 - 06:26 pm
0
0
Ah yes more questions about

Ah yes more questions about Gingrich! Imagine you are sitting in a chair with your hand folded in your lap. A man with a deep vioce , looking down his nose at you through specticles with a look of disdain and pity for your ignorance. In a deep authoratative voice he states " The way it works is this, questions about why Obama's girl friend in his book "Dreams of My Father" bears a stricking resemblance to William Ayer's girl friend who died in the bomb blast in New York is tabloid level gossip and not fit for serious journalism" " He said she said gossip about Newt Gingrich's last divorce rises to the level of SERIOUS journalism because of the seriousness of the charge" There, that should explain it all! BWAHAHAHAHAHA

carcraft
37368
Points
carcraft 01/21/12 - 06:28 pm
0
0
madgerman- When is Obama

madgerman- When is Obama going to release his college and law school transcripts?

Jake
38063
Points
Jake 01/21/12 - 07:24 pm
0
0
All this media and all these

All this media and all these posts about a person who has only a slightly better chance of being President than I do.

Willow Bailey
20619
Points
Willow Bailey 01/21/12 - 07:31 pm
0
0
madgerman, Let me bring some

madgerman, Let me bring some awareness to you; sex & lust, are the secret sins of the churched and the unchurched. The double standard is, only the churched are called out on it. That is unless you are a democrat, like Clinton who did pretend to be churched, occasionally, as it fit his agenda.

With the condition of the economy, the threats to The Constitution, & our freedom at stake; SMART PEOPLE will concern themselves with the critical issues. If the demos and the media could beat them on the issues, they wouldn't have to try to DISTRACT conservative Christians, with this smut. Not to worry though, cause I think we have caught on.

Let's just say for the benefit of argument, Obama was the top student college & law school, a model husband, father and man of God, he is still the worst president we have ever had, including Jimmy Carter. He's got to go.

Newt's smart, he's been successful, he knows Washington, he understands the military and economics, he can hit the ground running .....but most of all...he loves America. Ditto, for Romney, Santorum and Dr. Paul. The media is helping the Marxist drive America into the ground. Remember it, if you and your people succeed in reelecting him. God have mercy on all of us.

Willow Bailey
20619
Points
Willow Bailey 01/21/12 - 07:31 pm
0
0
That stuff hasn't been

That stuff hasn't been legalized, yet, Jake.

that guy
0
Points
that guy 01/21/12 - 07:57 pm
0
0
The lack of self-awareness in

The lack of self-awareness in this editorial is hysterical. "Why are the media so biased against conservatives? If only there were a media outlet to defend us! Perhaps some day a newspaper will be brave enough to publish right-wing propaganda day-in, day out on its editorial page. Oh, I hope I live to see that day..."

KSL
191604
Points
KSL 01/21/12 - 08:30 pm
0
0
Where do you teach, effete?

Where do you teach, effete?

KSL
191604
Points
KSL 01/21/12 - 08:33 pm
0
0
Jake,you or Newt would be

Jake,you or Newt would be better than what we have now!

KSL
191604
Points
KSL 01/21/12 - 08:44 pm
0
0
FDR to the present. I don't

FDR to the present. I don't give a rat's rear about their sex lives. They just need to keep it out of the news. Why give Clinton a pass and crucify Newt. Seems his second wife was a nutcase.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 01/21/12 - 08:51 pm
0
0
Truth Matters: “It was Newt's

Truth Matters: “It was Newt's hypocrisy and arrogance that made Bill Clinton a sympathetic candidate and allowed him to sail to re-election.”

Maybe I’m misremembering but it seems to me Clinton’s key sex scandals (the ones Newt used hypocritically) were in 1998. Since Clinton was re-elected in 1996 how could the 1998 sex scandal transfer victimization sympathy to him to facilitate his re-election?

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Poll: Clinton, Trump lead in Georgia

ATLANTA – Georgia voters favor the national leaders in both parties’ presidential primaries, but the second-place spot has changed hands in each, according to a poll for Morris News Service ...
Search Augusta jobs