“It is as close as despicable as anything I can imagine. I’m frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and set it to open a presidential debate,” Newt Gingrich said after CNN’s John King asked about his ex-wife’s assertion he wanted an open marriage.
Gingrich was pretty accurate in his assessment. For John King to lead a presidential debate with that question was horrific. King’s answer for why he asked the question may have been worse.
King talked about how the ABC interview was the story of the day and that you’re “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” ask the question. But Ari Fleischer made a great point after the debate when he said that the Gingrich story occupied the time and mind share of politicos and pundits. Those in the media who eat and breathe politics placed too much importance on the story.
ABC should not have allowed for the interview in the first place. Not now for sure.
What could we possibly have learned in the interview that we didn’t know? A man who we know (because he’s said so) cheated on his wife wanted an open marriage? So what. The issue (as MSNBC continues to ask about this) is that these allegations are from 1999. We’ve been there, he’s moved on with his life, he’s remarried, next subject.
CNN should not have allowed ABC to dictate their debate. The interview had not even aired yet, so King was going off a marketing clip used to get eyeballs on television sets.
There were many important issues to focus on: Romney tax returns and Cayman accounts, Perry exit and endorsement of Gingrich. Why even go there CNN?
The CNN panel save Fleischer seemed to be in agreement that King needed to ask the question. The majority of the people I have followed and spoken with disagree. CNN gave Newt Gingrich a gift that he didn’t deserve, but for which I’m sure he and his supporters are thankful.