The occasional brilliance of Newt Gingrich

by Russell's Rants

Originally published April 15, 2012

Newt Gingrich is an ideological bomb-thrower posing as a presidential campaign on a book tour. When he is not downright “zany,” as his primary rival Mitt Romney would say, planning for a lunar colony by the end of his never-to-be second, let alone first, term, Newt has a way of expressing his views in the most politically insensitive and incendiary fashion:

  • Exhibit “A”: Obama being of anti-colonial Kenyan decent, as though philosophy is passed on through DNA given that the president was born in Hawaii and only met his father once in his adolescence;
  • Exhibit “B”: Barney Frank deserving to be jailed for championing Wall Street reform prompted by the type of reckless policies that Gingrich advocated while lobby, err “historyifying,” for Freddie Mac;
  • Exhibit “C”: Occupy Wall Street protesters needing to “take a bath” and “get a job” for exercising their First Amendment rights of assembly and speech in the midst of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

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But when he’s good, he’s really good. Last May, at the kick-off of his worst-start-of-a-presidential-campaign ever, Gingrich let it slip that the reactionary, soak-the-poor budget being proposed by Paul Ryan was a fine example of bad, right-wing engineering. Brilliant! And dead on.

And just last week, as Romney was preparing for his general election, Etch-A-Sketch pivot, Newt let this gem loose:

“I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through. . . . In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than Fox this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of Fox, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of Fox. That’s just a fact.

“I assume it’s because Murdoch at some point said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney’. . . . And there’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches Fox.”

Gingrich’s comments ring true because they encapsulate an undeniable truth: that, as Bill Maher would say, Fox “News” has sealed its viewers in a bubble of its own conservative creation – and that the only real objective news out there comes from CNN – and though Newt would admit it, the other “lame stream” media, meaning the hard news bureaus of the three networks and the major newspapers, most especially the New York Times. MSNBC is the equivalent of the opinion page of a newspaper – or the roundtable of the Sunday shows, and the opinions expressed by the hosts are similar to what columnists write in their essays – either news analysis or opinion, not objective reporting.

The point is that Fox has no objective reporting. Its columnists are its anchors, and it has no hard news desk. Even more, through some twisted sense of being aggrieved and ignored, Fox has promoted the most distorted set of social policies since, well take your pick, the 1950’s, 1930’s, 1200’s.

It is interesting, though not particularly refreshing, that it took Fox News’ alleged victimization of Newt Gingrich for the Speaker to speak up and tell the truth about that network’s unfairness and imbalance.

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