Skip to comments.Gingrich scores with voters by socking 'Big Media'
Posted on 01/22/2012 2:03:12 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Resentment lurks near the surface of the conservative political consciousness. Many voters believe (not always without cause) that elite, hipster liberals in academia and the coastal Big Media are sneering at them, their lives, and their beliefs. They see themselves presented as unsophisticated, bigoted, and quite possibly stupid.
So Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was tapping into a powerful psychological current when he attacked the news media Thursday at the start of a CNN debate, responding to an ABC News interview with his ex-wife Marianne, in which she said he had demanded an "open marriage" so he could carry on an affair with the woman he subsequently married after divorcing Marianne.
Like a great baseball hitter, Gingrich saw moderator John King's question about the matter as a hanging curveball, looming big as a beach ball in the middle of the plate - and he parked it in the bleachers.
"I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans," Gingrich thundered at the end of an extended riff. The crowd in the North Charleston debate hall stood as one and roared.
Media-bashing has a long and successful history in the Republican politics of the last five decades, a go-to move that rarely fails to arouse the base.
At the 1964 convention in San Francisco that nominated Barry Goldwater, for instance, delegates stood and faced the press galleries and glassed-in network broadcast booths perched in the rafters of the old Cow Palace. They shook their fists, jeered, and booed as speakers excoriated the media for painting the GOP as a nest of right-wing extremists.
Animus toward the media seemed to grow more pronounced in the 1960s as many conservatives believed that Vietnam War protesters and the counterculture were being glorified at their expense. The Merle Haggard country hit "Okie from Muskogee" captures that sentiment.
In 1970, Vice President Spiro Agnew launched a famous attack on the news media for criticism of the Nixon administration, telling an audience in San Diego that "we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism." Agnew fired other alliterative insults straight from the SAT verbal section: "pusillanimous pussyfooters" and "vicars of vacillation" among them. The phrases have been attributed to erudite speechwriter (and later New York Times columnist) William Safire.
More recently, Republicans in 1992 sported bumper stickers defending President George H.W. Bush, who was often portrayed as out of touch and ineffectual amid a recession. "Annoy the Media: Re-elect Bush," it said.
In 2008, John McCain's campaign had one of its biggest fund-raising hauls the day after a New York Times report suggesting ethical concerns surrounding his ties with a female lobbyist. His campaign called the article "a scurrilous attack against a great American hero" and appealed to donors for contributions so it could "respond and defend our nominee from the liberal attack machine."
And McCain's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, after she stumbled badly in early TV interviews (sample query: What newspapers do you read?), made complaints about the "gotcha questions" of the news media a regular crowd-pleasing feature of her stump speech.
Gingrich, the former House speaker, owes much of his rise in the 2012 race to media-bashing. His staff had quit and his campaign was broke last August, when he upbraided debate hosts Bret Baier and Chris Wallace of Fox News for asking him what he, too, derided as "gotcha questions." He has regularly included such broadsides since.
But the indignation he summoned Thursday night was epic.
"I think 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," Gingrich said, his eyes narrowing in anger. "Every person in here knows personal pain. . . . To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question for a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine."
Ironically, reporters who travel regularly with Gingrich say he is friendly and solicitous to them in person, and often engages them in freewheeling discussions at the end of the day, according to Politico. The truth is, politicians and the media need each other.
Perhaps the most famous Republican expression of disgust with the media came in 1962 from Richard M. Nixon, after he'd lost the California gubernatorial race. "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference," he told reporters.
Yet six years later, his masterful use of the media helped him become president.
Newt is the proverbial kitchen sink of politics. He’s seen it all and has forgotten none of it. He’s either the reincarnation of Cicero or Churchill. We need him.
Something coming in the mail to you soon, brother.
well, he is what we have been waiting for a candidate with a spine.
First of all, this is supposed to be a debate. That means you ask ALL the debaters THE SAME QUESTION so you can compare and contrast their answers.
You don’t ask a personal question that has no relevance to national politics, that’s just flat-out mudslinging.
No doubt Romney has been the choice of the liberal media, so they need to demonize his opposition.
socking the leftist media was good but, IMHO, what was better, was seeing Newt Gingrich turn that whole Marianne Gingrich scandal business around the way he did. Lesser politicians would have been destroyed by that series of events but not Newt, he not only survived but he walked away stronger. He showed an amazing strength strength and an indomitable spirit and that he can handle Obama in a general election. The SC voters saw it and they responded. Now, on to Florida.
That wasn’t a question. It was a character assassination attempt, there is absolutely no doubt about it. King, for whatever reason, was trying to take him out of the race. Look at Romney as Newt turned it all around-he just bowed his head because he knew that he’d been beat.
“Would you like to take some time to respond to that?”
That’s what Newt was asked. And he basically responded by saying that was the most worthless question he had ever heard in a national debate.
Palin answered, she read everything. Her answer was fine
To the media, no specific answer equals she don’t read anything
I love the smell of LSM fear in the morning.
Spoken like a true presstitute....
...the indignation he summoned Thursday night was epic.
I have no knowledge of this writer, but, based on this excerpt, I must say that he nailed it.
Conservatives are sick and tired of seeing our side — not that I really consider Gingrich on my side completely — playing Mr. Nice Guy. For once, someone punched back, and it was glorious to see and here. I was cheering.
Yeah, agenda-driven, progressive propagandists need to be confronted early, often and up close and personal.
Thanks for posting. Ping!
Another issue that Newt Hammers and I Love It are the JUDGES who think they are Gods and Trash Referendums that people have and Make edicts that they should Not even have Jurisdiction over. Go Newt
Progressiveism is being strangled and it feels good.
what? I was making a statement!