COMMENTARY | One of the comments made by Newt Gingrich during his self-righteous tirade at the CNN Southern Republican Presidential Debate on Thursday evening in Charleston, S.C., indicates that not only did he know the media's reputation for negativity, but he also would rather use a scapegoat than admit the truth.
"I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office , and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that."
It is the first part of the statement where Gingrich followed the (Sarah) Palin Rule (blame the "lamestream" media), that not only goaded his audience to cheering but ignored the fact that even when the media has been reporting, it has been reporting the negative statements of opposing ideologies. In other words, much of the negative media is generated by the facts as they present themselves, not to mention the way information is spun, omitted, falsified and hedged by those involving themselves in the political process.
So it isn't just the "destructive, vicious, negative nature" of the media that interferes with good governance and whether qualified and "decent" people make themselves available for public office. Attack ads that take down and/or attempt to destroy reputations come from the candidates' campaigns or through unaffiliated organizations that support certain candidates. Politicians are constantly belittling or denigrating their opponents. Then there is the contingent that attempts to manipulate the media, not to mention the electorate, with negativity -- whether that negativity is at other candidates or the media.
Because as "appalled" as Gingrich says he was, he has also used the media as a tool for negativity. He called President Barack Obama the "food stamp president," with all the negative connotations that those words employ. He called his rival Mitt Romney a liar.
So, did Gingrich unintentionally speak about himself when he stated that the news media was keeping "decent people" from running for office? Given the facts as they are (found guilty of ethics violations in Congress, cheated on his first two wives), he would be a product of that which he said existed.
Negative media? Or just the simple truth?