Thursday, January 19, 2012

Does Angry Bellowing Help Newt Gingrich in South Carolina's Primary?

When I came home from work and turned on the TV I'd forgotten there was another debate tonight. But I clicked over to CNN on cable exactly as Newt Gingrich was responding to John King's question on Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne's allegations. It was a riveting moment. And Newt gave a good answer and obviously touched a nerve with the audience. But after John King came back with second question Newt became so angry it seemed a little disproportionate by that time and he raised his voice to a level of visceral anger. It seemed bellowing and a bit inappropriate. Understandable, but just a tad over the top. As I work on this post the CNN team is doing the post-debate analysis and they're talking about it. John King says he doesn't take it personally, but when you look at the clip he definitely was uncomfortable for a minute. And David Gergen argues it was one of the most powerful, most explosive moments in the history of presidential debates. Ari Fleischer argues that in the end, perhaps the public might not care as much as do the media types who live and breathe this stuff all day.

Updates forthcoming.

7:55pm PST: Telegraph UK says Newt helped himself in S.C., "US election 2012: Newt Gingrich hits back at 'open marriage' allegations":
Newt Gingrich hit back at allegations of impropriety with a robust debate performance that, judging by a standing ovation it received a South Carolina audience, instantly improved his chances of winning the state’s primary on Saturday.
8:20pm PST: The Los Angeles Times has a report, "Gingrich spars with CNN, then his GOP rivals in S.C. debate."

8:45pm PST: And at New York Times, "Gingrich Comes Under Attack on Topics Professional and Personal."


Ben said...

"John King says he doesn't take it personally, but when you look at the clip he definitely was uncomfortable for a minute."

I just wished, more for his sake than anything, that King could have brought himself to say, "you know, Mr. Speaker, tonight I really am thoroughly ashamed of myself and my network."

Ran / SVP said...

Dunno - I thought I'd have handled it likewise. Not since Fred Thompson told the school-marm that he doesn't do a "show of hands" has the media faced any blow-back from a candidate.

Palin almost got there. Tough lady.

There was more than just the handling of Newt's ex-wife's claims here for which Newt had anger. Decades of abuse by the elite media, too, of all Conservative candidates.

I believe that it improved the forum by preventing King from getting too cocky.

Yeah, I think too that this helped Newt tremendously.

RightKlik said...

He did let his emotions spill out a bit, but I think he came out way ahead.

AmPowerBlog said...

RightKlik: Well, it looks like he is going to get a bounce out of it. But I don't think it was wrong of John King to ask.

RightKlik said...

@Donald Douglas

It's a legitimate issue, but I think Newt made a good point... that context is very important here. King proudly brought it up as the very first question of the night, looking straight into the camera as he set it up. King called it "fresh," when it's about as old as some of this year's new voters.

The country's going to hell in a handcart and CNN wants to antagonize conservatives and conservative voters with 1990s news, conveniently wasting time that could be better spent discussing Obama's failures.

Of course that backfired, showing Gingrich to be fully capable of defending himself and his record, turning lemons into lemonade.