Newt Gingrich has mala fides when it comes to media criticism. He famously lashed out at ABC for reportorial malpractice in a Republican presidential debate and had to eat his words. He said in another debate that the media had done nothing to advance transparency at the Federal Reserve, when in fact it had done plenty. And the guy’s pronouncements about the “elite media” are the empty calories of a Gingrich stump presentation.
The former House speaker’s winless streak continued Wednesday as he addressed Tea Party leaders in Delaware, a session whose details were reported by Real Clear Politics. The pivotal soundbite:“I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through.”
For surgical refutation of that claim, see Rachel Maddow. In December, the MSNBC host dissected Fox’s coverage of the primary campaign and showed how Gingrich and Romney were being treated by the network at that point, just as Gingrich was surging in anticipation of the Iowa caucuses.
Yet in his Delaware remarks, Gingrich did something he doesn’t often do in poking the media. He got into specifics — the people at Fox News, he said in Delaware, verily feasted on his troubles last June, when virtually the entire Gingrich campaign staff bagged the venture. From Real Clear Politics:
“The sense of being shocked that somebody I’d talk to and worked with for 10 or 11 years would say some of the things they said, if you go back and look at the transcripts for June, it was amazing to me,” he said. “They all said, ‘He’s dead.’ This is part of why I laugh at them now. ”
Bold text highlighted to stress Gingrich’s invitation to check out TV transcripts, an opportunity that the Erik Wemple Blog never passes up. After emerging from an extended plunge into Nexis.com, we feel confident in reaching a conclusion: Gingrich is right about something media related!
The transcript evaluation covered the days immediately proceeding the June 9 implosion of the Gingrich campaign, when key aides resigned amid a lot of criticism that the candidate had ill-advisedly taken a Greek cruise at precisely the wrong time. Fox News covered the implosion aggressively, as did all other politically oriented outlets. But what could have angered Gingrich so?
Could it have been Bill O’Reilly’s unflattering comparison?
O’REILLY: Mr. Gingrich losing 16 employees. Now, the situation is similar to Fred Thompson’s presidential run in 2008. Things just never got on track.
Could it have been this exchange?
FOX ANCHOR BRET BAIER: Is Newt Gingrich in or out for the week?
FOX POLITICAL ANALYST JUAN WILLIAMS: The campaign is over. It’s just a matter of if he announces it.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It’s over, but he is staying in.
Here’s my vote: Gingrich is actually angry about being compared to a guy who sent photos of himself in his underwear over Twitter:
BRET BAIER: The Friday lightning round is next featuring Newt Gingrich and Congressman Anthony Weiner. Our poll question tonight — who will quit first? You can vote in the home page. . ..
(Baier later announced that 59 percent had picked Gingrich, to Weiner’s 41 percent. Never trust the polls.)