On Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC, David Gregory jumped directly into his interview with former Speaker Newt Gingrich and began by asking him about the controversy involving radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh and his use of the terms “prostitute” and “slut” to describe Sandra Fluke, the 30yo law-school student at Georgetown University who is also an activist for radical feminist views, and who supports the Obama administration’s mandate that religious institutions be compelled to cover contraception, contrary to their religious views. He couched his question in terms of whether the episode had done damage, but he left open where the damage may have occurred. Gingrich did not fall for the trap Gregory laid, and it should serve as an example on how to handle the press.
It is typical of the mainstream media to demand that one conservative answer for another conservative’s statements and troubles, but they also like to create a narrative that suits their own ideological ends. Gregory attempted this same tactic with Gingrich, but as is made plain in this video, Gingrich doesn’t fall into the trap. He presses through Gregory’s attempt, and states his own case, and in answering the question by restating the premise, he demolishes Gregory. Here’s the video:
As you can see from this video, Newt Gingrich knows full well how to contend with the false narratives advanced by the media. I think that as is often the case, Gingrich succeeded in making Gregory look foolish for pressing the line of questioning. If the Republicans are going to win in 2012, this is the way they will need to do it, and frankly, I see none more capable on the Republican side at the moment than Newt Gingrich. In this exchange, it’s clear that Gregory was sent packing with his lame attempt to drag Gingrich into the controversy, or at least to use the opportunity to advance the leftist talking point.
I was also interested to hear the substance of the way Gingrich answered it, because he stuck to his own agenda in pointing out that Barack Obama is carrying on a war against the Catholic Church, and indeed all religious institutions. In fact, many of the things he said are in close accord with the positions I’ve taken over the last several days on the contraception controversy, particularly with respect to the war on the Church. He also mentioned Cardinal George, and that means Gingrich is doing his homework. He’s studying the available information, and that he’s arriving at conclusions that are fundamentally in accord with conservative values is important, because it suggests that his growth as a candidate has been genuinely positive. Can Gingrich come back? If this interview is any indication, it seems likely.