Matt Drudge is making a lot of hay over Gingrich’s alleged anti-Reagan speech, that we know know wasn’t, and he’s clearly sympathetic to Mitt Romney, but why is it that conservatives are reacting badly against this? The answer is simpler than most will admit, and it comes down to just two things. First, the conservative base and Tea Party folk in the GOP are beginning to doubt media altogether, and they’re seeing through the obvious anti-Gingrich bias, but more importantly, I believe it comes down to this more than any other thing: They are sick to death of the media and the GOP establishment selecting the Republican nominee. I think this explains everything you need to know why conservatives and Tea Party folk look at these exaggerated, out-of-context headlines and stories, and just say “No.”
If you wish to know how dishonest Matt Drudge has been on this story, up in the top-left of his site all morning Thursday were three stories agitating against Gingrich’s alleged anti-Reagan sentiments, but the third of these, from 1988, has already been debunked. Why didn’t Drudge take this down? No, he waited until it was thoroughly debunked, but the damage of the lie was done. He left it up in exactly the same way he allowed his anti-Newt stories of last Wednesday and Thursday to remain up most of the day, despite the fact that it had been revealed most were over-hyped re-hashings of old stories. Drudge has relocated this a bit, but this is how it appeared just more than an hour ago:
How do I know this is dishonest? The link to the video is a Youtube link to a highly edited clip, taken out of context, and therefore made to look as though Gingrich was anti-Reagan. When you watch the whole video selection, in its complete context, the lie becomes obvious. Drudge is doing this purposefully, and if he will lie to you in this instance, there is no doubt he will lie to you in others. I don’t really care what his motive is, or why he’s doing it. This moved his recent activities from “suspicious” in my view, to reprehensible. Thanks to Dan Riehl for exposing the truth, and providing a link to the original, full-length C-SPAN video, with the interesting portion beginning around 2:30.
Limbaugh talked about this extensively on his show today, saying the following, among other things:
“It was everything you wish was happening today, is all I can tell you. It was everything you wish the entire Republican Party was doing today. It was led by Newt Gingrich, and what was he doing? He was defending Reagan. Now, all of this stuff that hit Drudge and everywhere else last night about Newt telling everybody the country goes to hell if they continue Reaganism and that Newt insulted Reagan and that the Reagan administration failed and Iran-Contra… I never heard any of that. I started doing this particular program in Sacramento in 1984, and I was just as immersed in national politics then as I am now, and I could honestly tell you this.”
There’s a reason Rush can’t remember it the way Drudge is broadcasting it: It didn’t happen the way Drudge’s site would lead you to believe, and this is simply a desperately disgusting attempt to do to Gingrich what has been done to others with the distortions. A year ago, if you had told me Drudge did things this way, I would have scoffed at it, but now…
I’m clearly coming to see Drudge in a different light.
I realize that many people have many reasons to be unhappy with Gingrich on one issue or another, and I’m inclined to be annoyed with him too, but this has gone too far, in my view, and I’m not inclined to suffer it any longer. If Drudge is going to be a media participant in this smear-fest, let him, but I won’t be adding much to his page-view statistics any longer.
The simple truth is that American conservatives and Tea Party folk are tired of the media and the GOP establishment leading them around by the noses. It’s not that people are so infatuated with Gingrich so much as it is that they are disgusted by these tactics, and they’re simply disenchanted with the GOP establishment controlling the outcome of our primary system.