CNN should do some soul searching after South Carolina GOP debate

“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.

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5 Responses

  1. Noel says:

    Whether or not CNN gave Newt Gingrich a gift or not is yet to be determined, but I am amazed that someone who has literally made a career of unabashedly attacking politicians with unbridled vitriol can whine about misplaced or poorly-timed attacks against himself. My shred of respect for Gingrich’s intellect and passion is quickly evaporating as he continues to cry foul on personal attacks directed at him. There’s nothing worse than someone who loves to dish it out but can’t take it.

  2. Xanthippas says:

    You’re right. That the question was the first asked indicates how completely out of touch the campaign media is with the things the voters generally care about.

  3. Jessica says:

    I agree that CNN shouldn’t have asked the question – it was immaterial to the debate. But I disagree with the idea that the interview should never have been done. His former wife has been talked about relentlessly in the election, should she not be allowed to tell her side of the story? Arguably, though he fights for conservative family values, he’s never spoken to the public about his former indiscretions. While that might not be material for most candidates, Gingrich makes a big deal out of morality and wholesome family values. Should we not question his hypocritical nature?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t heard Newt Gingrich playing the family values card lately. As a matter of fact, Rick Santorum said in the debate that Gingrich played down social issues in the 2010 election. I think he did that for 2 reasons, social issues don’t play anymore in general. And he knows he personally can’t win on the social card.

    I have not been convinced that Gingrich’s ex-wife had any insight to add on the candidate. That’s in sharp contrast to the Herman Cain accusers and alleged mistress. They were painting a picture of someone we didn’t know and who was denying that the allegations were part of his past and present.

  5. Gleebritt21 says:

    I agree with Noel with the exception that I really think Newt’s ‘intellect’ is overplayed. He just has the nerve to project himself as the intellectual where the others won’t or can’t.

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