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Tilting at Windmills

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May 27, 2009

DISGRACED FORMER LAWMAKER REFUSES TO GO AWAY.... The lead story on CNN's political blog right now:

Rush Limbaugh isn't the only one calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist. Newt Gingrich is, too -- and he's demanding that Obama's pick to the Supreme Court withdraw her nomination. [...]

On Wednesday, Gingrich tweeted: "Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.' new racism is no better than old racism."

Moments later, he followed up with the message: "White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw."

I see. The disgraced former House Speaker, who hasn't served in public office for over a decade, and has no relevance or influence in the Senate at all, wants to see Judge Sotomayor withdraw. I guess the administration won't have much choice but to get right on that.

As hard as this may be to believe, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs encouraged the public and members of the Senate to "look at more than just the blog of a former lawmaker."

(I know, I know, Gingrich's Twitter feed isn't the same thing as Gingrich's blog. The prior features Newt's madness in smaller bursts.)

So, once again, we're back to the common question: why are Newt Gingrich's silly ideas the lead story at CNN's political site right now? And why does CNN treat his rants as political news on a nearly daily basis? Were his screeds surprising? Were his accusations of racism against Sotomayor compelling? Is there any chance at all that anyone will actually care whether Newt wants to see the nominee withdraw?

Steve Benen 2:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38)

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Comments

She probably puts mustard on her hamburgers too. Evil woman!

Posted by: Conservatroll on May 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

CNN treats Gingrich's every utterance as news because of their lack of curiousity about the world, laziness, inability to think outside of their decaying business model, and an obsession with every utterance from the chattering right wing classes inside the beltway.

What's your excuse for treating his rants as political news on a daily basis?

Posted by: grinning cat on May 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

"I see. The disgraced former House Speaker, who hasn't served in public office for over a decade, and has no relevance or influence in the Senate at all,"

This is the jerk , who calls himself SPEAKER Newt Gingrich, on his website. I think it is in reference to him disgacefully leaving the post of Speaker of the House 10 + years ago.

My interpretation is the SPEAKER Newt Gingrich
referred to is " the SPEAKER for all the schmucks running the REPUG Party.

Posted by: barkleyg on May 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

According to this recommended diary at DKos - http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/5/27/735964/-Gingrich-Tweets-Sotomayor-RacistOn-Visit-to-Auschwitz! - the newt tweeted this within 24 hours of having stood within a reconstruction of the gas chamber at Auschwitz. The diarist went on to explore the relative intensities of the two 'racisms' that the newt experienced - and draws some conclusions about his massive insensitivity. Empathy sure wouldn't stand in his way if he got nominated to a Publican Supreme Court...

Posted by: Stephen1947 on May 27, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

He sounds like Tarzan in that second one, except I'm sure Tarzan wouldn't have sounded like such a racist twit.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 27, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

ah, so this is the talking point they've decided on? I should have known, there was a troll over at Sadly, No who brought it on.

Posted by: g on May 27, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

If "White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw" (is this Newt Gingrich or Tarzan?) then shouldn't white man racist senator be forced to resign? Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, I'm talking to you.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on May 27, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

As hard as this may be to believe, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs encouraged the public and members of the Senate to "look at more than just the blog of a former lawmaker."

Now I'm wondering which member of the White House Press Corps scolded Gibbs for his disrespect towards Gingrich. After all, they felt compelled to defend poor, innocent Dick Cheney, who has the same platform and media access as Gingrich, from Gibbs. Anyone have a transcript?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 27, 2009 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

newt gingrich! lmao. let's face it. his only talent is insurrection. he did it once, 15 years ago. perhaps he thinks he can do it again. perhaps cnn thinks he can do it again. perhaps he is the most credible face the right has (which given the gop's thin bench, might not be far from the case) the dude had a chance to govern and blew it badly -- perhaps the beginning the downfall of the republicans just as they ascended power. he stands for republican failure and as far as i'm concerned every time he opens his mouth, it's a gift for the administration and the democrats.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 27, 2009 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Did Newt's tweet accurately quote Sotomayor? Did she say her experience as a latina made her better than a white man? Becuase if that isn't accurate, then CNN would seem to be violating a basic tenet of journalism.

Glad to see twitter can dumb down news even more....

Posted by: Rock on May 27, 2009 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why would anyone want to name their pet salamander Gingrich?

Sadly, I would rather listen to the nearly-sane ravings of Newt than the completely dishonest nonsense that the Cheney's are spewing in their pathetic (though likely to be successful) attempt to bilk a publisher out of a couple of million dollars. Now, all we need is for the pinheads at CNN, HN, MSNBC, CNBC and FoxNews and FoxBusiness to learn the difference between PR nonsense and actual news.

I blame whoever hired Larry King.

Posted by: freelunch on May 27, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Gingrich is the spokesman precisely because he's long out of office. It's way too scary for a sitting -- and vulnerable -- GOP incumbent to take her on, at least until some of the mud sticks.

They're gonna let surrogates do their dirty work for them, and that's where it's gonna stay, unless they start thinking they really could take her down. Look to Gingrich and Limbaugh and Malkin, and maybe Liz Cheney, to lead the charge for a while.

They're cowards.

Posted by: bleh on May 27, 2009 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Social conservatives will always project their own evil as a description of others.

Posted by: alan on May 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Could you, Steve, or somebody, actually ask the editors at CNN and get an answer to this question?

Posted by: Brian Oregon on May 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Minority" groups (women are of course a majority, unless you're just counting feminists) have been saying stuff like this for years, as a consciousness-raising tool. It makes them feel better, but it's no more excusable than the bile spewed by white racists. She shouldna said it, but she did; Gingrich merely took a soft lob and hit it for the expected long one. But if this disqualifies her for the court, there are five sitting justices who should exit with her.

And in determining Newt's importance, guess you missed the Kristol column in yesterday's WaPo, anointing the Newter and Dick Cheney as leaders of the Republican Party and lamenting that there aren't other, similar, younger, stronger leaders who aren't, well, past it.

Posted by: ericfree on May 27, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

guess you missed the Kristol column in yesterday's WaPo

Kristol has such an unblemished record of accuracy.

Posted by: g on May 27, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I've got it. CNN has determined (those clever bastards!) that TOTAL IRRELEVANCY shall be their new business goal! This will give them commercial access to the coveted moron demographic! It's brilliant!

You're welcome.

Posted by: CT on May 27, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Why does CNN treat his rants..."
Because MSM decides this spew is news-worthy. And why is that? Because any gain in executive, legislative or judicial towards a progressive balance of capital and labor is a threat to the MSM cabal. Just like it is a threat towards the banking cabal. Just like it is a threat towards the insurance cabal (ad nauseam). The fact that there are grunts out there stupid enough to carry water for corporatists against their own best interests is the real puzzle.

Posted by: Chopin on May 27, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

On Wednesday, Gingrich tweeted: "Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.' new racism is no better than old racism."

Moments later, he followed up with the message: "White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw."
This for sure is their coordinated talking point . They had some blond republican woman (the crawl said her name which escapes me and "Republican strategest" behind it spewing the same line almost word for word.
Courtesy of the MSM that line will play on a loop on all the NOOZE shows. Damn LIBRUL pres

Posted by: John R on May 27, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen scratched his head and pondered: "So, once again, we're back to the common question: why are Newt Gingrich's silly ideas the lead story at CNN's political site right now?"

So, once again, we're back to the common answer: because propagandizing the American people with "silly ideas" that undermine public support for and confidence in the Obama administration serves the class warfare interests of the ultra-rich corporate oligarchs who own virtually all of the mass media in the USA, including CNN.

So, once again, we're back to the common question: when will "liberal" bloggers acknowledge the basic reality that the mission and purpose of the corporate-owned media is to relentlessly hammer the American people with corporate propaganda, in furtherance of corporate interests, and not to practice "responsible journalism" or to impartially inform and educate the American people as a selfless public service?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 27, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

g said:
Kristol has such an unblemished record of accuracy.

Kristol has a record that is unblemished by accuracy.


Posted by: SteveT on May 27, 2009 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

See SecularAnimist above. This just about sums it up....Evil subtly (or maybe not so subtly)at work.

Posted by: Little Dick on May 27, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

As Secular Animist stated so succinctly in the earlier post:

"Republican so-and-so (Gingrinch) went on the air and blatantly lied today, and the bought-and-paid-for corporate shills of the corporate-owned media (CNN)let him or her get away with it, as usual".

SSDD. We take back the media, or we lose the debate. We don't set terms, we don't pick issues, we don't set the frame, NOTHING. They own the MSM, they know it, they shove their crap down the throats of the People every moment of every day. FoXXX news is the worst, but ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC are not far behind. At least NBC has SOME balance on MSNBC, but that's as far as it goes. Where are the rich progressives who can counter Murdick with a 'fair and balanced' progressive station? News Corp, GE, Disney, and Viacom are repukelicon, with a capital PUKE. They had the broadcasting rules/limits changed to suit them by Senate Republicans and the Bu$h White House in 2004. The FCC states that ONE company can own stations reaching as much as 39 percent of the national audience. Just enough, as it turns out, to allow two particular media giants, Viacom (CBS) and News Corp. (FoXXX), to keep all their stations. We are inundated with Republican BS, while they try to convince the nation that the media is 'liberal'. Rovian strategy at its best; argue that your advantage is THEIR advantage, so that anytime a viewpoint that is not conservative is aired, you can point to it as 'yet another example of liberal media bias'. We need the airwaves to be free of neocon propaganda. The FCC needs to revoke the rule changes and exemptions. We need a support stations that represent divergent views and serve those who have traditionally lacked a voice. We can put pressure on this administration to do that. We must.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on May 27, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Gingrich is a complete and utter fool, I understand he sent the message calling on Ms Sotomayer to withdraw for being a racist - from Auschwitz (wrong spelling) which is of course the home of the original white racism against jews, black people, gypsies and anyone not blonde haired and blue eyed as in master race!!!!

Posted by: JS on May 27, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

You don't understand. Filling a cable channel and website with content 24/7 is a lot of work, and planning for what will fill the space is serious business. Therefore, it's very important for the people managing the website to be able to predict what they'll have to fill space in advance.

It was possible to predict months ago that, once Obama announced a nominee, Newt would say something against that nominee. Easy peasey - the mockups of the website have had a spot for the Newt bleet far in advance. They knew it was coming, we knew it was coming, he knew he could get notice with it, and voila! Ads are sold.

What, you thought it was about news value? Silly wabbit.

Posted by: biggerbox on May 27, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

All hail President Gingrich! Ooooooh, what will he say next?

Posted by: Run Up The Score on May 27, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Newt Gingrich is a dick.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 27, 2009 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't he always be identified as "disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich"?

Posted by: Basharov on May 27, 2009 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Pay attention to the In What Respect, Charlie? post above. This is on the money.

Posted by: Little Dick on May 27, 2009 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

CNN is just in the news business to cover the crashes.

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 27, 2009 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't at all racist if you read it in context:
http://womensissues.about.com/b/2009/05/27/the-racist-uproar-over-sotomayors-wise-latina-comment.htm

To take it out of context creates a distortion of meaning.

Posted by: me on May 27, 2009 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

"What's your excuse for treating his rants as political news on a daily basis?"

CNN and Mr. Benen are in the same business.

Posted by: flubber on May 27, 2009 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I figure if an impeached former president who has held no office for 8 years can still speak in public, there is no reason why Gingrich can't. I know, you-all disagree with him, which proves he's evil, which means he should not be allowed on TV. Ho-hum.

Posted by: Mark G on May 27, 2009 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Newt on the teevee, a friend notes he is : THERE TO SELL ADS!!!! WHY DON'T THE BLOGS MENTION THIS??? IT'S NOT ROCKET SURGERY!!! GOTTA HAVE CONTROVERSY!
NEWT IS GOOD AT CONTROVERSY!!!!!

Posted by: wvng on May 27, 2009 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Mr. Benen is intellectually honest enough to always refer to Bill Clinton as the "Disgraced Former President" whenever referring to the ex-prez.

Posted by: Be Honest on May 28, 2009 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Gibbs referred to Gingrich's blog rather that twit because the person who asked the question was confused and called it a blog.

Posted by: Baldrick on May 28, 2009 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, when I saw your headline disgraced former lawmaker I was sure it was about Bill Clinton. Newt wasn't disgraced, and he's right about Sotomayor. Not only is she a racist, she embodies the opposite perspective that a judge should have. Justice is blind, the law should apply equally to everyone no matter what their background or standing. Which brings us full circle back to Bill Clinton for example. He perjured himself, and he was impeached among other punishments, as he should have been. Sotomayor would decide based on emotion. That's no way to run a legal system.

Posted by: Jayne on May 28, 2009 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ad hominem - this article attempts to disparage a comment based on its speaker.

It neglects the comment itself, which is to claim Sotomajor made a racist statement. Was her statement racist or not? Had someone from a different race uttered it, would it have been racist? If it is a racist statement, is the level of racism enough to question her qualification as a Supreme Court justice?

Posted by: MKS on May 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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