Wednesday, July 31, 2019


I don't want to belabor the points I made in my previous post, but I was frustrated during last night's debate when few of the candidates challenged the right-wing framing of the questions. Elizabeth Warren did so fleetingly a couple of times, as did Bernie Sanders, although he ultimately directed his ire at CNN's health-industry sponsors:

I think this was a missed opportunity for a breakout moment. I'm sure there'll be a similar opportunity in tonight's debate, when the same moderators, particularly Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, will use the same conservative frames to shape their questions.

When that happens, someone should do what Newt Gingrich did in a January 2012 Republican debate.
Gingrich was pressed by moderator John King to comment about recent interviews given by Gingrich's second ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, in which she said that Gingrich had requested an open relationship.

"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," Gingrich said, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.

"I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate," Gingrich added.

The former House Speaker went on to denounce the story as "false" and accuse the media of raising the issue to protect President Obama.

"I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans," Gingrich said.

Gingrich was denying a tawdry (and, I assume, accurate) story about his marital history, and he attacked King in front of an audience of Republicans, who are conditioned to hate the non-Fox media. Democrats are dealing with a purely ideological bias against progressive ideas, and their base generally trusts the MSM.

Nevertheless, the contempt in last night's questioning was so obvious that a full-throated counterattack would have won a big round of applause.

Two days after that debate, Newt Gingrich beat Mitt Romney in the South Carolina primary by 12 points. Immediately afterward, there was serious talk about the possibility that he might wrest the nomination from Mitt Romney.

Somebody, please: If Tapper gives you an opening, go for it. You'll be glad you did.

No comments: