By Tom Quiner
Newt Gingrich’s marital history is ancient history.
It has been reported on ad infinitum. Much of it is true. Much of it is distorted.
ABC chose to keep this old story alive with an interview with Mr. Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne. They chose to air the hit piece days before today’s South Carolina primary in order to maximize the damage to his candidacy.
Why the intense interest in keeping old news alive when in the previous election cycle, the same media showed no interest into digging into Barack Obama’s “hidden years” which, by his own admission, included cocaine use?
Or turn back the clock to 1992 when Bill Clinton came onto the national scene with his run for the presidency. CBS had the Gennifer Flower story about to break. Rather than bury Clinton with it, they massaged the story to help him. Don Hewitt, executive producer of 60 Minutes, explained why:
“And they came to us because they were in big trouble in New Hampshire. They were about to lose right there and they needed some first aid. They needed some bandaging. What they needed was a paramedic. So they came to us and we did it and that’s what they wanted to do. When I told Tim Russert that I was persona-non-grata at the White House, he said, “Why?” I said, “The Gennifer Flowers interview.” He said, “You got him the nomination.” I said, “I know that.” As far as I know from the conversations I’ve had, Bernie Nussbaum knew that, Gergen knows that, Lloyd Cutler certainly knows it ’cause Lloyd had a hand in his coming on that night.
You know it was strong medicine the way I edited it but he was a very sick candidate. He needed very strong medicine, and I’m not in the business of doctoring candidates but he got up out of a sick bed that night and walked to the nomination and as I said to Mandy, “You know if I’ld edited it your way, you know where you’d be today? You’d still be up in New Hampshire looking for the nomination.” He became the candidate that night.”
Mr. Hewitt is pretty forthright in his acknowledgement that the fix was in to help Mr. Clinton’s candidacy.
You could see the pro Clinton tilt in another story that simmered and just died. That had to do about allegations that he was a counter cultural draft dodger. Evidently, the college-aged Bill Clinton took a mysterious 40 day trip behind the Iron Curtain in 1969.
There were questions. What was he doing there?
How did this poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks in Arkansas pay for the trip?
And how had he avoided the draft? R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., publisher of the American Spectator, summarized it this way in his book, “Boy Clinton:”
“Clinton’s election prospects flickered and dimmed. Then, as his staff pondered how to salvage the campaign, something amazing happened. The stories simply died. Reporters were not offended by the lies Clinton had been laying on them for years. Citizens’ groups did not demand an honest account of his draft record, his anti-war activities, his visits to Communist countries at the height of the Cold War, visits that seemed to have the support of Communist governments. The stories had absolutely no effect on the election; few news organizations even picked them up.”
Mr. Clinton even stayed in the home of a member of the ruling communist party in Prague, and yet journalists had no curiosity about what transpired.
Can you imagine if it was Sara Palin?
The media flew hundreds of journalists into Alaska to dig up dirt on Ms. Palin.
Why such little interest in the background of Mssrs. Obama and Clinton?
It is this transparent bias that may actually be working to Newt Gingrich’s advantage. Everyone on the both sides of the aisle know they’re out to get him. His clear, hard-hitting response to John King’s “gotcha” question thrilled the legions of voters fed up with the leftward tilt of the mainstream media.
We saw it after Wednesday night’s debate again. CNN had a PolitiFact segment to check on the accuracy of Mr. Gingrich’s assertion that RomneyCare helped to fund abortions in Massachusetts. Their fact checker said Gingrich was wrong and Romney was right.
In other words, Gingrich lied.
And yet candidate Fred Thompson made the EXACT same claim in a 2007 candidate debate. Here’s what Mr. Thompson said:
“So what sort of services does Romney’s health care plan provide? Per the state web site: $50 co-pay for abortions. While [a] court mandate requires Massachusetts to cover ‘medically necessary’ abortions in state-subsidized health plans, Mitt Romney’s plan covers ALL abortions — no restrictions.”
What did PolitiFact say about Thompson’s claim? That it is true.
PolitiFact says Ginrich lied and Thompson said the truth.
Same issue. Same assertion. Different outcome.
Whether you like Newt Gingrich or not, it is impossible to ignore the bias.
Gingrich is taking the media to task, and crowds are responding with unprecedented standing ovations. You’ll hear his response at about 2:30 into the video clip above.
He has turned the tables on them. It is the media that is now on trial.