Being confrontational doesn’t translate into anger, as is suggested. Confrontation is not a dirty word. Sometimes it’s the best kind of journalism as long you don’t confront people just for the sake of a confrontation.
I do think CNN Chief National Correspondent John King confronted Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on the topic of his ex-wife specifically to heat up the situation and boost the ratings. That he chose to do it as the initial question is even more of an indictment.
Bam! Gingrich responds – but unlike the editorial writer, he recognizes that the relationship between press and politician is designed to be happily adversarial. In rapid fire, Gingrich cuts off all lines of retreat for King – it’s old news from 1999 that is personally painful; his daughters called ABC to provide perspective; and his friends could have provided information about the relationship at the time.
And when the broken King mumbles that ABC first broke the story, Gingrich in a resplendent tour de force nails the coffin with, “John, it was repeated on your network; you chose to start the debate with it. Don’t try to blame somebody else.”
The editorial states a milquetoast preference by stating, “A little less indignation and a little more contrition might have helped his former wife’s charges blow over.” Sounds like the tone our present president may be using. I don’t think that’s what Gingrich has as a model for a strong president who is taking the lead and being responsible.