Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 3:20 PM
Scott Conroy is still on Newt Gingrich's trail, proving my theory that a blowsy-enough candidate can make news even when big network coverage stops. Conroy sits in on a meeting between Gingrich and Tea Partiers in Delaware. Instead of giving the reporter a straightforward story about how he can thrive in a post-Santorum race, Gingrich explains how Fox News screwed him.
I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through. In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact.
Dylan Stableford got a response from Fox:
This is nothing other than Newt auditioning for a windfall of a gig at CNN -- that's the kind of man he is. Not to mention, he's still bitter about the fact that we terminated his contributor contract.
It's a classic, needlessly mean Fox News response. It should also spook Gingrich. He's got $4.7 million in campaign debt, by his own admission. His strategy for making the money back is to "work and pay it off." But he was making nearly $1 million annually from Fox when the network terminated his contract. Fox, then a scrappy CNN competitor, was one of the first outlets to pick up/rehab Gingrich when he left Congress.
Forget about the money, though. Does Gingrich have a point? In the short run, yes. Fox News ended the primary with a focus on Romney and a dismissive approach to other candidates. In the long run, not at all. Without Fox News, how would Gingrich have rebuilt his image in the 'aughts?
Fox aside, my favorite part of the Conroy story is Gingrich's pique about George Will. The ABC talker/WashPost columnist spent beaucoups time arguing that Gingrich was a hideous sell-out.
I’ve now written 24 books, and 13 of them are New York Times bestsellers. I mean, there’s a morning when George ought to just get over it.